Thursday, September 24, 2015

BDC 2015 is underway

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Friends,

 

The Business Development Caucus held its first Business Town Hall event of 2015 at Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke last week.  Attendees included several of the region's business leaders, economic & workforce development advocates, and representatives of the Virginia Community College System.  Legislators from Northern Virginia, Central Virginia, Southwest and Southside Virginia also attended, as did I of course, representing the VA Chamber's Small Business Committee.  This event was the BDC's 17th since founded in 2012 and carried us over the 500th business participant mark.

 

These leaders shared some of the issues that the Roanoke region faces in its effort to recruit employers.  Interestingly, topography presents one of their more arduous challenges as this mountainous region limits the availability of suitable development sites.  Obviously, no legislation will remedy this issue directly, but opportunities to improve the readiness and marketability of the few sites that are practical for development do exist.  We also heard issues relating to broadband and other infrastructure needs, economic incentives, and workforce development among others. 

 

Our next Business Town Hall meeting will be held in New Kent County, next Tuesday 9/29 at the New Kent Winery and is being hosted by the New Kent Chamber of Commerce (where my own company is a member).  This event is open to businesses from New Kent, James City, Charles City, Gloucester, King and Queen, King William & Prince George counties and area cities.  While all business/industries are welcome, a portion of the discussion will be reserved for Rural and Agricultural issues.

 

In addition to members of the General Assembly (six as of today), representatives from the Center for Rural Virginia and Virginia Farm Bureau will also participate.  If you are an area business leader, rural business advocate or farmer please consider joining us.  Click the invitation thumbnail to the right for event and registration information.  There is no charge for this two-hour event and it includes a light lunch - but space is limited.

 

Following our final 2015 event in Northern Virginia, participating BDC members will hold a retreat to review ideas and evaluate potential pro-job growth legislation for the 2016 session of the General Assembly. Please consider sharing this information with business leaders in your area.

 

Traveling with the BDC and meeting with leaders across the Commonwealth provides me an informative and effective means for learning and acting to address regional issues regarding Virginia's economy. Subsequently, this translates into more opportunities for citizens here and across the state. For more information on the BDC, visit www.BDCVA.org.  Of course, anyone is free to contact me at MikeWatson.VA@gmail.com for more information.

 

Respectfully yours,


Mike

 

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