Chesapeake, Virginia


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Chesapeake Business Signs

The independent city of Chesapeake, Virginia was created in 1963, when South Norfolk consolidated with Norfolk County.  The name ‘Chesapeake’ was subsequently selected “by the voters of each community by referendum, and authorized by the Virginia General Assembly.”  The word ‘Chesapeake’ derives from Algonquian, and refers to a village ‘at a big river.’  While South Norfolk was founded in 1919, Chesapeake, Virginia wouldn’t be founded until 1963.

Modern day Chesapeake, Virginia has a population of 232,977, according to a 2013 estimate by the US census bureau.  This makes it the third-most populous city in Virginia, and the second-largest city (by land area) in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Chesapeake is also considered a part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area.  According to that same 2013 US census bureau report, the Hampton Roads metropolitan area has a population of 1,672,319 people. This makes the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC (or Hampton Roads) metropolitan area the 37th most populous metropolitan area in the United States.

The city of Chesapeake’s 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report states the largest employer in the Chesapeake area is Chesapeake City Public Schools.  This public school system employs 5,762 people.  The second largest employer in the area is the City of Chesapeake itself, which provides 3,167 jobs.  The health care industry rounds out the third and fourth spots on the list, with the Chesapeake Regional Medical Center employing 2,400 people, and the LTD Hospitality Group with 2,185 on staff.

Other large employers in the Chesapeake area include Sentara Healthcare, QVC, HSBC Finance, Cox Communications, Hewlett-Packard, Reliance Staffing, Lifetouch, Dollar Tree, Damco, General Dynamics Information Technology, Canon Information Technology Service, and First Data.

Chesapeake also serves as the site for two Navy bases: Northwest Annex, which is located in the Hickory area, and NALF Fentress.  NALF Fentress, or Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Fentress, constructed during World War Two, is a military use airport under the operational control of Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia.  According to the Federal Aviation Administration, NALF Fentress “primarily supports day and night Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) operations by US Navy and US Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet, and US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet, E-2 Hawkeye, and C-2 Greyhound aircraft based in Virginia and the Carolinas.”

Chesapeake isn’t all about business or military operations, however.  The city boasts the Chesapeake Arboretum, which was established in 1996.  The Chesapeake Arboretum contains 47 acres of “a mature hardwood forest with good trail systems, farmhouse, theme, and demonstration gardens.”

Chesapeake also contains several well-known canals.  In fact, the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  This canal, which was built from 1856-1860, actually consists of two canals, thirty miles apart.  Another well-known canal in the area is the Great Dismal Swam Canal.  This canal, built in 1793 by the Dismal Swamp Canal Co. and the US Army Corps of Engineers, is also listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  The Dismal Swamp Canal opened in 1805, which makes it the oldest continually operating man-made canal in the United States.

Own a small business in the Chesapeake area?  Are you considering it?  These resources could help you:

Apply for a Business License in Chesapeake

Opening/Operating a Business in Chesapeake Virginia

Chesapeake – Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce

Looking for Chesapeake business signs?

Get the word out there about your small business!  Contact one of our authorized members:

Any and All Graphics
Virginia Beach, VA
Michael Uhler

Ink’d Out LLC
Newport News, VA
Joshua Barnett