Gov. Northam tours newly opened businesses in downtown Lexington

LEXINGTON, Va. – The Lex Running Shop in downtown Lexington is open for business. 

"My husband and I just thought that a running store would be a great addition to an already vibrant downtown," said Jess Reid, owner of Lex Running Shop. 

Reid was able to celebrate the opening Monday with a special guest -- Gov. Ralph Northam. 

"I'd love to continue to grow running and running culture in our town and to help people meet their goals," said Reid. 

Northam spent the morning cutting ribbons and touring the Lex Running Shop and six other businesses that are part of the Launch Lex program. That program is part of a statewide effort by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to give small businesses training and financial assistance so they can be successful. 

The other newly opened businesses include Just Games Lexington, ​​​​​fLEX Fitness Studio, Red Newt Bikes, Heliotrope Brewery, Sugar Maple Trading Company and Make It Sew.

"We are so impressed by their efforts and their success so far and we thought how can we celebrate that," said Jamie Goodin, event organizer.

After his speech, Northam was approached by pipeline protesters who were asking questions about his response to the Mountain Valley Pipeline. He did not comment.