Danville, Pittsylvania County collaboration creating economic growth

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - Steve DelGiorno is working to remodel ChathaMooca Cafe in Chatham, which just closed after the owners decided to retire.

A self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, he already has businesses in Danville.

"We're working on a whole lot of projects in Danville proper and I made a relationship with Matt Rowe from the county economic development and then also the town manager of Chatham. They said 'hey, come check out what we're doing here'," DelGiorno explained.

County economic development director Matt Rowe said with cities being independent from counties in Virginia, many cities and counties have an adversarial relationship when it comes to economic development.

But, that's not the case with Danville and Pittsylvania County.

"At the end of the day, I'm selling Danville, but Danville is also selling my sites," Rowe said.

DelGiorno said that relationship has helped encourage him to continue to expand and he believes it is what's also encouraging other entrepreneurs and companies to locate to Danville and Pittsylvania County.

"I've seen it in Danville and now I see the same thing here in Chatham; the public-private partnership that comes together," DelGiorno explained.  "It's essential for new business development. It's open arms here."

Danville economic development director Telly Tucker said the economic growth that the city and county's relationship has created has been a big help in the city's effort to attract new businesses, like the Chipotle restaurant currently under construction.

"The collaborative working environment, it communicates support to a prospect and that's huge," said Tucker.

He said Firehouse Subs and Starbucks have also expressed interest in opening in the city.

He's not sure where Firehouse Subs and Starbucks are regarding making a commitment to the city, but both he and Rowe are optimistic that the growth will continue for the foreseeable future.

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