The Steering Committee and the City of Lynchburg have outlined seven guiding principles to inform the priorities and objectives of Lynchburg’s economic development strategy. These principles will help shape the City’s economic development approach to future investment, resource deployment, and strategy implementation.
Industry Cluster-Driven. Adopt a data-informed, traded sector cluster approach, which will guide the following strategy goals, objectives and actions.
- Grow sectors that provide opportunities for a variety of specializations and competitive advantages, a range of talent and skill levels, and continued business development.
- Prioritize sectors that support family-wage job creation—a key element of inclusive prosperity.
- Focus on the following clusters: Metals and Machinery Manufacturing and Conveyor Systems and Moving Equipment, Nuclear Technology, Advertising and Design, and Architecture and Engineering Services.
Prioritize Existing Businesses. Focus on business expansion and retention, which is a more efficient and effective means of growing the local economic base and attracting additional investment.
- Allocate staff and resources for strengthening relationships with existing Lynchburg companies.
- Prioritize company attraction efforts to support industry cluster growth, including the further development of the supply chain.
- Convene business leaders by cluster to develop relationships and expertise among City of Lynchburg economic development staff regarding competitive advantages and challenges.
Focus on Entrepreneurship and Grow Your Own. Develop a startup ecosystem for scalable traded businesses, especially those within the advertising, architecture, design, and engineering clusters.
- Understand that the needs of scalable export businesses are different from those of local small businesses.
- Celebrate the successes of Lynchburg entrepreneurs, helping to promote a culture and brand for Lynchburg as an emerging startup hub.
- Extend support for businesses beyond the downtown core, ensuring access to entrepreneurship for all residents and neighborhoods.
Leverage and Engage Anchor Institutions. Recognize Lynchburg’s anchor institutions—universities, health care institutions and large-scale employers—as critical drivers of the City’s economic development efforts.
- Build strategies that utilize the core capabilities, size and scale of anchor institutions to accelerate economic progress and inclusive prosperity.
- Engage and develop partnerships and new collaborations among anchors to further enhance innovation and the commercialization of new products and services, while creating accessible jobs for local residents.
- Position Lynchburg as a learning laboratory where universities, institutions, businesses, entrepreneurs and talent come together to exchange ideas and build community.
Match and Build Skills with Opportunities. Center the City of Lynchburg’s economic and workforce development efforts on creating and filling family-wage jobs and in-demand skills in key growth industries.
- Focus on developing workforce pipelines in partnership with local workforce development and education partners, with an emphasis on Lynchburg’s target industry clusters.
- Facilitate mutually beneficial and meaningful relationships between education partners, city institutions, and major employers.
A Commitment to Engagement and Results-Oriented Partnerships. Commit to long-term, productive partnerships, which are strengths of Lynchburg’s economic development efforts.
- Recognize that inclusive engagement is ongoing and multi-faceted, involving stakeholders—businesses, anchor institutions, community organizations, citizens and elected officials—at all levels.
- Ensure the City of Lynchburg and its economic development priorities are well-represented by the work of the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance.
- Build and maintain a feedback loop with Lynchburg residents to address changing priorities and needs for economic development.
Promote and Develop Place. Embrace and promote the City of Lynchburg’s distinct cultural heritage and natural assets, which make it a desirable destination for talent.
- Promote easy access to the Blue Ridge Mountains, James River, cultural sites and other recreational and tourism amenities that draw visitors from within and outside the region.
- Recognize the City of Lynchburg as a collection of neighborhoods, each with its own identity, assets and challenges.
- Highlight Downtown Lynchburg as a walkable, vibrant urban core, a desirable location for many creative and innovative companies, and an asset for the entire region.
- Educate city stakeholders that a thriving, affordable destination with rich amenities such as recreation, retail, quality schools, parks, restaurants and entertainment is essential for talent attraction and retention.