140 Years of Impact on the Lynchburg Region
The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance is a regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization that has played a significant role in shaping the Lynchburg region. With a history dating back to 1883, the Alliance is one of the oldest chambers of commerce in Virginia and has continually evolved and adapted to meet the needs of the local business community.
Programs & Projects
One of the major ways that the LRBA has impacted the region is through its various programs and projects. Here are some of the programs the Alliance played a major part in over the years:
- Small Business Development Center – Lynchburg Region
- TDX – TransDominion Express
- Work Healthy
- Young Professionals of Central Virginia
- Partners in Education
- Lynchburg Community Chest: This organizational fund went on to become the United Way of Central Virginia.
- Leadership Lynchburg
- Kaleidoscope with Junior League
- Vision 2001
- Connecting the Virginian Railway to the City
- Building an elevator on Ninth Street to lift pedestrians
- Farm Show – ran for 30 years.
- Declaration of a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) – 1950s
In addition to its own initiatives, the Alliance has also played a role in supporting and investing in various organizations in the region. Here are a few major initiatives we’ve played a role in:
- Virginia Episcopal School (VES), raised funds to buy the land
- Lynchburg Baseball club in 1954 and the Lynchburg Hillcats in modern baseball
- Founding member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Founding member of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce
- The Virginian Hotel raised $300,000 dollars to build
- Lynchburg Glass Works and Lynchburg Glass Corp.
- Eagle Eyrie Baptist Conference Center, raised $20,000 to build
- CVCC, chamber announced the launch of new community college
- Route 460 Bypass, chamber announced opening of new segment
- Team 2000/Region 2000
- Center for Advanced Engineering Research (CAER)
- Regional Renaissance
- Lynchburg Visitor Center in the 1990s
- Sports Capital of Virginia/Virginia 10-Miler/ Central Virginia Hall of Fame Banquet
- The Plaza shopping center on Memorial Avenue
- Lynchburg Municipal Airport/Lynchburg Regional Airport
- Lynchburg Industrial Development Corp.
- Lynchburg Area Development Corp.
- Manufacturers Loft Building on Kemper Street
- Amherst Drive-in Theatre
- Restoration of Appomattox Historical Park
Places & Names
Over the years, the Alliance has had a number of different locations, starting with 135 Main Street in the 1880s. In 1943, the Alliance moved to the 17th floor of the Allied Arts Building, and in 1959, it relocated to the Wall Building. In 1964, the Alliance moved to its a location on Memorial Avenue where we stayed for 50 years. This location later doubled in size with the addition of a new wing in 1979. Most recently, in 2016, the Alliance moved into the old James River Conference Center at 300 Lucado Place.
The Alliance has also undergone several name changes throughout its history. In the 1880s, it was known as the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Lynchburg. In 1909, it became the Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce, and in 1915, it merged with the Board of Trade. In 1969, the organization was renamed the Greater Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce, and in the 1990s, it become the Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. Finally, af6ter merging with Region 2000, we are known as the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance.
Overall, the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance has played a vital role in the economic development and growth of the Lynchburg region, and its various programs, projects, and investments have had a lasting impact on the community.
Check out our digital timeline for a visual of all the major impacts the Alliance has had on the Lynchburg Region.
As the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance looks towards the future, it is well positioned to continue making a positive impact on the Lynchburg region. With a long history of supporting local businesses, promoting economic development, and fostering a sense of community, the Alliance is well-respected and highly regarded in the region.