(Charlottesville, Virginia – July 29) The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce reported today that more than 500 professionals engaged in the “legal enterprise” proximate to the Court Square area, earn more than $34 million annually. Those workers and others interacting with the courts system annually spend as much as $2-3 million more in the area.

The assessment: Report: An Economic Assessment of the Current Unified Court Square, was researched and prepared by Michael Nafziger (Swarthmore College) and Sophia Holmes (University of Richmond), the Charlottesville Regional Chamber’s two recent Chamber College Interns; the work coordinated by Chamber President Timothy Hulbert.

The Report findings were presented last week to Albemarle County (and the City of Charlottesville) as the County continues its much broader economic analysis regarding the location of the Court System. A copy of the Report is attached.

This preliminary assessment was undertaken to help quantify the importance and economic impact of the current unified Court Square Downtown, where more than 20,000 Court hearings are held each year. The assessment was prompted by governmental and public discussions and considerations of possibly moving some of the Albemarle Courts to a new location. The Report outlines a current economic assessment that Court Square has on the community and the efficiency of having the Charlottesville Court system and the Albemarle Court system adjacent to one another.

Earlier this week, several Albemarle County officials informed Chamber leadership that the County’s current analyses do not consider relocation of any Albemarle Courts outside the City. The Chamber is keenly interested in receiving and reviewing the County’s expanded analysis regarding the location of its Courts and other County administrative functions.

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.