While 2020 wasn’t the year anyone had planned, we all figured out new and creative ways to continue getting the work done. From remote work and Zoom calls to rearranging schedules and redefining ‘work hours’, we’ve all had to stretch our creativity muscles in ways they may not have been used before.
During this past year, The City of Lynchburg Economic Development & Tourism continued to work hard for our local businesses and community, and were honored to win some prestigious awards acknowledging those efforts.
IEDC Silver Award
The Office of Economic Development & Tourism won a silver award for its “This Is Lynchburg – FY 2019 Annual Report”, a project in the Annual Report category of the International Economic Development Council’s 2020 Excellence in Economic Development Awards Program.
IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. Over 30 different categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities. Judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world, IEDC received over 500 nominations across 4 countries.
“This is Lynchburg,” reported the City’s latest economic statistics, the results of business investment programs and tourism and economic development marketing. Beyond the statistics, “This is Lynchburg” tells the stories of Lynchburg’s bright future. Each year we use the annual report to tell stories that stakeholders, citizens and the business community may not see or realize every day. “This is Lynchburg” organized information around the City’s economic development and tourism strategic plan, the Blueprint for Opportunity, making sure data is connected to the identified goals to move the City forward and help it thrive.
Learn more at iedconline.org.
Brownfields Assistance Grant
In August of 2020, the City of Lynchburg Office of Economic Development & Tourism received a Virginia Brownfields Assistance Grant in the amount of $50,000. This grant will provide funding to do a geophysical evaluation, soil and vapor assessments and a structural review of a currently unused City-owned property. By utilizing this grant, the City will be able to better determine future use of the site and what the next steps are in the process. By evaluating abandoned, underutilized and deteriorating industrial and commercial sites, the City hopes to spur economic development and revitalization throughout the community.
According to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, “The Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund
(VBAF) was established…to provide either grants or loans to local governments to promote the restoration and redevelopment of brownfield sites and to address environmental problems or obstacles to reuse so that these sites can be effectively marketed to new economic development prospects.” These grants are dispersed based on 5 priorities:
- Use or reuse of existing infrastructure
- Limited ability to draw on other funding sources
- Potential for redevelopment and reuse of the site
- Economic benefits
- Environmental benefits
To learn more, visit opportunitylynchburg.com/brownfields.
The Virginia Association of Destination Marketing Organizations (VADMO), an association supporting destination marketing organizations and the development of tourism and travel professionals in Virginia, announced the winners of the 2019 VIRGO Awards. The VIRGO Awards celebrate the success of destination marketing organizations along with their respective staff members and volunteers. The City of Lynchburg Office of Economic Development & Tourism was awarded Destination Event of the Year for the State Games of America event.
During July 31-August 4, 2019, the City of Lynchburg was home to the 2019 State Games of America (SGA), an Olympic-style event featuring competition between State Games medal winners from across the nation.
The State Games of America brought more than 14,000 athletes, their families and fans to the Lynchburg community making it the largest national sporting event we have ever hosted. This one event brought more than $7 million dollars in total economic impact producing an estimated $223,000 in local tax revenues. But, more important, was the sense of community pride that was felt and shown from our citizens in hosting this nationally recognized event.
Giving back to the community included a partnership with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, coordinating a food drive that collected more than 2,000 pounds of food to feed local families in need. We also partnered with the Jubilee Family Center and the Boys and Girls Club to offer a “ninja clinic” – inspiring and educating more than 350 local inner-city youth.
For more information about VADMO please visit vadmo.org.
2020 Year in Review
Our 2020 Annual Report is out now, and we are so proud of the work we accomplished this past year, and to serve this community we call home.
Please watch our video below and read our most recent Year in Review.