Organizations working to make Lynchburg region more attractive for business

LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) - Leaders are working to make the Lynchburg area more attractive for businesses and more likely to receive government funding.

They came up with a five-year plan, designed to create jobs and improve the quality of life.

Members in the Virginia's Region 2000 Local Government Council and Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance came up with an economic plan designed to target the growth and expansion of the business community, developing a sustainable workforce and supporting downtowns in multiple localities.

"We have downtowns all over our region that have an opportunity to grow and attract tourism and attract folks to live downtown," said Gary Christie, the Executive Director of Virginia's Region 2000 Local Government Council.

Together, the two groups plan to work with organizations and local governments to make sure they can make downtowns attractive to younger people.

"Our community has a lot of great natural assets, we're on river, and that's attractive to millennials," explained Christine Kenney, with the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance.

In Lynchburg, items include renovating former tobacco warehouses to mixed-use facilities with restaurants and apartments.

Other ways to attract and retain young people include creating an environment where small businesses can thrive.

Members of both groups said the plan can potentially make the Lynchburg area more attractive for government money.

The plan is expected to be implemented in early 2017.