In January 2020, Lynchburg was praised by Business View North America magazine as “the most interesting spot in the state”. This statement, based on the words of Thomas Jefferson, reflects an ideal and goal that Lynchburg has been representing and seeking to improve upon since its recognition by the Virginia government in 1786. Lynchburg is a small, booming city where opportunities abound in areas such as education, healthcare and manufacturing, and businesses and families alike are finding a place to grow amid the rolling hills of Lynchburg. Many factors contribute to the success and expansion of a community and economy. Lynchburg’s focus on creating a liveable space that is friendly to opportunity has brought it to this point, and continues to help Lynchburg build a bright and sustainable future.
In the Heart of Virginia
One important aspect that Lynchburg has on its side is that it’s centrally located. A one-hour drive can take you to Roanoke, Danville or Charlottesville, and a two-hour drive can take you to the borders of Richmond and Greensboro, N.C.. This along with the simple driving routes to and from these areas makes commuting easy. Lynchburg Regional Airport also provides convenient travel options with a connection to Charlotte, NC, and from there, the rest of the world. This interconnectedness has been a major advantage to the City in this modern era of speedy travel, instant communication and economic competition.
Built in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and alongside the James River, Lynchburg is an urban oasis surrounded by forest and farmland. This setting provides ample outdoor activities whether on the City’s 40 miles of urban trail system, in the 16 lush parks, hiking the nearby Appalachian Trail or partaking in the myriad of pursuits to be enjoyed on the River. Residents and workers need only step out their front door for spectacular views and fresh, clean air. This setting and the City’s commitment to the health of both its citizens and the natural environment, sets Lynchburg apart from other large metropolitan areas.
Furthermore, Lynchburg is home to many major businesses and institutions of higher learning. Leading employers include the Centra Health system, Framatome (nuclear engineering), Frito Lay, Cloudfit Software, and many others. Secondary education and technical/trade schools include University of Lynchburg, Randolph College, Liberty University and Central Virginia Community College. These institutions work closely with city businesses to provide the workforce Lynchburg needs to compete in the expanding economy. As an added inducement to ensure this need, the Lynchburg Beacon of Hope, a local born nonprofit, provides the Stay Close, Go Far Promise Scholarship Program giving all graduates of Lynchburg City High Schools $8,000 per student over two years to attend these colleges and universities.
A Strong Foundation for Progress
The City of Lynchburg has a reliable and sustainable infrastructure that continues to transform as the City’s needs grow. The Downtown economic sector continues to expand with new businesses and converted residential spaces. It and other parts of the City, such as the Wards Road area and land located along Route 460, are part of Lynchburg’s Enterprise Zones, areas that are prime locations for commercial settlement. To spur this growth, the City offers incentives to qualifying businesses to put down roots in these particular areas, such as cash grants for property investment and job creation.
A Main Street Renewal Project is in full swing in the Downtown area. The City of Lynchburg and Appalachian Power are upgrading the underground utility infrastructure and above-ground pedestrian and vehicular experience. From increased electrical capacity to brand new waterlines to brick sidewalks, green spaces and street art, Lynchburg’s already vibrant Downtown will expand its technical capacity and attractive atmosphere.
A diversity of space also provides an advantage to Lynchburg. Historic buildings downtown have been transformed and adapted to suit the City’s needs. Newer buildings in the Wards Road and Forest Road/Route 221 areas welcome offices, stores, restaurants and small businesses. Also, warehouse and factory-sized properties provide a perfect location for industrial and corporate businesses to plan, make products and house large employee bases. For information on available properties that can be used for commercial business, please visit the Lynchburg City property database.
Lynchburg’s transportation infrastructure makes it a well-connected city, not just internally but to the world. With a reliable public transit system, easy to navigate roadways and access to major highways, getting in, out and about the City is fast and fairly traffic free. The Lynchburg Regional Airport has jet service to Charlotte and beyond and Amtrak’s Northeast Regional and Crescent trains provide east coast travel with connections in Washington D.C. For hauling goods, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern run through Lynchburg and there are numerous trucking companies stationed in the City.
Housing infrastructure continues to boom. Spacious, modern and affordable apartment complexes, beautiful neighborhoods are springing up in areas such as Timberlake Road, Forest and Route 221 and historic neighborhoods are being revitalized all to keep up with the demand of Lynchburg’s growing population.
Lynchburg is Pro-Opportunity
Lynchburg officials have laid down a strong foundation for the growth and health of the City and continue to expand and create new programs run through the Office of Economic Development & Tourism. Among these opportunities and incentives for economic, educational and societal growth are the “I Am Lynchburg” ambassador campaign, the CO.STARTERS entrepreneurship program and the Blueprint for Opportunity economic development plan.
Lynchburg’s many advantages and national recognition for innovation and growth solidifies it as the perfect place to start a business and put down roots. The city’s culture and atmosphere is friendly and welcoming where anyone can find a home, a community and a meaningful way of life here. These are the qualities that secure the positive impact Lynchburg is having on the world.