New River Valley Video

Onward NRV Releases New Regional Video

NEW RIVER VALLEY, VAOnward New River Valley is proud to release a brand new video showcasing the unique culture and assets of Virginia’s New River Valley.

The New River Valley video, which was created with Nightfire Productions, is a culmination of input from people and companies all over the NRV. It encompasses the culture of our area, while showcasing some of the unique assets in the region.

The video features the Virginia’s New River Valley branding created with Eddy Alexander, which Onward NRV has been working to rollout over the past year. The video is the latest effort to cultivate and nurture the brand.

“We’re incredibly proud to release the New River Valley video,” said Onward NRV Executive Director Charlie Jewell. “This video expresses and adds to the emotional attachment that people have to the NRV. It was created as a concerted effort to effectively brand Virginia’s New River Valley. We hope you enjoy what we believe is an excellent representation of the NRV and that you share it with everyone you know.”

Like the video? Make sure everyone sees it by sharing on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!

For a complete list of locations in the video, or to embed it on your site, visit the video web page.

For more information, contact Onward NRV Marketing Manager, Abigail Hammack at abigail@onwardnrv.org.

VA Best of Blue Ridge

A Whopping 16 NRV Favorites Named “Best of the Mountains”

Virginia’s New River Valley was not mentioned once or twice, but rather 16 times in Blue Ridge Country Magazine’s “Best of the Mountains.” From hiking trails to wineries, the NRV has some great places to visit… and readers agree. Check out how the NRV ranked:

#1 Favorite Waterfall: The Cascades

NRV Best of the Mountains, Favorite Waterfall, The Cascades

This 70 ft. waterfall attracts almost 150,000 visitors each year. This easier hike has a beautiful payoff and visitors agree.

#1 Best Hiking Trail (Non-AT): New River Trail

#1 Best Biking Trail: New River Trail

NRV Best of the Mountains, New River Trail Bridge

This rail to trail system runs over 57 miles in Virginia’s New River Valley and is a favorite for locals and visitors alike.

#1 Best Farm to Visit: Sinkland Farms

#1 Best Place to Hear Mountain Music: FloydFest

#1 Best Music Festival: FloydFest

NRV Best of the Mountains, FloydFest

For great music and free hugs, FloydFest is the place to be. It is consistently named a top music festival and won 3 “Best of the Mountains” awards.

#1 Best Mountain Winery: Chateau Morrisette

#2 Best Fishing Lake or River: New River

#2 Best Rail to Trail System: New River Valley Trail

#2 Best Country Store: Floyd Country Store

#2 Best Quirky Festival: FloydFest

#3 Town on My Bucket List: Floyd, VA

#3 Best Fishing Lake or River: Claytor Lake

#4 Favorite State Park: Claytor Lake State Park

A Top Favorite Historic Theater: Lyric Theater

NRV Best of the Mountains, The Lyric, Blacksburg

The Lyric Theater is a restored hot spot for not only blockbuster and indie movies, but also live speakers and performers.

Person Making a Difference in the Mountains: Woody Crenshaw

NRV Best of the Mountains, Woody Crenshaw

Crenshaw has done a lot for Floyd County including renovating the Floyd Country Store, and spearheading the Floyd Town Revitalization Project.

Check out more of the rankings from Blue Ridge Country.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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.

Floyd Country Store in Floyd most underrated city in VA

Floyd Named Most Underrated City in Virginia

FLOYD, VA – Thrillist named Floyd the most underrated city in Virginia. Due to its outdoor recreation opportunities and creative culture, Floyd made the list of underrated cities in all 50 states.

Matthew Meltzer writes:

This hippie town set atop the Blue Ridge Plateau is the state’s best outdoor recreation destination outside Shenandoah, with hiking, biking, and camping in the nearby Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve. It houses 40 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which during the fall boasts a whole lotta eye-pleasing foliage but few tourists. This happens to be Virginia wine country, so hit either the Villa Appalaccia and Chateau Morrisette for fantastic food paired with the state’s best vino. Music lovers should swing though the Floyd Country Store for weekly performances and jam sessions; Floyd is also a stop on Virginia’s Crooked Road music trail, and home of the Blue Ridge Music Festival.

Floyd Country Store in Floyd most underrated city in VA

The town of Floyd has also been ranked a Best Small Town, one of the Happiest Towns in the Blue Ridge, and a Great Small Town Near D.C.

Floyd County is one of the many inspiring small towns in Virginia’s New River Valley. Our eclectic communities and world-class universities make for an excellent place to live. Learn more about what Floyd and the NRV has to offer here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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.

$1.5 Million Awarded to Begin Phase 2 of Floyd Regional Commerce Center

Floyd, Virginia: The Floyd County Economic Development Authority (EDA) has been awarded $1.5 million in grant funding to begin Phase 2 of the Floyd Regional Commerce Center. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced $1,081,958 in Appalachian Regional Commission grant funds to construct a road and sidewalks into a 51-acre tract that is part of the 169-acre business park. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission then approved $420,696 in grant funds to extend water, sewer and fiber into the tract as well.

The Floyd Regional Commerce Center is about a half-mile from the Town of Floyd, and one of only a few large tracts in the County served by public water and sewer. The property is adjacent to an Appalachian Power substation with multiple leads and Citizen Telephone’s 200-Gbps open access fiber network. The Floyd Regional Commerce Center is recognized as a Giga-Park due to its extraordinary telecommunications network. Ultimately these 51 acres will net about 27 acres of building sites, though this first step is providing road access and utilities. The property is bordered by a 60+ acre greenway where the EDA anticipates providing a walking trail in the future.

Currently, the County and EDA have only two pre-graded sites remaining available for expanding or relocating businesses. In the past couple years, 5 sites in the Floyd Regional Commerce Center and Floyd County Industrial Park have been sold, leased or built-upon.

“We’ve seen a lot of business growth in the past 4 years in Floyd County—with the number of businesses up 8.5%, the number of people employed within the County up 5.9%, and the average weekly wage up 14%,” said Case Clinger, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “However while we are grateful for recent successes and momentum, we still have a 70% out-commuting rate and among the lowest local wages in Virginia. Clearly we need to continue to work to strengthen and diversity our economy–including supporting local business expansion and targeting right-fit businesses.”

“Developing more sites is a top priority for the EDA, and extending the road and utilities is the first step of that,” said Jon Beegle, Chairman of the EDA. “We are very grateful for the strong support from the Floyd County Board of Supervisors, who provided funding for a preliminary engineering report necessary to pursue the grant funds, and to ARC and the Tobacco Commission.”

Floyd County provides a broad range of support for existing businesses and entrepreneurs. In the past couple of years, the County and EDA have:

    Successfully sought $500,000 in Tobacco Commission Research and Development for Hollingsworth & Vose, the largest private employer in the County;
    Built the Floyd Innovation Center in the Floyd Regional Commerce Center, now home to 8 small businesses;
    Provided many free business development workshops to more than 250 people in the past 3 years—from how to start or grow your business, to how to access R&D funding, to specialty workshops for food, farming and wood-related businesses.
    Provided business loans to more than 15 small businesses, and last month received an additional $75,000 from USDA Rural Development to loan to small businesses.

For more information, please contact Lydeana Martin, Community and Economic Development Director for Floyd County at 540 745-9300 or lmartin@floydcova.org.

Lydeana Martin
Community and Economic Development Director
Floyd County
PO Box 218
Floyd, Virginia 24091
www.floydcova.org

Contact me if you’re interested in starting or growing a business in Floyd County

And check out www.yesfloydva.org or www.facebook.com/yesfloydva

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for a beautiful place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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.

Visitors from VEDP stand at the Falling Branch Corporate Park on a beautiful day.

VEDP Visits Virginia’s New River Valley

Sixteen team members from Virginia Economic Development Partnership, hosted by Onward NRV staff, visited Virginia’s New River Valley from August 23-24 to learn more about the region’s communities and targeted industries.

A group from VEDP prepares to tour the Phoenix Packaging facility in Pulaski County, Virginia

With an aggressive schedule, the team was able to make 15 stops on their short tour.

Robotic manufacturing arm at New River Community College in Pulaski County, Virginia

For Advanced Manufacturing, visits included a tour of Phoenix Packaging in Pulaski County and a tour and lunch at New River Community College to see the training programs in Electronics Technology, Instrumentation and Control Automation, and more.

The group was only willing to leave the 3D printers and unmanned robotics to view open sites in the NRV suited for manufacturing companies. (Former GE/Fairchild Building in Giles County, NRV Commerce Park in Pulaski County, Falling Branch Corporate Park in Montgomery County)


To learn more about Information Technology in the NRV, the group toured Rackspace to learn about existing industry and Radford University’s ARTIS lab, which provides a top-knotch learning environment for students who leave ready to enter the workforce.

Sign on the window of Radford University Artis Lab in Radford, VA

The group was also able to see suitable sites for IT companies such as the Floyd Innovation Center and Wheatland EcoPark in Giles County.

Outside the Floyd Innovation Center in Floyd County, VA.

Information about Food and Beverage Processing manifested in a tour of the Virginia Tech Food Science and Technology facilities including the Sensory Evaluation Lab, Food Safety Pilot Plant, the on campus brewhouse, and more.

A tour and wine tasting at Chateau Morrissette in Floyd County gave VEDP an inside look at existing industry in the NRV as well.

Outside of Chateau Morrissette in the mountains of Floyd County, VA.

The beauty of Virginia’s New River valley was not overlooked. The traveling during to tour allowed for beautiful scenic routes and stops at mountainous overlooks. A delicious breakfast at the Pete Dye River Course in Radford, VA provided an additional view of the New River. Meals during the tour were catered by Prestons at the River, The Blue Door Cafe at Draper Mercantile, The Palisades, and The Floyd Country Store.

The tour ended with a visit to New Rivers Edge Outfitters, which gave the crew a taste of the outdoors and a look at what living in Giles County and the rest of the New River Valley is like: A Natural Fit.

New RIvers Edge Outfitters

NRV Towns Voted Happiest in Blue Ridge

Date:  October 28, 2016

New River Valley, VA – This summer, five towns (technically four towns and one city) were voted to top spots in the Happiest Mountain Towns reader poll by Blue Ridge Country magazine.  Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Floyd, and Pulaski all received top honors in the magazine’s rankings which used quantitative data like unemployment rates and commute times as a baseline, but also accounted for readers’ passions for their hometowns.

The initial 96 towns were whittled down to 61 for readers to choose from, and the coverage area included the mountain regions of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and South Carolina.  Blue Ridge Country vetted the 61 initial choices by setting “minimum happiness-base standards” (i.e. a commute of <30 minutes, a below-average cost-of-living, unemployment rate below 10%, etc.), but then left the poll open for readers all over the nation to vote for their favorites.

In the 10,000-49,999 category, three New River Valley towns cracked the top twenty: Blacksburg (#6)Christiansburg (#17), and Radford (#18).  Blacksburg and Christiansburg, both located in Montgomery County, are strongly affiliated with Virginia Tech and the many companies that have spun-off from or located near the research university.  Radford, of course, is closely tied to Radford University and its award-winning business, nursing, education, and liberal arts programs.

All three places boast a low cost-of-living, easy accessibility to the outdoors (the 7-mile Huckleberry Trail connects Blacksburg and Christiansburg and the New River snakes its way along the edge of Radford’s downtown and campus corridor), and a strong arts community.

Floyd (#3) and Pulaski (#26) clinched a top spots in the <10,000 category.  Heralded by Southern Living as one of the South’s Best Small Towns, the top tier ranking is no surprise.  What Floyd lacks in numbers, it makes up for with style, small town charm, and impactful events.  Floyd’s innovative business climate offers start-ups, entrepreneurial ventures, and artisanal producers a welcoming place to do business.

Pulaski, a former furniture and textile manufacturing town, has undergone a massive revitalization initiative including the renovation of the Jackson Park Inn, clean-up of Peak Creek, and improvements to Calfee Park, the ninth oldest professional Minor League Baseball Park in use in America.  While many diverse manufacturing jobs still exist in Pulaski, other home-grown business are sprouting up and the town is working to attract a mix of industries.

Both towns offer unlimited outdoor recreation opportunities like paddleboarding the Little River, biking the New River Trail State Park, or hiking the region’s trails.  They also both promote large community farmers markets and music-oriented events like the Floyd County Store Friday Night Jamboree.

To learn more about the poll, its methodology, and to see how the New River Valley stacks up, visit Blue Ridge Country.

Floyd named a best small town by USA Today and Southern Living

Date:  April 13, 2016

New River Valley, VA – Floyd continues to rack up third party recognitions as one of the best towns in the South. Over the past year, it has been featured on lists by USA Today and Southern Living.

In February, Southern Living Magazine named Floyd as one of the South’s Best Small Towns for 2016. Published since 1966, Southern Living highlights the beauty and culture of the growing South and has a reach of more than 23 million people each month. Floyd was among 20 small towns to be featured on its list.

Southern Living had this to say about Floyd:

“You’ve got the mountains rising from all sides of town, the Blue Ridge Parkway running north and south, and all of the old time, bluegrass music you could ask for. A stop on The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, Floyd takes its farm-centric roots and adds a touch of artistic whimsy. Show up for the Friday Night Jamboree at the Floyd Country Store to see the town at its finest.”

In 2015, Floyd was ranked the No. 9 Best Southern Small Town in the nation by the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. The top 20 nominees were picked by a panel of experts with the top ten being chosen by popular vote of USA Today 10 Best readers. USA Today is a national news and information media company with eight million readers daily.

USA Today had this to say about Floyd:

“A popular stop along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, Floyd is an artist’s enclave where the Friday Nite Jamboree is just one of the regular toe-tapping events that visitors enjoy. Galleries and studios abound and regular events allow buyers (and art-loving lookie-loos) to enjoy multiple venues on one visit with ease. Floyd’s lovely Mabry Mill, featuring a working blacksmith, wheelwright, grist mill and whiskey still, keeps history alive and interactive. Not to mention fun.”

To view the full lists, visit:

Southern Living

USA Today

courtesy of the Washingtonian Floyd County Resident wearing overalls plays the fiddle outside the Floyd Country Store

Floyd Named a “Great Small Town Near DC”

Floyd, VA Named a Great Small Town Near DC”

Yellow Great Small Towns Logo with houses and a comfortable feel. Given to Floyd County, VA a great small town near DC

“On Friday nights in the one-stoplight town of Floyd, Virginia, bluegrass invades. Floyd’s population explodes as visitors convene outside the tidy brick storefronts on Locust Street to hear impromptu performances. The main action takes place inside…”

Read more at the Washingtonian.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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.