(Charlottesville, Virginia – March 6) The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce reported today that total retail sales set a third consecutive record level over 2016 – $2.740 billion – in Albemarle County & the City of Charlottesville, according to complied Virginia sales & use tax data.  Total 2016 retail sales also set new record high levels in Augusta, Fluvanna, Greene, and Louisa counties. The retail sales level in the City of Waynesboro dipped slightly.

Virginia Department of Taxation retail sales tax data compiled showed that retail sales over the course of 2016 (January – December) compared to the full 2015 year, were up in Albemarle County +6.75%; up in Charlottesville +4.85%; up in Augusta County +5.87%; up in Fluvanna County, +13.96%; up in Greene County, +11.21%; up in Louisa County, +12.75%. Retail sales in Waynesboro dipped slightly, -0.9%.

Albemarle and Charlottesville, the region’s retail hub, accounted for $2.74 billion (+5.93%) in total retail sales over the course of 2016; $153 million higher than the 2015 record high total.

In addition to the retail associated jobs and private investment, a gain or loss in retail sales equates to a local tax revenue gain or loss.  In 2016 total sales tax revenues in Albemarle County were $15.1 million; a year-to-year gain of +$988,000.  Total 2016 sales tax revenues in the City of Charlottesville were $11.789 million; a year-to-year gain of +$545,000.

The 2016 Chamber Jobs Report data showed that over the full year prior, “Trade, Transportation & Utilities” hold the largest segment of jobs, 17,183 or 19.9%; of all private sector jobs, within the Greater Charlottesville region, are in “Trade, Transportation & Utilities;” most of those jobs in retail. Notably, Wegmans, a leading supermarket company, that opened in late Fall 2016, with 550 people hired for jobs at its new Albemarle location, was not included in that report.

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business and enhancing the quality of life in the Greater Charlottesville communities.  Founded in 1913, today the 1,200 Chamber member and affiliate member enterprises employ more than 45,000 people in the Greater Charlottesville region, representing an estimated total payroll of more than $1.75 billion a year.