International businesses with Southside ties awarded development grants

VIRGINIA BEACH – Two international businesses with local ties were presented with grants by the Virginia Beach Development Authority on Tuesday afternoon.

STIHL, Inc. and U-Play Corporation were both awarded the APZ-1 Economic Development Investment Program with grants that will enable the companies to grow their businesses in the city. Both are located in the YesOceana footprint.

“There is intense competition to attract and retain quality companies like STIHL, Inc., and now, U-Play Corporation,” said Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris in a news release. “Growing the manufacturing footprint in Virginia Beach is a crucial part of our overall economic growth strategy, and we have been successful because of our favorable business environment, no machinery and tools tax for manufacturers, a highly skilled workforce and proximity to the Port of Virginia. We are delighted to see STIHL’s achievements and look forward to having U-Play as a part of our corporate community.”

Headquartered in Waiblingen, Germany, STIHL, Inc. was given $110,000 for its planned capital investments in The International Industrial Center – formally Lillian Vernon. They recently announced plans to invest more than $2.7 million in improvements to The International Industrial Center located at 2600 International Parkway, which will boost local job growth. It plans to make significant improvements to the 871,000-square-foot space over the next 48 months to expand and allow space for new tenants.

U-Play Corporation, headquartered in China’s Anhui Province, is opening its first North American operation and will use the grant of $125,000 the first phase of building. The corporation will lease 200,000 square feet of space at 1440 London Bridge Road for the manufacturing of its disposable sanitary products. U-Play employs more than 300 people and its products are exported to 40 countries.

“Virginia Beach is a fantastic place for our business because of its strategic location, well-trained workforce and business-friendly environment,” said Hancy Cheng, U-Play Corporation’s CEO in the release. “We want to put together all these advantages to create a manufacturing hub for our company to better serve our customers in the U.S.”

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