Murals in Blacksburg, VA

Exploring downtown: Understanding the murals of downtown Blacksburg

FROM THE COLLEGIATE TIMES – “The town of Blacksburg’s original 16 downtown squares have some amazing restaurants, cool shops and great people; however, one thing that may be unappreciated is the abundance of art. Coming from someone who lives 10 minutes away from another historic downtown area, Leesburg, I explored every corner of that town to see what was offered…”

Murals in Blacksburg, VA

“When I came here, seeing the art in Leesburg inspired me to see if Blacksburg had anything to offer as well. While taking a casual stroll through the downtown area, I was able to find some unique murals and sculptures that are definitely something to check out.”

Learn more about murals in Downtown Blacksburg from Justin Rocha at the Virginia Tech Collegiate Times.

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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.

Floyd C4 2018

Medina Mercantile Takes Top Prize at the Floyd C4 Business Development Series

FROM FLOYD COUNTY – The 4th annual Floyd C4 came to a dramatic conclusion on Monday night, as 8 of the participants in the 6-week business development series gave their best pitch to judges. Contestants had already submitted written business plans, which were confidentially scored by the 3 judges the week before. Each business had 10-minutes to pitch followed by 15 minutes of questions and answers with the judges.

Medina Mercantile was the top place winner, earning $5,000 to use toward expanding the business beyond imported hand-made baskets sold wholesale to include select locally-made items sold retail, predominantly online. Owner Cassie Wilson, who is also a designer, will use part of the money to work with local artisans on special pieces and the rest to do some much-needed work on the building, located on 8909 Deer Run Dr in Copper Hill.

Windy Creek Farm took 2nd place and a $3,000 prize. Owner Jake Bruton, a large animal veterinarian by training, emphasized the opportunity available to his farm business selling USDA beef, pork and lamb. He is also working with other local farms to meet demand. Windy Creek Farm is on Franklin Pike in Floyd.

ColdSpring Nurse Mares, LLC won third place and a $1,000 prize. Owner Bronwyn Watts explained that the new company “provides an innovative and vital service to the equine community” by providing nurse mares to foals who have lost their biological mothers. The farm, located on Kristi Lane in Floyd, serves the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic region, which includes many acclaimed horse farms.

“The quality of this year’s plans and pitches were excellent, “ according to Jon Beegle, the Chairman of the Floyd County Economic Development Authority and a stand-in for a judge who wasn’t able to make it. “Out of a possible 300 points, less than 15 points separated 5 contestants. They really showcased the innovation and entrepreneurship in Floyd County and showed promise in both start up and expansion opportunities.”

This year a “Best Pitch” award and $400 prize was given to Buffalo Mountain Adventures for their pitch which included a costumed skit and mini-rap about the business. Brittany Bonner explained that the company is already offering a shuttle service for groups in or visiting Floyd, and they are adding guided outdoors adventure services in the Spring to include hikes, river and caving trips and mountain biking.

The Floyd C4 Business Development Series, funded by the Floyd County Board of Supervisors, provides 6 weekly sessions on business start-up, marketing, finance, operating a business and how-to-pitch. C4 stands for Curriculum, Creators, Coaches and Challenge.

“The Small Business Development Center is an integral partner with us in putting this on as their staff members Tom Tanner and Amanda Forrester do some of the presentations as well as provide business counseling services to participants. The Floyd County EDA is fortunate to have great partners that make this possible—including the County, the Town, Virginia Community Capital, and the New River Valley Regional Commission,” Beegle added. “We look forward to continuing to work with all of the businesses who did the Floyd C4 and seeing them grow and succeed in Floyd.”

This was the 4th annual Floyd C4 series.

One-year follow up on the first two Floyd C4s showed that 22.5 full-time equivalent jobs were created by the new or growing businesses and more than $650,000 in private investment was generated.

Follow up with the cohort from the third year is currently underway.

For more information, contact Lydeana Martin at lmartin@floydcova.org or 540 745-9300 or by cell at 540 267-4083.

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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.

Energy Star Rankings

The NRV Ranked No. 8 Energy Star Small City

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA (commonly known as Virginia’s New River Valley) was ranked the number 8 Energy Star small city of 2018.

The NRV has a long history of being a good steward with natural resources and protecting the environment. The people of the NRV have a deep connection with nature and are committed to preserving the region, especially because the resources (like the New River) are so fun to use.

Energy Star Rankings

Top 10 Energy Star Cities of 2018 (Small MSAs)

1. Midland, TX
2. Odessa, TX
3. Greenville, NC
4. Jackson, MI
5. San Angelo, TX
6. Sioux City, IA
7. Junction City, KS
8. New River Valley, VA
9. Santa Fe, NM
10. Martinsville, VA

The top cities were determined by looking at how many Energy Star certified buildings were in each MSA (metropolitan statistical area).

Energy Star certified buildings are more energy efficient than most of other similar buildings in the U.S. Energy Star buildings have saved more than $4.5 billion since 1999.

For more information about the rankings, visit Energy Star.

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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 Top Posts of 2018

NRV Ranked No. 6 Top Job Market of 2018

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA (commonly known as Virginia’s New River Valley) keeps topping charts. The NRV was ranked the number 6 top job market of 2018 by Zippia.

The rankings were determined by looking at unemployment rate, unemployment rate change, and wage change.

Top 10 Job Markets of 2018:

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (Silicon Valley area)
2. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA
3. Odessa, TX
4. Midland, TX
5. Charleston-North Charleston, SC
6. New River Valley, VA
7. Florence, SC
8. Ann Arbor, MI
9. Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA
10. Roanoke, VA

The rankings considered 386 metro areas of varying sizes. For more information on the rankings, visit Zippia, “The Career Expert.”

This ranking was also used by USA Today.

Looking for work in the NRV? Start with the Job Opportunities tab under Live Here.

Header photo: Excella, agile tech firm, Blacksburg

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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 video

Virginia’s New River Valley Video Receives Incredible Organic Response

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – Onward New River Valley released a video to aid in the cultivation of the regional brand at the organization’s annual dinner Thursday, Sept. 20. The video organically hit 1,000 shares and over 56,000 views in about one week on Facebook alone. It also reached over 128,000 people.

The social response to the video is overwhelmingly positive. Some of the comments on the Virginia’s New River Valley Facebook post include:

  • “Don’t come here to change this place… come here to let this place change you!!”
  • “Best place I ever lived! I miss it every day!!”
  • “Ok so looks like I’m moving there”
  • “Makes me feel homesick. Excellent representation in the video. Job well done”
  • The video, which was made with Nightfire Productions, is resonating with people who love the New River Valley and reaching those who may be hearing about it for the first time.

    “It’s important to note that this initial response was garnered completely organically,” said Onward NRV Marketing Manager Abigail Hammack. “This means we didn’t pay for any sort of advertising. People are going out of their way to share it, which means they like it. It means we were able to capture the culture of Virginia’s New River Valley through the video. Now it’s easier not just for us, but also for people, businesses, and organizations to share this great place with the world.”

    The overwhelming response is proof that place attachment is an important concept in economic development. Place attachment is an emotional connection a person has to a certain place. The goal of the video is to foster a sense of place attachment for Virginia’s New River Valley and the response is proof that it’s working.

    “A primary goal of economic development is to influence people to choose one community over another. Whether it’s a company looking to relocate or an individual considering a move, an emotional connection to a place can positively affect that decision. This video helps capture the feeling of why so many people have chosen to live, work, and do business in Virginia’s New River Valley. We hope people throughout the NRV will continue to help share the video and use it to showcase what is so special about our region.”

    Footage in the video includes businesses, towns, scenic hot spots, and local favorites around the region. The full list of locations is posted on the video webpage.

    For more information about the video or Onward NRV, please contact Marketing Manager Abigail Hammack at abigail@onwardnrv.org.

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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.

    Blue Ridge Parkway Mabry Mill

    Prime Time on the Blue Ridge – Southern Living

    If you haven’t taken a little road trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway, now is certainly the time. As the leaves start to change and the air turns crisp, the beautiful, winding drive is sure to please. It truly is “Prime Time on the Blue Ridge.”

    Be sure to stop by the Floyd Country Store or Mabry Mill along the way.

    Blue Ridge Parkway Floyd Country Store

    Cheryl Zibisky

    Jason Frye from Southern Living recounts experience at Mabry Mill during his journey along the famous BRP:

    “To call this place picturesque is an understatement; Mabry Mill is a poem. The millhouse, built by Ed Mabry in 1905, sits on the edge of a small pond and is one of the most photographed stops along the Parkway. Today, with the play of color on the trees above and their reflections in the millpond below, it’s a real showstopper.”

    Read more at Southern Living.

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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.

    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.

    New River 500 Kairos Giles County VA

    The New River 500 Event Returns at Kairos in Giles County, Virginia

    FROM GILES COUNTY, VA– The New River 500 will be held October 19-21 at Kairos Resort in Giles County, Virginia and encompass over 500 kilometers of riding. This event is an all-inclusive dual sport adventurer’s dream. A multiple day opportunity to ride, socialize, and participate in on and off-road courses- you will want to mark your calendars for this. Bring your bike and experience rides through the mountains of the New River Valley. Come for the riding, stay for the fellowship and enjoy good eats, all at the New River 500. Dual sport bike rentals available for participants too, from GearHead Junction in Pearisburg.

    The New River 500 motorsport event will held at Kairos, an outdoor adventure haven located in the western part of Giles County. This property features an amphitheater, RV and tent camping sites, luxury yurts, scenic overlooks, and over 45 miles of trails to enjoy. Established in 2016 and opening its gates early 2017, Kairos has prepared a venue and space that pursues not just a place but a feeling.

    What is included in the registration: Access to Kairos property on Friday evening or Saturday morning, primitive tent camping for two nights, bathhouses, and necessary facilities, dinner on Saturday evening, souvenir t-shirt, and route charts for dual sport routes through the region. You are welcome to bring your RV as there is a well-appointed campground. Camping is included for primitive sites for both nights. If you want an upgrade you can do so. Throw in your camping chairs for the dinner and fun on Saturday evening.

    Want to participate but don’t have a valid motorcycle license? Kairos Resort has onsite trails and day passes every day of the year! They also have Polaris UTV rentals for onsite riding. Visit their website or call any day to take advantage of the property amenities.

    Stay up-to-date with event announcements by following the event on Facebook, by searching ‘The New River 500’ or visiting GilesCounty.org. To RSVP for the New River 500 call 540-235-2777 or register at the link on Facebook.

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    For more information about planning your visit to Giles County or about activities and events, please visit www.gilescounty.org or contact us at tourism@gilescounty.org.

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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 Tech Football Entrance

    Virginia Tech Ranked the #1 Most Electric Entrance in College Football

    VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – Locals know how rowdy Lane Stadium gets, but the news has gotten out. The Virginia Tech Hokies stadium entrance to Metallica’s Enter Sandman was ranked the #1 Most Electric Entrance in College Football by Fanbuzz.

    The entire stadium, from the band, to the student section, to people who are probably too old to do it, jump in unison to as the song builds to its climax. The Hokies’ football team walks from their locker room to the stadium, files into the narrow tunnel, and bursts onto the Lane Stadium field. It’s electric, it’s crazy, and it’s our favorite entrance in all of college football.

    Other universities mentioned include Miami, South Carolina, and Clemson, but Virginia Tech took home the number one spot.

    To see the full ranking, visit Fanbuzz.

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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.

    Onward NRV Receives 3 Awards for Regional Marketing

    Onward NRV SEDC Awards

    VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEYOnward New River Valley is proud to have received three awards from the Southern Economic Development Council through their 2018 Communication Awards Competition. All submissions featured the river stone branding for Virginia’s New River Valley created with Eddy Alexander.

    “We are so thankful to receive three SEDC awards this year,” said Onward NRV Executive Director Charlie Jewell. “The Virginia’s New River Valley branding was, and still is, a huge initiative to raise the visibility of our region as a great place to live, work and do business. We’re very glad to be recognized by our peers in this way. I want to thank our Marketing Manager Abigail Hammack and Eddy Alexander for ensuring the projects were a success.”

    Onward NRV SEDC Awards

    Awards

    Best of Class, Small Division, for the Virginia’s New River Valley rebranding
    Certificate of Excellence for the Targeted Industry Brochures
    Certificate of Excellence for the Virginia’s New River Valley Website

    The rebranding submission included the brand book explaining the meaning and messaging behind the Virginia’s New River Valley river stone brand. It also included other implementations of the brand such as promotional material and documents.

    The brochures, which were created in-house, were submitted in the series of four, one for each targeted industry: Advanced Manufacturing, Food Processing & Agribusiness, Information Technology, and Unmanned Systems. The series in total received the award.

    The website submission included the entirety of the Virginia’s New River Valley website.

    SEDC

    The Communication Awards are announced during SEDC’s annual conference. Submissions are evaluated in four divisions. Virginia’s New River Valley is in the “Small Division,” which includes all communities or regions with populations of less than 500,000.

    The judges for the awards are economic development professionals from the Southern U.S. The awards are only given to economic development organizations.

    The Southern Economic Development Council is a non-profit membership organization and the oldest and largest regional economic development association in North America.

    View the full list of award winners here.

    Contact Information

    For more information, contact Onward NRV Marketing Manager Abigail Hammack.

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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.