The Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation received an award from the Virginia Economic Development Association (VEDA) called the Community Economic Development Awards (CEDA). The VEDA spring conference was held in Charlottesville, Virginia on March 31, 2017.
The CEDA program recognizes the best practices and exceptional contributions of communities in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the following efforts:
• Business Retention and Expansion
• Business Recruitment
• Community Development
• Community Involvement
The AHEDC received the CEDA award for their Business Retention and Expansion efforts. Marla Akridge, Executive Director and Terri McClung, Office Manager accepted the award on behalf of the AHEDC. Teresa Hammond from the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism was also in attendance.
BRE (Business Retention and Expansion) identifies the hurdles and challenges facing local businesses with technical assistance by increasing its competitiveness in the wider marketplace, assist with expansions that add new jobs, keeps it from relocating to other areas, helps it to survive economic difficulties and connects it to networks.
Quantitative measures used for business and retention visits nationwide are:
• Number of jobs created/retained
• Number of retained businesses
• Cost per job created/retained
• Number of businesses visited
• Number of businesses surveyed
• Number of at-risk businesses assisted
• Percent of jobs held by local citizens
• Determining business needs
• Creating an ecosystem of growth
• Local businesses have strong community ties
• BRE programs are often less expensive than business attraction and yield more jobs on average
The AHEDC acts through public-private partnerships continually enhancing community capacity and expanding the economy of the Alleghany Highlands using the following strategies; retain and expand local businesses and industries, promote small business development, recruit new businesses and industries to locate in our community and collaborate with community organizations to champion, support and be an advocate for the necessary elements that support economic development in the community.