2020 Annual Report - Montgomery County, VA Economic Development

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Blacksburg & Christiansburg MONTGOMERY COUNTY, VIRGINIA


Brenda Rigney, CEcD Project Manager, Existing Industry rigneybb@montgomerycountyva.gov Rachel Cline Project Manager, Marketing and Business Development clinerf@montgomerycountyva.gov




To the Honorable Chair, members of the Board of Supervisors, and the citizens of Montgomery County:

It is undeniable that 2020 was an uncertain and unrelenting year in many ways, with the COVID-19 pandemic at the forefront of all of our thoughts and actions. However, it was also a year in which Montgomery County adapted and rose to the occasion to bring about exciting growth and economic development achievement.

The Montgomery County, Va., Department of Economic Development (MCDED) has prepared this annual report to showcase the organization’s activities and accomplishments during 2020. The report is also intended to be an economic development marketing tool for Montgomery County, and features the achievements of local companies, entrepreneurs, and other key allies.

As you will read in the following pages, expansions announced by existing Montgomery County industries in the past year resulted in $8.6 million in new investment, and those projects will create 370 new jobs for our citizens. There was also significant progress in 2020 made toward carrying out the Board of Supervisors’ goal of ensuring that adequate broadband service is available for all County citizens, including an extensive evaluation of service gaps and existing infrastructure.

The Department of Economic Development is dedicated to improving the quality of life throughout Montgomery County – including the incorporated towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg – by encouraging positive economic growth that:

• CREATES meaningful career opportunities; • EXPANDS the commercial tax base to support the delivery of vital public services; and

• PROTECTS our enviable quality of life Our department accomplishes its mission through strategies that support the startup, retention, and expansion of businesses already in Montgomery County, as well as the attraction of new targeted industries to the community.

A focus on economic development and growing and expanding existing businesses in our community are crucial elements necessary for making Montgomery County a great place to live and to work. The Board continues to look for and support opportunities to foster economic growth, including a study conducted over the last year seeking out parcels for future expansion and development, which will in turn help provide competitive wages for our citizens and allow our local economy to grow and to prosper. For over a decade now, I have seen firsthand the Board of Supervisors’ dedication to looking at the big picture, and although 2020 presented countless obstacles, our commitment to providing a high level of service for our citizens has seen us through and will carry us on into what I am sure is a very bright future ahead. Best Regards,

F. Craig Meadows, County Administrator

2020 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

Montgomery County, Virginia | Home of Virginia Tech and the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg

Image Credit: Montgomery County

Brian Hamilton, CEcD Economic Development Director hamiltonbt@montgomerycountyva.gov

Aerial view of County-owned Falling Branch Corporate Park in Christiansburg


2009-2020 Project Summary

2009-2020 PROJECT SUMMARY Since 2009, the Department has made 68 total announcements from new and existing businesses. These announcements have resulted in 3,373 total new jobs, with over $137 million in total investment. N E W J OB S BY Y EA R 700




45,000,000 40,000,000

600 35,000,000


500 400







Virginia Tech received high honors in 2020 for its beautiful campus in Blacksburg

Image Credit: Virginia Tech

COMMUNITY ACCOLADES #1 City for Remote Workers in Virginia, Zippia

Based on metrics such as affordable housing, computers per household, broadband Internet access, and the number of existing remote workers, Blacksburg was named the best city in Virginia for remote workers in 2020.




























Announcements Since 2009 (68)


















8,600,000 5,650,000 3,850,000




Jobs Added Since 2009 (3,373)

#3 Best College Campus in America, Niche.com

Virginia Tech was ranked No. 3 Best College Campus in America based on student surveys and Dept. of Education data on campus safety, access to amenities, and housing costs. Niche also awarded the university No. 2 Best College Food in America.

#4 Best Metro Area for Homeownership in VA, LendingTree

Proximity to two prominent universities, low unemployment, and a short average commute helped name the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area the fourth best for homeownership in Virginia.

MCPS Named “School Division of Innovation,” VA Board of Education

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) were recognized for innovative information technology curricula through dual enrollment and for creating new associate degree pathways.

New - 19%

Expansions - 81%

New Jobs - 9%

Expansion Jobs - 91%

Investment ($) Since 2009 ($137,040,250)

Top 100 Small Cities/Towns in the US, BestCities.org

Blacksburg ranked among the top 100 best small cities/towns, receiving high marks in categories such as quality of both natural and built environment, attractions, and infrastructure.

#25 Undergraduate Entrepreneurship, The Princeton Review

A strong entrepreneurship culture and an interdisciplinary approach helped to push Virginia Tech to No. 25 out of 300 schools with offerings in entrepreneurship studies.


2020 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

New Investment - 15%

Expansion Investment - 85%

Montgomery County, Virginia | Home of Virginia Tech and the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg


Existing Industry & Workforce

MODEA EXPANSION Modea, a Blacksburg healthcare tech industry, announced this year that they will invest $100,000 to grow their Montgomery County operations, allowing for the creation of 20 new jobs. The investment follows a move to a larger office space on South Main Street to accommodate new business. Founded in Virginia in 2006, Modea provides consultation and design work for the healthcare industry, creating software and apps for use in hospitals and other health settings. Their work in the tech industry has become increasingly important due to COVID-19 in 2020, and their continued growth in Montgomery County will support their efforts in a constantly changing and evolving field. “Modea was founded in Blacksburg, Virginia, because of the incredible quality of life and the availability of technical talent in the New River Valley,” Christopher Riegger, Modea’s Chief Operating Officer, said in a press release for their new investment. “ COVID-19 is shining a bright light on the need for better digital tools in healthcare and demand for our services is growing quickly. As we scale to meet this need, doing so here in Blacksburg allows us to leverage strong, local relationships and retain our company culture.”

MONTGOMERY COUNTY BUSINESSES RECEIVE RECOGNITION Torc Robotics’ recently expanded headquarters in the Blacksburg Industrial Park

Image Credit: Torc Robotics



The Economic Development Department uses its Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) program to maintain good relationships and communication with companies in Montgomery County. Department staff arrange face-to-face visits with local businesses to identify and help solve any problems or barriers that may be undermining their overall success and growth in our community. However, with the onset of COVID-19, the BRE program was adapted to entirely digital operations for most of the year. In 2020, the Department made 10 in-person visits with existing industries prior to COVID-19 restrictions, along with 53 meetings via Zoom and conference calls, for a total of 63 meetings. Two companies supported through the BRE program announced expansion projects that will result in $8.6 million in total new investment and 370 new jobs.

TORC ROBOTICS EXPANSION Torc Robotics, a Blacksburg-based leader in autonomous vehicle systems, announced this year that they will invest $8.5 million to expand their Montgomery County operations with an additional facility at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VT CRC), supporting the creation of 350 new jobs. The announcement follows last year’s acquisition of a majority stake of Torc by Daimler Trucks. Torc’s expansion will support their continued research in developing self-driving trucks alongside Daimler. Starting in January 2021, Torc began leasing over 28,000 square feet in an existing building at the VT CRC not far from the company’s headquarters in the Blacksburg Industrial Park, where an additional 15,800 square foot expansion was just completed in August of 2020. The added space across both facilities will enable Torc to continue their accelerated growth in Montgomery County. “We believe our location has been part of our success,” Torc CEO Michael Fleming said in a press release. “People in this area tend to pursue efforts for the longer term. They are also very hardworking and humble. I’ve always believed that a revolution and disruption like bringing self-driving trucks to market is a marathon, not a sprint, and it doesn’t happen overnight.”


2020 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

Despite the challenging business climate of 2020, many Montgomery County businesses were able to shine bright and received recognition for their work, including: • Qualtrax, Inc. (Blacksburg) was named No. 13 Best Small Business on the Virginia Business list of “Best Places to Work in 2020.” • Phoenix Integrations, Inc. (Blacksburg) and Aeroprobe Corporation (Christiansburg) were selected to participate in the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program, a two-year international business acceleration program, an opportunity extended to only 25 businesses per year. FoxGuard Solutions, Inc. (Christiansburg) and Prime Photonics, LC (Blacksburg) also graduated from the VALET Program this year. • Harmonia Holdings Group, LLC (Blacksburg) was included in the Virginia Business “2020 Virginia’s Fantastic 50,” a list of Virginia’s fastest-growing companies. • Aeroprobe Corporation (Christiansburg) was featured in the third quarter issue of the Virginia Economic Review, discussing their Micro Air Data System and highlighting the talent benefits the company has seen from being located in the New River Valley.


In September 2020, the Economic Development Authority (EDA) sold the Technology Manufacturing Building (TMB) to Zapi, Inc., the Italian parent company of TMB tenant, InMotion US. Located in the Blacksburg Industrial Park, the TMB is also home to Luna Innovations, and both companies will continue their operations in the building. The TMB was originally constructed by the EDA in 2001 with the goal of attracting new industry or allowing for expansion of existing industries in the community. In that time, the building has been leased by six different companies, including Luna beginning in 2007 and InMotion in 2014.

Montgomery County, Virginia | Home of Virginia Tech and the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg


Business Attraction & Marketing

County Broadband Initiatves





In late 2018, the Department was fortunate to receive a Planning and Technical Assistance Grant from the US Economic Development Administration (US EDA). The $65,000 grant was matched by Montgomery County for a total of $130,000 to be put toward a search for the location of the next corporate park in Montgomery County.

In early 2020, Thompson & Litton, with subcontractor Blue Ridge Advisory Services, wrapped up an extensive assessment of local broadband access. Montgomery County, in partnership with the NRV Regional Commission and the City of Radford, pursued the broadband study after receiving a $30,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) at the end of 2018.

With limited sites currently available for prospects, it is important to plan for the future. However, there has been considerable growth in Montgomery County since the last site search of this kind was completed in the 1990’s, particularly in housing, making the task of determining potential sites much more difficult. To streamline the process, the Department hired a consultant to conduct the site selection study, with Timmons Group being chosen for the project in early 2020.

The goal of the broadband study was to determine any broadband service area gaps within the two localities, as well as assess any existing resources that could be utilized in improving service and access for citizens. One challenge for Montgomery County is that while there is strong service within the incorporated towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg, there are pockets of unserved areas throughout the rest of the County. The final broadband study report showed that there are roughly 3,000 unserved households in Montgomery County, in addition to nearly 6,000 that are underserved.

The site selection study process incorporated input from several community stakeholders, including surveys about what they considered the most important elements that a site must possess to remain in the running. Some key factors that stakeholders wanted included were access and visibility of the site, its proximity to utility infrastructure, the overall parcel size, and how prepared the site was for immediate development. Through this study, Montgomery County was able to narrow down and identify a solid mix of sites with a full range of possibilities for future development.

Moving forward, the results of the broadband study will be used in discussions with local providers about potentially expanding their existing services, as background information when applying for broadband grants, and can help the County determine how to best allocate funding. Providing adequate broadband service for all citizens is a top priority for Montgomery County, particularly as COVID-19 has highlighted the need for high-speed Internet for school, remote work, and telehealth.


PROSPECT ACTIVITY In 2020, the Department and its allies generated 30 Source of Leads, 2020 prospect leads. From those 30 leads, 23 prospects required follow-up information (sites and buildings, MCDED - 33% community data, etc.). At year end, six were still VEDP - 50% actively considering projects in Montgomery County, while three were successfully located in the County.

Onward NRV - 17%

Prospect by Industry, 2020 (30)

Acronym definitions:

MCDED: Montgomery County Economic Development Department Onward NRV: formerly New River Valley Economic Development Alliance VEDP: Virginia Economic Development Partnership

Active - 20% Closed - 53%

Manufacturing - 43%

IT/Software Dev. - 17%

Life/Bio Sciences - 3%

Other - 10%

Inactive - 17% Located - 10%

To provide an immediate solution for school-aged children lacking sufficient Internet access, Montgomery County started the Wireless On Wheels (WOW) initiative using 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. The County purchased 20 solar panelequipped carts that emit free wireless hotspots, which were positioned throughout Montgomery County at easily accessible locations such as fire stations and churches. Locations were A student connects to the free Wireless on Wheels wi-fi network chosen based on the unserved and underserved areas determined in the broadband study completed in early 2020. The hotspots for the majority of the carts are powered through Verizon, while five carts placed in more remote areas of the County are serviced by HughesNet via an additional satellite dish.

Image Credit: WDBJ7

Year-End Prospect Status, 2020

While Montgomery County continues to take steps toward providing a permanent broadband solution for unserved and underserved citizens, the COVID-19 pandemic greatly exasperated the need for reliable high-speed internet access, particularly for children participating in remote learning.

Department’s prospect tracking system definitions:

Food/Bev Processing - 23%


Mixed-Use - 3%

Located: Project located in Montgomery County. Active: Project is under active consideration. Inactive: No project activity in 3 months or more. Closed: Project located elsewhere, or no activity in over a year.

2020 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

Montgomery County, Virginia | Home of Virginia Tech and the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg


County COVID-19 Response

County COVID-19 Response

COUNTY COVID-19 RESPONSE GRANT PROGRAMS ESTABLISHED TO DISTRIBUTE CARES ACT FUNDS With the emergence of COVID-19 this year, many economic sectors saw a sharp decline in business. In an effort to offset the impact on local businesses and aid in economic recovery, Montgomery County and the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg partnered together to establish grant programs for distributing funds provided through the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Eligible businesses and nonprofit entities could seek aid through a centralized online grant portal, and applications were thoroughly reviewed by the three localities. The CARES Act funds were then distributed as one-time grants through the Montgomery County Economic Development Authority.

Across the three localities and five grant programs, a total of $3,357,797 of CARES Act funding was distributed by the end of 2020.

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• Between $500 and $27,500 one-time grants • Small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees • Business must have suffered a 20% or more decrease in reveune or net income

Nonprofit Recovery Grant

• Award based on up to 25% of most recent annual operating budget, or maximum of $25,000 (whichever is smaller) • Must hold 501(c)3, 501(c)4, or 501(c)6 designation and benefit individuals within one or more of the three localities

Childcare Providers Recovery Grant

• Award calculated based on number of months the provider was operational in 2020 and their licensed capacity • Includes certified and licensed preschools, day centers, family day homes, religiously exempt centers, and after-school programs

Dining Expansion Grant

• Reimbursement-based grants up to $15,000 • Used to extend outdoor dining season or seating capacity for safer dining • Eligible uses include outdoor heaters, tents, and rental of additional space

Hotel-Motel Grant

• Maximum awards based on number of rentable rooms multiplied by $250 • Business must have suffered a 20% or more decrease in revenue or net income • Airbnb properties are not included

2020 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

Only one year prior to the beginning of COVID-19’s impact, employment challenges in Montgomery County centered mainly around talent attraction and retention in a competitive market, as much of the New River Valley experienced unemployment rates under 3 percent. The pandemic quickly shifted that conversation, as the NRV saw a loss of more than 12,000 jobs between February and May of 2020, representing roughly 16% of the market. The majority of job loss was seen in the service sector, including retail, food, and hospitality, particularly as tourism dipped in the region. However, many industries in Montgomery County were able to maintain steady employment numbers, such as IT and software development businesses that could more easily shift to work-from-home environments, or manufacturing companies that saw an uptick in online sales. Throughout most of 2020, Montgomery County’s unemployment rate closely resembled the trends of the national rate, with a significant dive in early spring and steadily increasing numbers as the year progressed. By the end of the year, though, Montgomery County had slightly outpaced the national trend to achieve a rate of 3.4% in December. While there is still a gap between pre-pandemic employment rates and those going into 2021, Montgomery County’s economic stance remains positive with job growth and investment from existing industries, and that outlook will only continue to improve with the distribution of vaccines and loosening of restrictions in the year to come.

LOCAL BUSINESSES PRODUCE SUPPLIES TO COMBAT COVID-19 In the face of shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies needed to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Montgomery County saw local businesses step in to help in a time of great need. In April of 2020, Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc., announced that its Blacksburg manufacturing plant would temporarily shift production from Cutter insect repellents to instead produce much-needed hand sanitizer. Within two weeks, the Blacksburg team was able to use their existing formulas and materials to create a sanitizer that would not only be provided to all Spectrum Brands facilities, but also donated to local organizations in the communities in which they have operations. Carilion Clinic in Roanoke was among the first to receive a donation of the Cutter hand sanitizer.

Image Credit: Specturm Brands

The grant distribution was extended across five different sectors, with varying eligibility requirements for each grant. Acceptable uses for the grant funding included payroll expenses, lease or mortgage payments, and reimbursements for technology enhancements, the purchase of personal protective equipment for employees, or other costs directly associated with the response by local businesses to changing market and safety conditions in the face of COVID-19.

Small Business Recovery Grant


Rowe Furniture, Inc., in Elliston also stepped up to help during the pandemic, inspired by efforts across the country to create reusable cloth face masks at a time when PPE was still very hard to come by. As part of a partnership with the Healthcare Mask Collaborative, Rowe sent out over 1,200 handmade cloth face masks to the Navy’s USNS Comfort Hospital ship while it was stationed in the New York City harbor.

Montgomery County, Virginia | Home of Virginia Tech and the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg

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Real Estate and Infrastructure


Wing Aviation provides a contactless delivery option for local buinesses in Christiansubrg

Image Credit: Wing

REAL ESTATE & INFRASTRUCTURE WING EXTENDS CHRISTIANSBURG TRIAL AMID GROWTH DUE TO PANDEMIC In October 2020, Wing Aviation, an Alphabet company, announced that they will continue their operation in Montgomery County beyond their initial trial period. The announcement came one year after their Christiansburg, Va. location became the first commercial drone delivery site in the United States.

Other announced tenants for Marketplace include Jersey Mike’s Subs, Aspen Dental, Orange Theory Fitness, Chicken Salad Chick, Sandro’s Pizzeria, Zale’s, and First Watch Cafe. The majority of construction on the retail storefronts is expected to be completed by early summer of 2021.

CHRISTIANSBURG COMPLETES $8.5 MILLION ROAD IMPROVEMENTS The Town of Christiansburg completed a significant road project well over a year in the making in late summer of 2020. The North Franklin Street Corridor Improvement Project was intended to aid the flow of traffic, as well as increase accessibility for pedestrians. The most substantial change to the North Franklin corridor involved the creation of a new traffic pattern realigning the intersection with Cambria Street by removing the exit from US-460 Business that had previously required a five-way intersection. Instead, traffic coming off of US-460 Business is redirected to a new signal prior to entering the Cambria Street intersection, reducing the traffic disruptions at peak hours.

Wing worked with Virginia Tech, the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), and the Department to select their Christiansburg site in 2019, operating under the UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP). The IPP trial was set to run out in October 2020, but Wing’s service will continue through the newly established US Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration BEYOND program. The extension of Wing’s trial in Christiansburg comes at a time of unprecedented growth. “As a result of COVID-19, we saw an increase for our service grow by 500 percent from February-April, as our technology helped people get the things they need without human-to-human contact,” Wing CEO James Ryan Burgess said in a press release.

Construction on the Marketplace redevelopment made significant progress throughout 2020. An additional entrance to the shopping center opened on Peppers Ferry Road, along with the completion of the signalized four-way intersection on North Franklin Street. Work on several new freestanding buildings also got underway for tenants including Verizon, Starbucks, and Mission BBQ. Chipotle, another freestanding storefront, opened shortly before the end of the year with both mobile pickup and drive-thru options.

Image Credit: Marketplace Christiansburg

In July 2020, the healthy supermarket Earth Fare was named as an anchor store for the newly redeveloped Christiansburg Marketplace. Christiansburg was selected by Earth Fare’s new owners largely because of proximity to both Virginia Tech and Radford University, as well as the abundant outdoor, healthy lifestyle options available in the New River Valley. Earth Fare is expected to open in spring of 2021.

Other improvements to the roadway included an additional traffic signal leading into the Food Lion Shopping Center, new turn lanes, sidewalks connecting to the Huckleberry Trail, bike lanes, and signalized crosswalks. In total, the project cost roughly $8.5 million, which was paid for by a combination of Smart Scale funding, VDOT’s Urban funds program, and contributions from the Town of Christiansburg.

Image Credit: youtube.com/wing

Over the past year, Wing has expanded from their original three partners—FedEx, Walgreens, and Sugar Magnolia—to include Gran Rodeo Mexican Restaurant, Brugh Coffee Co., and Mockingbird Café, providing an additional revenue source for local businesses seeing a sharp decline in walk-in customers due to the pandemic. Based on the recommendation of a local librarian, Wing also worked with Montgomery County Public Schools to launch the world’s first drone delivery service of library books to students doing virtual schooling.

Significant changes to the N. Franklin St. Corridor in Christiansburg wrapped up in 2020 Image Credit: Town of Christiansburg

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Montgomery County, Virginia | Home of Virginia Tech and the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg

2020 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

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Boards and Commissions

BOARDS & COMMISSIONS The Economic Development Department provides administrative support to the following entities.

With social distancing requirements due to COVID-19, Montgomery County’s many open, natural spaces like Pandapas Pond in Blacksburg provided a safe form of recreation for both citizens and visitors.


Image Credit: Montgomery County Tourism Office


In October 2020, the Virginia Tourism Corporation released its 2019 report on the Economic Impact of Domestic Travel on Virginia and Localities. The report, prepared by the U.S. Travel Association, examined tourism spending in Virginia by U.S. visitors traveling 50 miles or more away from home.


The Economic Development Authority (EDA) was created in 1970 by the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors. The EDA has the authority to issue industrial development bonds as well as acquire, lease and/or sell real and personal property. The EDA meets the third Tuesday of every month. The Department provides staff support to the EDA.

The Montgomer y Regional Economic Development Commission (EDC) was created in 1982 by a resolution of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors. The EDC acts in an advisory capacity on economic development matters for the County. It meets the fourth Thursday of every month. The Department provides staff support to the EDC.



James Taylor III - Chair Joe Ferrell - Vice Chair Samantha Livesay Charmaine Troy

Michael Miller - Chair John Overton - Vice Chair Darrell Sheppard Peter Anderson Angela Joyner


According to the report, tourism spending in Montgomery County reached $168.7 million in 2019, a 5.2 percent increase over 2018. Visitor spending was estimated to have topped $10.3 million in combined state and local taxes for Montgomery County and the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg. The report also found that the local tourism industry supported 1,492 jobs and had an annual payroll of $33 million which was up 6.7% over 2018.

Brian T. Hamilton – Secretary/Treasurer Brenda Rigney – Assistant Secretary/Treasurer Marty McMahon – Legal Counsel Craig Meadows – County Administrator Angie Hill – Assistant County Administrator/CFO

The Montgomery County/Blacksburg/Christiansburg, Virginia Regional Tourism Office collaborates with local hospitality and tourism businesses, advocacy organizations, local government, secondary and higher education institutions, and civic organizations to attract visitors to the area for first-time, as well as repeat visits. The program encourages longer stays and additional spending by building awareness for events and attractions throughout the community. The travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic created a dire situation for the hospitality and tourism businesses locally, as well as nationally and internationally. Losing visitation from collegiate-related travel generated by Virginia Tech and Radford University was a huge fallout from the pandemic. A few youth amateur sports competitions, chiefly baseball, have helped to bring some travelers into the area. Swimming competitions in March were missed as have been Virginia Tech football visitation. Business travel has been severely reduced.


“This year has illustrated how very valuable tourism is to our area. We will see this represented in heavily decreased measures reported in the 2020 Economic Impact of Domestic Travel on Virginia and Localities report next fall. Because visitors go largely undetected to the casual observer, it is easy for their fiscal value to be unrealized by the residential population. However, one need only look to the local hospitality business sales receipts to see the impact. The loss of the direct revenue along with payroll and with tax revenue is being felt by small business owners, employees, and local budgets. This situation is expected to continue until people are vaccinated and begin to feel safe to travel again. Fortunately, the tourism program has received help from the Virginia Tourism Corporation for reopening promotion through the WanderLove state campaign, which focuses on those within a 3-4 hour drive of Montgomery County,” said Lisa Bleakley, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Regional Tourism Office. “We know from research that travelers are seeking open spaces and less populated areas associated with cleanliness and fresh air. Natural settings are highly sought after and Montgomery County has this in spades!”

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Montgomery County, Virginia | Home of Virginia Tech and the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg

Joe Meredith Michael Barber Paul Lancaster Jerry Ford


Brian T. Hamilton – Department Director Brenda Rigney – Secretary

The MBC Development Corporation is a 501(c) 3 organization created in 1985 to enhance and broaden the employment base in Montgomery County by providing small business with low interest loans not available from conventional sources. Since its creation, the MBC has provided 37 small business loans totaling over $1.6 million.


Tom Via - President John Cusimano - Vice President Michael Barber Brad Denardo Jason Hardy Robert Parks

Michael Sutphin Jeanne Symanoskie Mary Biggs Chad Reed Nathan Hockersmith


Brenda Rigney - Secretary/Treasurer Marty McMahon - Legal Counsel Brian Hamilton - Department Director

2020 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT 755 Roanoke St., Suite 2H, Christiansburg, VA, 24073 (866) 270-9185 | YesMontgomeryVA.org Facebook & Twitter: @YesMontgomeryVA YouTube: YesMontgomeryVA Linkedin: Montgomery County VA Economic Development

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