As part of the mySWVAopportunity Entrpreneur Challenge, three Far Southwest Virginia communities have stepped up to pilot the development of packaged incentives for local businesses. Big Stone Gap, Haysi, and St. Paul will all take a unique approach to planning how they will attract and foster the development of more local businesses.
“We know there are lots of good reasons to start a business in St. Paul,” said St. Paul IDA Chair Bob Harrison. “We think we can do a lot just by outlining our existing incentives in a comprehensive package—to make it part of our story.”
And they aren’t alone. After their first community leadership team meeting, the Town of Haysi and Haysi partners, the downtown improvement committee already put together the first draft of a pamphlet, combining recent downtown Community Development Block Grant investments and the spirit of community support presented through the town’s numerous festivals and accessible government.
In Big Stone Gap, the community is following a 2009 master plan both in physical improvements and other investments, including a strategy to, “Create small business incentives to support existing businesses as well as recruit new businesses.”
Each community team will meet in three monthly sessions to develop an incentive package and appropriate marketing tools. Track the progress of the communities here, and see the final product at the Entrepreneur Challenge celebration on December 3 at the Hotel Norton.