The Midlothian Business Alliance brings the community together to build relationships and collaborate to make the Midlothian Area the best place to live, work, and play.
In the beginning…
Southport was founded in 1980. Through the years it has been home base to hundreds of businesses. Many continue to prosper in the park, some have moved to larger facilities in the county and some have closed their doors. Today, Southport is a vital part of Chesterfield's economy. Ironically, the biggest challenge facing Southport is the congestion which is a result of the rapid growth in our area. Southport was conceived by George Sowers, Sr. and his three sons. They developed and marketed the park to prospective businesses and developers. During the early seventies, development in this area was primarily accessible from Midlothian Turnpike, then a quiet two lane road. Southport was originally billed as an industrial park. However, mirroring our economy in general, the park never attracted heavy industry and mostly attracted service-related businesses.
Southport catches on…
One of the first companies to move to Southport was Hoover and Strong, Inc. George Hoover moved the company from Buffalo, New York to Richmond, Virginia in 1979 for several reasons. A major factor was that representatives from the Department of Economic Development, with the help of the governor, expediently and successfully secured the gas supply necessary to run his business. Additionally, they thought Southport was a good value and liked the quiet setting with a scenic lake, which their facility now overlooks.
Other companies have selected Southport for similar reasons. Southport is considered to be the most successful business park in the county. Some of the reasons are that it: 1) is close to a dynamic population center; 2) coexists very well with residential and other commercial ventures; and 3) offers companies the ability to lease a space, grow and then expand to a larger location, in the park or elsewhere in the county. In fact, Southport is an incubator park for the county. Many businesses have started in Southport and eventually moved to larger sites within the county. Example of companies that have grown and successfully moved to larger facilities include: Fischer Pewter, Erni Components, Pharmaceutical Packaging Service, Teresa's School of Dance, Ukrops bakery, Ukrops main office and Asset Management.
Protecting our future…
During the past 35 years the Southport Association has successfully represented the businesses in the Southport Office Park. Many requests have been submitted to the county on behalf of the Southport businesses…. including stop lights, turning lanes, median maintenance, signage, street lights, zoning and beautification, just to name a few. As our surrounding area has grown so has the need to represent the nearby businesses. Physically located between the old Cloverleaf Mall and the new and upcoming Watkins Center, Southport Association is the organization that has protected the interests of this business community. While attention, money and political time are often spent on newer more exciting areas, we believe it is extremely important to keep the county government focused on the needs of our area.
With the county’s attention moving to the West, Southport Association morphed into the Greater Southport Association in 2006. Its purpose continues to be to represent the many new and existing businesses in the area, to maintain the current level of quality businesses, to ensure that our voice is heard at the county level and to reduce the traffic congestion , and lastly to make certain that this business community stays vibrant, healthy and safe.
Everyone’s help and support is appreciated. If you feel strongly about the future of our area, please offer to assist by contacting one of our officers or directors.