NRV Tech Sector Outlook Strong

NRV Tech Companies Shift to Remote Work During Pandemic, Sector Outlook Strong

New River Valley, VA – In September 2020, Onward New River Valley conducted a survey of technology companies in Virginia’s New River Valley. The goal of the Industry Competitiveness Survey was to better understand how local information technology companies were operating and adapting in the wake of COVID-19. The survey was intended to identify common challenges among local companies and expose best practices that would support the overall competitiveness and continued growth of the local tech sector.

Survey responses were collected during a two-week period in September 2020. The survey was sent to 28 information technology companies in Virginia’s New River Valley (NRV) with 71% responding. The survey results revealed several insights about the tech sector in the region; these insights are described below.

Operating Status
Overall, tech companies have remained mostly stable in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. When respondents were asked to evaluate the current operating status of their companies, only 12% reported that their business had shrunk since the pandemic began. The vast majority (88%) indicated that their business had stayed about the same (50%) or even grown (38%).

Most (58%) respondents reported stable or increasing revenue compared to pre-pandemic, but over half (55%) of respondents reported a decrease in their sales pipeline. Consequently, it’s no surprise that a majority (63%) of respondents ranked marketing as one of their current top three concerns with the decrease in sales pipeline that tech companies are reporting.

Several respondents reported that lead generation is a current challenge due to the pandemic. One person wrote, “I feel that there is some lack of quality in our sales pipeline now that we’ve shifted all of our client meetings remote,” while another stated, “finding new ways to engage prospective clients without tradeshows and travel is a top priority.” Marketing and selling in a remote environment are clear challenges that tech companies in the NRV are facing and will continue to face in the near future.

Employment
Employment through tech companies in the NRV has remained stable despite COVID-19. Most (63%) of respondents said their number of employees has remained the same since the beginning of the pandemic. Twelve percent of respondents did report a reduction in employee levels, but two-thirds (67%) of them anticipate rehiring eliminated positions within a year.

Over a quarter (25%) of respondents indicated they had increased employment during the pandemic, reporting either a slight (17%) or substantial (8%) increase. Furthermore, over one-third (38%) of respondents said that they currently have unfilled job openings. Respondents reported that the most common hard to fill positions are software engineers, account executives, and production schedulers. There is clearly a continuing need for talent recruitment and retention efforts across the tech sector in the NRV.

Remote Work Trends
The survey revealed that COVID-19 has caused local tech companies to shift most of their workforce to remote work. Prior to the pandemic, three-fourths (75%) of survey respondents reported that less than 20% of their workforce worked remotely. In contrast, two-thirds (67%) of respondents reported that more than 81% of their employees were remote in late September. Respondents did indicate a slight decrease in the percentage of employees working remotely from July to September, signaling some tech workers were returning to the office.

Several tech leaders indicated that having a higher portion of their employees work remotely may persist even after the pandemic is over. One respondent stated that their company would have a “50% decrease in physical space needs” due to the increase in remote work, while another said, “we definitely value having a physical location and will keep it, but this only continues to fuel our ability to have employees located anywhere.”

Almost half (46%) of respondents reported offering incentives for employees to work from home. Helping employees set up their home offices, whether through transferring existing equipment home or purchasing new equipment for employees, was one of the most frequently mentioned incentives. Other common incentives included providing stipends or reimbursements to run employees’ home offices and upgrading employees’ home internet service.

Overall Outlook
Tech leaders signaled an overall strong outlook for the coming year. Within the next twelve months, the vast majority (88%) of respondents reported that they had a steady or positive outlook for their company. Over three-fourths (79%) of respondents anticipated that the remaining duration of COVID-19 impacts on their business would resolve within one year from the survey date.

Leaders were also asked to forecast how many employees they anticipated having within six months to one year. Within six months, over half (54%) of respondents anticipated that their employment numbers would increase. Within the next year, three-fourths (75%) anticipated a modest (58%) or significant (17%) increase in employment. Only 4% of respondents expected to reduce employment within the next year.

Learn more about the survey and read a final report of the results here.

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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.

Cascades Among Top 5 Scenic Family Hikes in Virginia

Cascades Among Top 5 Scenic Family Hikes in Virginia

Giles County, VA – The Cascades National Recreation Trail was recently listed among the top five scenic family hikes in Virginia by the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

Here’s what the Virginia is for Lovers blog has to say about the Cascades:

“Cascade Falls Trail in Pembroke, Virginia, offers one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state, if not the entire East Coast.”

Cascade Falls is a beautiful hike no matter the season. Read more about hiking the Cascades here and see the Top 5 scenic hikes in Virginia for families here.

Learn more about the wide variety of outdoor amenities available in Virginia’s New River Valley here.

Explore more accolades won by NRV counties, city, towns, and universities here.

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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.

Cascades Among Top 5 Scenic Family Hikes in Virginia
NRV Business Continuity Team

NRV Business Continuity Team Available for COVID-19 Response

New River Valley, VA – The New River Valley Regional Commission, working in coordination with the New River Health District and the NRV Public Health Task Force, is pleased to make available the NRV Business Continuity Team (BCT), a new resource for businesses impacted by COVID-19. The BCT is available at no cost to help advise businesses navigate questions about COVID-19 at their workplace. More information about the BCT can be found here or by calling 540-639-9313 and asking for the Business Continuity Team.

Services available include:

  • Guidance for operating in a COVID environment
  • Guidance if there is a suspected case or a known positive case
  • Development of a Business Continuity Plan
  • Access to a pool of funds on a cost-shared reimbursement* basis to help pay for on-site cleaning; public relations expertise; legal advisement for human resource matters; website support for pertinent messaging. *Business continuity plan must be executed to receive cost-shared reimbursement for services.
  • Coordination of testing, if deemed necessary

NRV Business Continuity Team Contacts:
Melanie Morris, Program Manager, mmorris@nrvrc.org, 540-639-9313 x248
Ashley Briggs, Public Health Director, abriggs@nrvrc.org, 540-639-9313 x25

Funding for the NRV Business Continuity Team is being provided by GO Virginia, NRV local government CARES Act appropriations and Community Development Block Grant funds. This resource is limited to businesses located in the counties of Montgomery, Pulaski, Floyd, Giles and the city of Radford.

Be committed. Be well.

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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.

Lesser Known NRV Hiking Trails Featured in The Roanoke Times

Lesser Known NRV Hiking Trails Featured in The Roanoke Times

New River Valley, VA – Want to escape outdoors for a hike during the COVID-19 pandemic? The Roanoke Times recently featured an article on lesser known hiking trails in Virginia’s New River Valley.

More and more people are heading outdoors this summer. The Outdoor Industry Association recently found that in April, May, and June of 2020, national hiking participation was up 8.4% compared to those same months in 2019. Because of this increased interest, some of the better-known trails in the region are crowded with hikers. Lesser known trails are a great option for those looking to physically distance while still enjoying the outdoor amenities and natural beauty of Virginia’s New River Valley.

Here’s a list of the trails featured in the article:

  • Gatewood Reservoir Park, Pulaski
  • Harvey Lee Price Trail, Prices Fork
  • Mary Draper Ingles Trail, Glen Lyn
  • Narrows Mill Creek, Narrows
  • Ellett Valley Nature Trail, Blacksburg
  • Read the full article, including more details about each of the trails, from the Roanoke Times here.

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    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.

    NRV Highlighted as Lesser-Known Summer Vacation in VA

    NRV Highlighted as Lesser-Known Summer Vacation in VA

    New River Valley, VA – During the COVID-19 pandemic, people are searching for vacations that are fun and allow for physical distancing. It is a great time to consider visiting Virginia’s New River Valley. The region was highlighted as one of the “Lesser-Known Summer Vacations in Virginia” by the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

    Here is what the Virginia is for Lovers blog has to say about the region:

    “Organized along the New River between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains, the New River Valley in Southwest Virginia contains cities like Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Pulaski, and Radford. With the New River as the focal point, water sports in the valley are becoming a big draw for travelers interested in exploring Virginia’s rushing waterways.”

    The outdoor amenities available in Virginia’s New River Valley make the region a unique place to live, work, and play. Learn more about travel to the NRV in the article here.

    Note: Please contact destinations highlighted in the article prior to visiting since COVID-19 public health guidelines may have changed opening hours and activity availability.

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    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.

    NRV Manufacturing Industry Featured in Valley Business FRONT

    NRV Manufacturing Industry Featured in Valley Business FRONT

    New River Valley, VA – The August 2020 issue of Valley Business FRONT featured an article titled, “Not Your Father’s Manufacturing Industry”. The article showcased the manufacturing industry in Virginia’s New River Valley.

    The region is a hub for the manufacturing industry, with, according to the article, “140 manufacturers… located in the New River Valley. The sector employs 12,000 people, making it one of the top five employment industries.”

    The article discussed current trends and challenges in manufacturing globally, nationally, and locally. One such challenge is training the workforce to adapt to the increased automation in the industry. Local institutions, such as New River Community College, have implemented programs for students to ensure that qualified employees are available to meet the changing needs of manufacturers in the region.

    Read the entire article from Valley Business FRONT here. Learn more about manufacturing in Virginia’s New River Valley here.

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    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.

    Popular NRV Water Spots Win Awards from Blue Ridge Country Magazine

    Popular NRV Water Spots Win Awards from Blue Ridge Country Magazine

    New River Valley, VA – Popular water spots across Virginia’s New River Valley won awards in the 2020 Mountain Blue reader poll from Blue Ridge Country magazine. The poll asked magazine readers to vote on the best water-related locations and businesses for each state in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Five locations and businesses in the NRV were included among the winners.

    Best Virginia Waterfall
    Cascade Falls (Giles County)– Platinum Winner

    Best Virginia Water-Related State Park
    New River Trail State Park (Pulaski County) – Silver Winner
    Claytor Lake State Park (Pulaski County) – Honorable Mention

    Best Virginia Swimming Hole
    Dismal Falls (Giles County) – Honorable Mention

    Best Virginia River & Fishing Outfitter
    Tangent Outfitters (Giles County)– Silver Winner

    These poll winners are just some of the many unique outdoor amenities that Virginia’s New River Valley has to offer. Learn more about the outdoors across the NRV here.

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    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.

    Virginia Living Magazine Recognizes NRV Destinations and Businesses in Best of Virginia 2020 Awards

    Virginia Living Magazine Recognizes NRV Destinations and Businesses in Best of Virginia 2020 Awards

    New River Valley, VA – Fifteen destinations and businesses across Virginia’s New River Valley won Best of Virginia 2020 Awards for the Southwest Virginia region.  Virginia Living magazine published the annual list of winners in their special Best of Virginia 2020 issue.  The magazine tallied over 55,000 ballots to determine this year’s winners.

    The NRV’s winners and runners-up are listed below by category.

    Restaurants
    India Garden Restaurant – Winner – Best Indian Restaurant
    Sal’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria – Winner – Best Italian Restaurant
    Cabo Fish Taco – Winner – Best Seafood Restaurant
    Gillie’s – Winner – Best Restaurant for Vegans or Vegetarians
    Macado’s – Winner – Best Sandwich Shop
    The Farmhouse – Winner – Best Outdoor Dining
    Due South BBQ – Barbecue Restaurant
    Dogtown Roadhouse – Pizzeria
    Palisades Restaurant – Restaurant
    Our Daily Bread Bakery & Bistro – Restaurant for Vegans and Vegetarians, Dessert
    Red Rooster Coffee Roasters – Coffee Shop or Roaster
    Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea – Coffee Shop or Roaster
    Thai This Food Truck – Food Truck

    Food Shopping
    Our Daily Bread Bakery & Bistro – Bakery
    Blacksburg Farmers’ Market – Farmer’s Market
    Harvest Moon Food Store – Specialty/Gourmet Food Shop
    Vintage Cellar – Wine Shop

    Drink
    Five Mile Mountain Distillery – Winner – Best Distillery
    Chateau Morrisette Winery – Winner – Best Winery
    Buffalo Mountain Brewery – Brewery
    Iron Heart Winery – Winery

    Entertainment & Events
    Wine & Design – Winner – Best Entertainment Center for Adults
    Floyd Center for the Arts – Art Gallery
    Floyd Country Store – Music Venue

    Travel
    Mountain Lake Lodge – Resort

    Outdoors & Active
    Cascade Falls – Hiking or Biking Trail

    Home
    Warm Hearth Village – Retirement Community

    Services
    Brown Edwards – Winner – Best Accounting Firm
    Shelor Motor Mile – Winner – Best Car Dealer

    Pets
    Blacksburg Dog Park – Winner –  Best Dog Park
    Off Leash K9 Training – Winner – Best Dog Training Company
    Sparky’s Run Dog Park – Dog Park

    Kids
    Xtreme Springz Trampoline Park – Winner – Best Birthday Party Place
    Alta Mons Summer Camp and Retreat Center – Summer Camp

    Health
    New River Dermatology – Winner – Best Dermatology Practice
    Medical Associates of Southwest Virginia – Primary Care Practice
    River Ridge Dermatology – Dermatology Practice
    Sideline Orthopedic & Sports Medicine – Orthopedic Practice
    Tuck Chiropractic Clinic – Chiropractic Clinic

    Beauty
    Nail Envy – Nail Salon

    Weddings & Special Events
    Chantilly Lace Bridals, Formals, & Tuxedos – Bridal Boutique

    Shopping
    Finders Keepers – Antiques
    East Coasters – Bicycle Shop
    Whistle Stop Books – Bookstore
    The Upscale Attic – Consignment Shop
    New River Valley Mall – Shopping Mall
    Hey Helen – Women’s Clothing Store

    The winners and runners-up of the Best of Virginia 2020 Awards are just some of the unique destinations and businesses that make Virginia’s New River Valley a great place to live, work, and do business.

    Learn more about the Best of Virginia 2020 Awards here.

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    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.

    Job Board Launched on Virginia's New River Valley Website

    Job Board Launched on Virginia’s New River Valley Website

    New River Valley, VA – Many employers in Virginia’s New River Valley are hiring amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Onward NRV, a public/private, regional economic development organization, launched an online Job Board in March 2020 to help connect employees looking for work with employers that have job openings.

    The job board can be found on the Virginia’s New River Valley website. It features a section for job listings from featured employers in the region.

    Job seekers can also use the job board to search for new career opportunities in specific industries. Listings are available in eight different job categories:

  • Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Construction and Architecture
  • Education
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing and Sales
  • In addition to searching by industry, potential employees can also search and filter through all jobs available in Virginia’s New River Valley. Over 100 available jobs have been posted to the job board within the last two weeks. All sections of the job board are powered by Indeed, the #1 job site in the world.

    Onward NRV’s mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. Onward promotes economic vitality in the region through supporting the growth of four targeted industries: Information Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Food Processing & Agribusiness, and Unmanned Systems. The job board is one way the organization is working to connect employees with employers in these targeted industries. Learn more about Onward NRV here.

    Click here to browse the job board and learn more about career opportunities currently available in Virginia’s New River Valley.

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    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.

    Giles County matching gift card program supports restaurants in time of need

    Pearisburg, VA – In an effort to immediately support local restaurants and lodging properties impacted by the economic slow down caused by COVID-19, Giles County has launched a “matching” gift certificate program to support these business where customers will receive 50% more value than the purchase price!  The purpose of the program is to help these business in Giles County generate revenue quickly to support their operations through this very difficult time.

    The gift certificates are available to purchase online in $20 increments and are matched by 50%. This means that a gift certificate purchased for $20 will actually be worth $30. A gift certificate purchased for $40 will be worth $60. You get the gist. The 50% increase in value is subsidized by dollars generated from meals taxes and other tourism related revenues. One-hundred percent the funds are sent to the restaurants or lodging properties immediately after purchase.

    The program launched on March 25, 2020 and has been a hit! In just over one week, the community rallied to generate over $40,000 of revenue for local businesses through the program.

    Gift certificates through the program for Giles County restaurants and lodging establishments can be purchased on-line at www.virginiasmtnplayground.com/shop. Customers will receive an email after your purchase with order details to print the “gift certificate.”