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Copyright 2021 Downtown Lynchburg Association
Copyright 2021 Downtown Lynchburg Association

Together Towards Tomorrow – How Economic Developers Partner With Our Community

James Black

As the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 5th largest locality, the Lynchburg region is an exponentially growing destination located within a day’s drive from large population centers up and down the East coast of the U.S, and less than three hours from large commercial hubs such as Washington D.C., Richmond., and the Port of Virginia. Key industries including food and beverage, steel and metals, wireless infrastructure and communication, financial and business support services, and nuclear technology all proudly call the region home. But why? From the Lynchburg region’s pro-business environment to the influx of talent, key incentives, low cost of living, and thriving tourism and culture, our region has a unifying force that supercharges the growth of our region – our regional focus on economic development and partnerships.


Attractive regional benefits are a big part of the reason why more and more industries are considering the Lynchburg region as their ideal place to do business. A low corporate income tax rate, below-average costs of living, and regional partnerships allow organizations to address challenges and opportunities together. Working collaboratively with all our region’s localities allows organizations around the region to address location needs, workforce & talent, incentives, and more to give businesses a quick and easy transition more effectively to the Lynchburg region.


An influx of talent is another reason why more industry leaders are considering building their future in the Lynchburg region. Among the highest drivers of talent growth across the region are its various colleges and universities, including the Liberty University, Randolph College, Sweet Briar College, University of Lynchburg, Virginia University of Lynchburg, and Central Virginia Community College, as well as the region’s many trade schools and special training programs that teach highly sought-after skills. Together, these institutions of higher learning award more than 20,000 degrees in relevant fields such as engineering, nursing, digital media & communication, and business, all of which are relevant to fast-growing industries in the region. Large events associated with the region’s institutions of higher learning, including concerts, intercollegiate athletic events, as well as government and business conferences also bring in millions of dollars of investment and countless visitors to the region.


Prospective new companies may also qualify for the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a program delivered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) in conjunction with the Virginia Community College System, which provides world-class training and recruitment solutions that are fully tailored to an organization’s unique standards and workplace culture. These programs are provided at no cost, and they serve to accelerate facility start-ups and expansions through expediting recruiting and shortening the learning curve for prospective new employees. The job-specific training is customized to the needs of both organizations and potential incoming talent and takes the form of hands-on training, simulations, animations, e-learning modules, and instructor-led classroom sessions. The Virginia Talent Accelerator program is a key incentive that makes it easier for industries to build a talent pipeline in Virginia.


The Lynchburg region is a highly lucrative metro for all businesses, both large and small, to continue building their future. These incentives include but are not limited to, access to incentives, loans, employment training, and other programs, technology & enterprise zones, new market tax credits, capital investment programs, tourism zones, and redevelopment programs. Additionally, entrepreneurs and business owners residing in the Lynchburg region have access to statewide incentives, including the Economic Development Access Program, Virginia Jobs Investment Programs, the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority, and other programs such as the Small Business Development Center – Lynchburg Region, which is located inside the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance’s office.


The region also combines environmentally conscious strategies with business growth through its industrial parks. Located close to Virginia’s major interstates, these industrial parks are located on spacious property ranging anywhere from 5 to 500 acres, featuring multi-use trails, outdoor recreation areas, as well as providing space for various industry leaders across the region. Some of these industries include telecommunications providers, gas & power, manufacturing, and centers for research and education. These industrial parks work in coordination with county, city, and town economic development organizations and partnerships to boost the business growth profile of the Lynchburg region heading into the future.


Additionally, the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, your region-wide chamber of commerce and economic development organization maintain crucial partnerships with local organizations seeking to build upon our region’s benefits. Organizations such as the City of Lynchburg Office of Economic Development & Tourism, Amherst County Economic Development Authority, the Bedford County Economic Development Authority, the Campbell County Economic Development Authority, as well as the EDAs representing the towns of Altavista and Appomattox and the Central Virginia Workforce Development Board. Furthermore, the Alliance maintains an important partnership with the Central Virginia Workforce Development Board, helping to fulfill one of the Alliance’s key priorities of generating jobs and investment for the region. These critical partnerships aid the Alliance in boosting the region’s profile, highlighting its attractiveness for potential visitors and residents while investing valuable resources into the redevelopment and revitalization of our region. The Lynchburg region’s localities do not exist in a bubble but have a resounding effect on industries' economic development and growth across the entire region.


Together, whether through shining a spotlight on key industries, capitalizing upon the potential of workforce talent, empowering entrepreneurship through state and local incentives and grants, and elevating local business through enhancing commerce across the Lynchburg region, the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance and our valued partners are determined to be an anchor for business growth and economic development for the entire region as we march confidently together towards tomorrow.


In a celebration of the region, its vibrant growth, and all that has been accomplished so far, please join the Alliance at its 139th Annual Meeting, happening on Wednesday, February 23rd, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Alliance headquarters, located at 300 Lucado Place in Lynchburg. We’ll also celebrate with several award recognitions: Kathleen Davis, winner of the Young Professional to Watch Award, Fred Armstrong, winner of the F.M. “Dink” Cloyd Award, Bill Bodine, the winner of the George Taylor Stewart Award, and during the annual meeting we will announce the Ambassador of the Year. RSVP by Noon on February 17th at or call (434) 845-5966 or email