2021 Annual Report - Montgomery County, VA Economic Development

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2021 ANNUAL REPORT

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, VA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Blacksburg & Christiansburg MONTGOMERY COUNTY, VIRGINIA


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CONTENTS 02 | INTRODUCTION 03 | 2021 IN REVIEW 04 | COMMUNITY ACCOLADES 05 | FIVE-YEAR PROJECT SUMMARY 06 | EXISTING INDUSTRY & WORKFORCE 08 | BUSINESS ATTRACTION & MARKETING 10 | COMMUNITY OUTREACH 11 | COUNTY BROADBAND INITIATIVES 12 | REAL ESTATE & INFRASTRUCTURE 14 | TOURISM 15 | BOARDS & COMMISSIONS DEPARTMENT STAFF Brian Hamilton, CEcD Economic Development Director hamiltonbt@montgomerycountyva.gov Brenda Rigney, CEcD Project Manager, Existing Industry rigneybb@montgomerycountyva.gov Rachel Cline Project Manager, Marketing and Business Development clinerf@montgomerycountyva.gov

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The view from County-owned Falling Branch Corporate Park highlights the natural beauty of Montgomery County and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Image Credit: Montgomery County PIO

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

2021 BY THE NUMBERS #1 STATE FOR BUSINESS... For the second consecutive time, CNBC ranked Virginia as the

Top State for Business, thanks to a strong workforce and quality education system. Virginia has now taken the top spot five times, more than any other state.

The Montgomery County, Va., Department of Economic Development (MCDED) has prepared this annual report to showcase the organization’s activities and accomplishments during 2021. 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.

$28 MILLION... Investment made or announced by projects supported by the Department

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:

Expansion Program (BRE). Thirteen of the companies required follow up support services, and overall the Department made 64 total visits.

• • •

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.

2021 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

exceeded $28.28 million.

195 JOBS... Companies assisted by the Department will create 195 new jobs. 64 BRE VISITS... The Department visited 51 local companies through its Business Retention & 47 PROSPECT LEADS... The Department saw 40 prospect inquiries from new businesses, as well as seven from existing Montgomery County businesses.

8,760 WEBSITE VISITS... YesMontgomeryVA.org was visited 8,760 times from 69 different countries and from all 50 states.

$50 MILLION FOR BROADBAND... Montgomery County was awarded two separate

Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) grants in 2021, totaling over $28.5 million to extend broadband service to unserved areas. The grant funding will be matched by Montgomery County and its service provider partners, resulting in over $50 million worth of improvements and bringing broadband access to nearly 9,000 citizens and businesses across Montgomery County.

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

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Five-Year Project Summary

FIVE-YEAR PROJECT SUMMARY Since 2017, the Department has made 29 total announcements from new and existing businesses. These announcements have resulted in 1,534 total new jobs, with over $60,158,000 in total investment. NEW JOBS BY YEAR

NEW INVESTMENT BY YEAR

Blacksburg High School was recognized as one of the best STEM high schools in America largely thanks to innovative career and technical courses, including an unmanned aircrafts program teaching students how to pilot drones. Image Credit: WSLS

COMMUNITY ACCOLADES #1 Small Town to Live in Virginia, HomeSnacks

Based on metrics including income, home value, unemployment rates, and crime rates, Riner was named the top place to live in Virginia among small towns with populations of 1,000 people or less.

#1 Place in Virginia for Working Families, Zippia

Blacksburg was named the best place to live in Virginia for working families, thanks to factors such as typical home cost, quality public schools, the cost of daycare, and the average commute time.

#7 Best County for Young Professionals in VA, Niche

Montgomery County was ranked the seventh best county in Virginia for young professionals thanks to census data showing a large number of millennial residents and quality of life factors such as access to job opportunities and affordable housing.

JOBS ADDED SINCE 2017

ANNOUNCEMENTS SINCE 2017

Top 100 STEM High Schools in U.S., U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report named Blacksburg High School as one of the 100 best American high schools for STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

#3 Best Value College in VA, SmartAsset

Up one spot from 2020, Virginia Tech was ranked the third best value college in Virginia based on factors including tuition, student living costs, student retention rates, and the starting salary for graduates.

“Pathway to Excellence” Designation, American Nursing Credentialing Center The Carilion New River Valley Medical Center was awarded the “Pathway to Excellence” designation, recognizing quality nursing and a commitment to supporting nursing staff. Carilion is only the eighth hospital in Virginia to earn the prestigious designation.

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2021 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

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

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Existing Industry & Workforce

ACQUISITIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

From acquisitions to expansions into new markets, Montgomery County companies made headlines a number of times in 2021, including: • Qualtrax, Inc. (Blacksburg) was acquired by U.K. firm Ideagen, PLC, with plans for Qualtrax’s Blacksburg office to become Ideagen’s U.S. headquarters. • 1901 Group (Blacksburg), headquartered in Reston, VA was acquired by Fortune 500 company Leidos for roughly $215 million. • Peraton (Blacksburg), headquartered in Herndon, VA acquired federal contractor Perspecta, Inc., for $7.1 billion. Peraton also acquired Northop Gruman Corp’s federal IT and mission support services divisions for $3.4 billion. • Hubbell Lighting, Inc. (Christiansburg) was acquired by GE Current in a $350 million deal encompassing almost all Hubbell, Inc., commercial and industrial lighting businesses. • Landos Biopharma, Inc. (Blacksburg) took the company public in 2021 with plans to put the additional funding into developing new treatments for autoimmune diseases. • FoxGuard Solutions (Christiansburg) parent company, Framatome, announced the launch of FoxGuard EU in September 2021, leveraging FoxGuard’s cybersecurity expertise for the European market.

Moog Inc. expanded its presence in Montgomery County in 2021, adding a facility in Falling Branch Corporate Park in Christiansburg.

EXISTING INDUSTRY & WORKFORCE BUSINESS RETENTION & EXPANSION PROGRAM

In 2021, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) announced that three Montgomery County companies were accepted into the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program, an honor extended to only 25 companies each year. The two-year program assists Virginia companies that are dedicated to growing their sales through international exports, connecting participants with a team of experienced international private sector partners. Graduates of the program see an average increase of about 59 percent in their international sales.

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 BRE 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.

Joining the VALET program this year was Moog, Inc. (Blacksburg-Christiansburg), accepted in early January, as well as MELD Manufacturing Corporation (Christiansburg) and ESS Technologies, Inc. (Blacksburg), both announced in July. They join a growing list of Montgomery County companies to participate in VALET recently, including FoxGuard Solutions, Inc., Prime Photonics, LC, and Aeroprobe Corporation.

In 2021, the Department visited either in-person or virtually with 51 separate companies. Many of those companies also required follow up information or services, resulting in 13 additional visits and an overall total of 64 visits for the year. Four companies supported through the program announced or completed expansion or relocation projects that will result in $28.28 million in total new private investment and 195 new jobs.

VTCRC’S COGRO LABS BRINGS ABOUT JOHNSON & JOHNSON PARTNERSHIP

In February 2021, Moog Inc., announced an expansion of its Montgomery County operations, investing $10.7 million to transfer jobs and equipment from an existing facility in Blacksburg to a larger building in the Falling Branch Corporate Park in Christiansburg. The roughly 102,000 square foot building was previously home to DISH Network, LLC, and the additional space will allow for the creation of 75 new jobs for Moog, as well as support increased demand for the company’s slip ring products. “Moog is excited to be expanding in Virginia and Montgomery County, in particular,” said Janet ByrneSafier, Vice President of Moog’s Power and Data Sector, in a press release announcing the expansion. “As we look to support our growing business in established and new markets, the focus has been on developing geographic centers of excellence with ready access to a diverse talent pool. Moog places emphasis on retaining and developing its current workforce and new employees.”

2021 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

This year, Montgomery County and many other key regional stakeholders supported a GO Virginia application by the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC) to create a shared biotech lab space. The $1.1 million project was awarded $599,000 in GO Virginia funding and will include the development of lab space in the VTCRC, as well as site design work for a second facility in Roanoke. The lab space in Blacksburg will mirror the successful COgro shared office space in the VTCRC, which allows small companies to flexibly lease desk space. COgro LABS will feature both wet and dry lab space and equipment for lease by up to 25 companies, and is expected to open in the KnowledgeWorks building in 2022.

Image Credit: Roanoke Times

MOOG EXPANDS INTO CHRISTIANSBURG

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THREE MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMPANIES SELECTED FOR VALET PROGRAM

The project has also brought about a new partnership between the VTCRC and Johnson & Johnson, creating greater opportunities for biotech advancement in our region. Through Johnson & Johnson’s JLABS, up to five local biotech companies will be selected to participate in a virtual residency program that will connect them with expert mentorship, as well as crucial materials and business networking opportunities. VTCRC President & CEO Brett Malone officially announces COgro LABS in Blacksburg.

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

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Business Attraction & Marketing

Business Attraction & Marketing

BUSINESS ATTRACTION & MARKETING THE RETURN OF TRADESHOW TRAVEL The Department actively markets Montgomery County to prospective businesses and site consultants at industry trade shows. The goal of these efforts is to develop leads on new projects that may have an interest in locating in our community. After a year of cancelled or rescheduled events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 saw somewhat of a return to normal for the Department when it came to travel for industry trade shows.

AVUSI Xponential 2021

PROSPECT ACTIVITY In 2021, the Department and its allies generated 47 2021 Source of Leads prospect leads. Of these 47 leads, 40 were from new businesses not previously located in Montgomery County, and seven came from existing businesses. At year end, 24 were still actively considering projects in our community, while five were successfully located in Montgomery County. 2021 Prospects by Industry (47)

In August, staff traveled with representatives from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) to Atlanta for AUVSI Xponential 2021 at the Georgia World Congress Center, showcasing unmanned systems and robotics technology across land, air, and sea. This year’s tradeshow was conducted as a hybrid event, with virtual programming taking place in the spring and the in-person gathering in Atlanta in the summer.

2021 Year-End Prospect Status

Attending the Xponential tradeshow allowed Virginia team poses together outside the exhibit hall at the Department to interact with the people The AUVSI Xponential 2021 in Atlanta. and businesses who are shaping the unmanned industry, and to showcase Montgomery County as an up-and-coming hotspot for unmanned research, development, and commercialization. The Department was also able to visit with Montgomery County companies Aeroprobe Corporation and Moog, Inc., as they both exhibited their technologies on the tradeshow floor.

Department’s prospect tracking system definitions: 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.

YESMONTGOMERYVA.ORG NEARS 9,000 VISITS YesMontgomeryVA.org is the official website of the Economic Development Department, and showcases the quality of life and business climate in Montgomery County. In 2021, the website had 8,760 visitors from 69 different countries and all 50 states. YesMontgomeryVA.org Global Visitors in 2021 Aeroprobe displays their air data measurement technology, applicable across a wide variety of unmanned industries.

Moog exhibits several of their innovations at Xponential, including slip rings, actuators, and radar technology.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo and The Battery Show

In September, staff traveled with VEDP to Novi, Michigan for the 2021 Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo and The Battery Show. The two-part tradeshow exhibits the latest innovations in design and infrastructure for electric and hybrid vehicles and equipment, as well as showcasing advanced battery technology for everything from electric vehicles and portable devices to utilities and renewable energy support. The Department attended this tradeshow for the first time in 2021 to gain a better understanding of the evolution of electric vehicle and battery technology, as many Montgomery County companies use and even develop these technologies for their work in our region.

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2021 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

Top International Visitors 1 Canada 110 2 Ireland 88 3 India 88 4 Philippines 41 5 United Kingdom 32 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Top Visitors By State Virginia 4,220 Illinois 1,519 California 225 Maryland 197 North Carolina 191 Washington 160 Texas 146 New York 121 Pennsylvania 100 South Carolina 100

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

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County Broadband Initiatives

Community Outreach

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

COUNTY BROADBAND INITIATIVES

MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMPANIES RECOGNIZED AT RBTC TECHNITE

MONTGOMERY COUNTY AWARDED OVER $28 MILLION FOR BROADBAND

In August, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC) hosted the 2021 TechNite, an annual awards banquet celebrating the innovative technology companies in the Roanoke and Blacksburg area.

This year’s TechNite event also took place in partnership with the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center’s “Game Changer Week,” which featured a variety of virtual and in-person events celebrating the region’s unique entrepreneurial ecosystem.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY HOSTS SENATOR TIM KAINE

In September, the Department hosted a breakfast meeting for Senator Tim Kaine and the New River/ Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board at the Inn at Virginia Tech. During the event, Senator Kaine was able to speak directly with business owners and workforce development leaders from the region about obstacles they are facing in seeking and retaining employees. The challenges discussed ranged from the need for quality, affordable child care for employees; access to high-speed broadband service; and more attention for career and technical education to show students that there are great jobs right in their backyard.

EVENTS SPONSORED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN 2021

The Department sponsored several events in 2021 for business outreach and to support the initiatives of its many partners and allies: • • • • •

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Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament AUVSI Ridge and Valley Chapter 4th Annual Unmanned Systems Chapter Symposium Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council TechNite Awards Banquet Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board Breakfast with Senator Tim Kaine

2021 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

VATI 2021 In 2020, Montgomery County and its official broadband partner, GigaBeam Networks, LLC., submitted an application for the 2021 round of VATI grant funding to connect unserved areas of Shawsville, Elliston, Lafayette, and Alleghany Springs. In March 2021, the County was awarded $919,569 in VATI funding, and when paired with matching funds from both Montgomery County and GigaBeam, the project will total $1.4 million. The project is expected to bring fiber broadband to 1,292 unserved homes and businesses. VATI 2022 For the 2022 round of VATI funding, Montgomery County was even more ambitious, submitting a broadband project in partnership with Appalachian Power Company and GigaBeam that would cover almost the entire county.

Image Credit: Montgomery County PIO

Several other Montgomery County businesses and industry leaders were also recognized at TechNite. Entrepreneur of the Year went to Sonu Singh, President and CEO of 1901 Group (Blacksburg), and the Innovator of the Year award was presented to Daniel Smith and Matt Welborn of Entos, Inc. (Blacksburg). Amy Ankrum, President and CEO of Qualtrax, Inc. (Blacksburg) prior to Patterson accepts the “Company of the its acquisition by Ideagen, PLC, was co-recipient of the Patrick Year” award for FoxGuard Solutions at TechNite. Regional Leadership Award, which recognizes those who lead by example in the local technology community. Doug Juanerena was also inducted into the RBTC Hall of Fame for his contributions to the technology field in our region and his successful mentorship of three RAMP technology startups.

Image Credit: RBTC

Each year, the Department sponsors one of the many awards presented to local companies at the TechNite event. This year, the Department sponsored the Company of the Year award, recognizing a business that demonstrates excellence and a commitment to advancing the technology community in our region, and was presented to FoxGuard Solutions (Christiansburg).

Over the past year, Montgomery County has made significant progress in carrying out the Board of Supervisors’ goal of ensuring all citizens have access to adequate broadband service. In 2021, the County was awarded over $28 million in broadband funding through two separate Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI) grants administered through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

In December 2021, Montgomery County was awarded $27.6 million in VATI grant funding as part of a larger multi-jurisdictional application with Bland County and Pulaski County. Along with $6 million of American Rescue Plan funds allocated by Montgomery County and another $16.4 million from Appalachian Power and GigaBeam, the total amount of funding for Montgomery County’s portion is $50 million. The ultimate goal is to bring much-needed broadband service to a proposed 8,822 homes and businesses by leveraging Appalachian Power’s fiber network. “We, as a government entity, understand that the only way to achieve [our] goal is to partner with private companies like GigaBeam and Appalachian Power Company,” Montgomery County Administrator Craig Meadows said in a press release. “Together, we applied for and were awarded one of the largest VATI grants in the southwest region of Virginia to date. This significant grant has created a path for citizens and businesses throughout Montgomery County to have access to high speed internet by the end of 2023.”

CATAWBA ROAD PROJECT COMPLETED USING CARES ACT FUNDING

In January 2021, a smaller scale broadband project was completed on Catawba Road in Blacksburg. Montgomery County partnered with Wide Open Networks for the project using a $132,000 grant awarded to the County by the Virginia Broadband Department from CARES Act funding in late 2020. Construction on the project began in December 2020, and by mid-January of 2021, 14 previously unserved homes along Catawba Road were able to access broadband service. The project ultimately exceeded the $132,000 grant by about $33,000, but because connecting Catawba Road established the groundwork needed for future extensions, Wide Open Networks absorbed the additional expenses for the project.

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

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Real Estate and Infrastructure

TWO PARK PROJECTS UNDERWAY IN CHRISTIANSBURG In 2021, two separate park projects got underway in Christiansburg, both with the goal of improving quality of life for residents and driving more visitors to the area.

The Great Little Park on Main

Town of Christiansburg’s Signature Park Image Credit: Roanoke Times

REAL ESTATE & INFRASTRUCTURE PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE RETURNING TO CHRISTIANSBURG After nearly a decade of collaborative involvement from municipalities, legislators, universities, and businesses in the region, passenger rail is officially set to return to the New River Valley for the first time since 1979. Image Credit: Roanoke Times

At an event in Christiansburg in May 2021, Governor Ralph Northam announced an agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway as part of the $257.2 million Western Rail Initiative. The state will acquire just under 29 miles of right of way and track on the Virginian Line, extending the existing Amtrak service in Roanoke to the New River Valley, as well as adding a second train from Roanoke to Washington, D.C., beginning in 2022. The new NRV station will be located in Montgomery County and is estimated to see 80,000 new riders in its first year, which is projected for 2025.

Governor Northam announces the return of NRV rail service at an event in Christiansburg.

“Bringing passenger rail service back to the New River Valley will fuel tourism, drive economic growth, and create new opportunities for the region’s 180,000 residents and 40,000 college students,” Northam said in a press release. Legislation was also passed in 2021 authorizing the creation of the New River Valley Passenger Rail Authority, which will have representatives from the local municipalities and other regional partners who will share in the cost of operating the new station. As of the end of 2021, feasibility studies and public feedback surveys are being conducted for four possible locations in the Uptown Christiansburg area.

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2021 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

A rendering of the Great Road on Main pocket park planned for downtown Christiansburg.

A massive undertaking several years in the making, the Town of Christiansburg finally broke ground on its $18 million Signature Park, located on Peppers Ferry Road on 63 acres of former farmland. The property will feature four full-sized rectangular athletic fields, two separate parks for small and large dogs, two pavilion spaces, a splash pad, an inclusively-designed playground accessible to children of all abilities, and over a mile of paved walking trails. The park is expected to be a significant economic and tourism driver for Christiansburg, especially with its close proximity to the Huckleberry Trail, retail, and restaurants.

Image Credit: WSLS

Passenger rail service is set to return to Montgomery County in 2025 for the first time since 1979.

Image Credit: DCI

Seeking to revitalize an underused area downtown and create an accessible, family-friendly space, Downtown Christiansburg, Inc., is developing a pocket park alongside Great Road on Main, an event and meeting venue in the former Main Street Baptist Church. The pocket park project is being funded through a combination of grants and both individual and corporate donations, and will be constructed in phases as additional funding is secured. The park will feature outdoor seating and professional landscaping, creating a natural space for the public to enjoy in the heart of downtown Christiansburg.

Town officials broke ground on Christiansburg’s Signature Park project in May 2021.

HOUSING PROJECTS TAKING SHAPE IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY •

The Vue Apartments (Blacksburg) - Set to open in summer 2022, the Vue is located next to the Virginia

Cedar Pointe Apartments (Blacksburg) - Operated by CMB Leasing, Cedar Pointe is located just off

Midtown (Blacksburg) - Redevelopment of the former Blacksburg Middle School site downtown

Marketplace (Christiansburg) - In addition to new retail and dining, the Marketplace redevelopers

Village of Prices Fork (Blacksburg) - Following rezoning approval by the Board of Supervisors in 2020,

Tech Corporate Research Center and will offer one, two, and three-bedroom apartments. Residents will also enjoy a yoga lawn, swimming pool, and rooftop terrace. South Main Street and completed construction in the spring of 2021. With a mix of studio and twobedroom apartments, Cedar Pointe is a student housing partner of Virginia Tech. to commercial and residential use is underway, and will offer multiple housing options when complete, including townhomes, condominiums, and apartments. plan to add up to 350 apartments, including units reserved for residents 55 years or older.

two significant housing projects are underway along Prices Fork Road. The Westhill subdivision will feature townhomes and single-family detached houses, and The Preserve at Walnut Springs is expected to have detached single-family homes of various sizes, duplexes, townhomes, and apartments. Montgomery County, Virginia | Home of Virginia Tech and the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg

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Boards and Commissions

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

Promoting Montgomery County’s fantastic outdoor recreation options like kayacking at the New River Junction has been crucial for tourism as the COVID-19 pandemic has continued.

HOSPITALITY & TOURISM

Image Credit: Austin Hodges

TOURISM IN RECOVERY

MONTGOMERY REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION

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 estate 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.

EDA DIRECTORS

EDC DIRECTORS

James Taylor III - Chair Joe Ferrell - Vice Chair Eric Johnsen Michael Miller

Mark Husband Reid Broughton Elli Travis

STAFF SUPPORT

In 2021, the Montgomery County Virginia Regional Tourism office focused on assisting and leading the destination through a recovery phase as Virginia opened its doors for travelers again. A revamp to the www.gotomontva.com website focused on the experiences that travelers could have in Montgomery County, Blacksburg, and Christiansburg. The office also focused on emphasizing the importance of tourism to the economy through continued partnerships and product development with their various collaborations.

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

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 for 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. Youth amateur sports competitions, chiefly baseball and competitive swimming, have helped to bring travelers back into the area in 2021.

MBC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

“The office has been focused on tourism recovery and building towards the future to welcome travelers into our community again. We have seen in our meals and lodging data that travel has been steadily on the rise throughout 2021 as we hoped, “said Irene Kilmer, who served as the Interim Executive Director of the Montgomery County Virginia Regional Tourism Office for much of 2021. “The office, much like the state of Virginia, has been in a state of transition as we recover from the pandemic, but I know that through 2021 our recovery has made us stronger as a region and that we have a bright future ahead with new leadership and initiatives.”

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, VA

2021 Annual Report | Montgomery County Economic Development Department

Michael Miller - Chair John Overton - Vice Chair Darrell Sheppard Steve Baffuto Michael Barber

Lauren Colliver Paul Lancaster Brett Malone Peter Anderson Angela Joyner

STAFF SUPPORT

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 40 small business loans totaling over $1.8 million.

BOARD MEMBERS

Tom Via - President John Cusimano - Vice President Michael Barber Brad Denardo Jason Hardy Nathan Hockersmith

Robert Parks Michael Sutphin Jeanne Symanoskie Mary Biggs Stephanie Jennelle

STAFF SUPPORT

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

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

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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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