Entrepreneurial ecosystems describe communities or regions that foster an overall business climate supportive of entrepreneurship. These communities portray a positive, enthusiastic attitude that infuses an entrepreneurial culture; one that asks “how can we help you start and succeed at business?” There are many resources and incentives that communities can offer to new and existing entrepreneurs to build a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. Check out a few helpful tools to help strengthen your entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Recognizing that the Coalfield Counties have a unique culture and history, the VA General Assembly created the Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority in 1993 to tell our authentic story and promote this region as an attractive tourism destination. Focusing on our exciting outdoor adventure and relaxing scenic beauty, Heart of Appalachia promotes the westernmost counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, Wise and the City of Norton.
Planning District Commissions (PDC) provide the link between federal and state programs and the local level, where development actually occurs.
Southwest Virginia Planning District Commissions:
Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission
LENOWISCO Planning District Commission
Mount Rogers Planning District Commission
New River Valley Regional Commission
‘Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network has been working since 2005 to promote the craft and culture of Southwest Virginia. We are a membership organization made up of artisans, craft venues, and agritourism business and serve the 19 counties and four cities of Southwest Virginia. In addition to providing marketing and educational opportunities for our members, we have developed the Artisan Trails of Southwest Virginia and the opportunity for our members to have their crafts for sale at Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway.
The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, winds through the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Here, the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Traditional Country music is as beautiful and rugged as the landscape itself. Our mission: Supporting economic development by promoting Heritage Tourism and Blue Ridge and Appalachian culture.
Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ) program is a partnership between state and local government that encourages job creation and private investment. VEZ accomplishes this by designating Enterprise Zones throughout the state and providing two grant-based incentives, the Job Creation Grant (JCG) and the Real Property Investment Grant (RPIG), to qualified investors and job creators within those zones, while the locality provides local incentives.
The Virginia Main Street Program is a preservation-based economic and community development program that follows the Main Street Four-Point Approach™ developed by the National Trust Main Street Center. Virginia Main Street offers a range of services and assistance to communities interested in revitalizing their historic commercial districts. While the program was designed to address the need for revitalization and on-going management of smaller to mid-sized downtowns, aspects of the Main Street Approach™ may be applied successfully in other commercial settings.
Virginia Tourism Corporation Partnership Alliance Marketing is focused on increasing visitor spending in Virginia through uniting Virginia’s tourism community of small businesses, attractions, corporations, associations and agencies. They focus on the extra-ordinary, never being satisfied with mediocrity when it comes to serving Virginia communities and representing the Commonwealth of Virginia. Partnership Marketing is working closely with communities throughout Virginia to Listen, Support, and Get work accomplished through marketing, education and product development.