Onward New River Valley was quoted in an article from The Wall Street Journal entitled, “College Town Economies Suffer as Students Avoid Bars, Football Tailgating”. The article discussed the impact of COVID-19 on local economies in college towns like Blacksburg.
According to the article, “The students’ return, seen as crucial to the region’s recovery in the spring, so far hasn’t had the impact many expected. Virginia Tech football, with home games that draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to Blacksburg each year, is back, but attendance is limited and tailgating prohibited.”
James Cabler, Director of Business Engagement at Onward NRV, was quoted as saying,
“Students’ presence still matters, even if they aren’t flocking to downtown Blacksburg as they have in previous years… They shop at grocery stores, rent apartments, and pay sales tax. And some of them will stay in Blacksburg once they graduate, working for a cluster of companies in high-growth industries expected to become a bigger part of the local economy.”
The article went on to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the importance of economic diversification for college towns. To achieve that economic diversification in the New River Valley, Onward NRV is working to stimulate regional job growth and investment in four targeted industries as part of the organization’s five-year economic development strategy. The industries, advanced manufacturing, food processing and agribusiness, information technology, and unmanned systems, are growing and expanding in the region. 1,948 new jobs and $429 MM in capital investment have been announced in the NRV since the five-year strategy began in FY2018-19.
Read the entire article from The Wall Street Journal here.
Read recent announcements about business growth and expansion in Virginia’s New River Valley here.
Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”
Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.