Floyd receives $2.7 million to help bring businesses to the area

FLOYD, Va. – The U.S. Department of Commerce recently invested $2.7 million to provide infrastructure for Floyd’s Regional Commerce Center.

“This project will bring a state-level road, a VDOT level road, into the site,” said Lydeana Martin, community and economic development director for Floyd. “It will bring public water and sewers as well as fiber. So, we are on our way to having these sites business-ready.”

Martin said many of the people who live in Floyd have to travel elsewhere for work.

“We see a real multiplier for every handful that can work in Floyd, that can get good jobs here, not have to drive out,” said Martin. “We see that ripple through the community.”

She said they do not want to just rely on tourism in the area.

“People love to come to Floyd for our music, and our arts and food, and we welcome that, but we also want to make sure we have a variety of business types here,” Martin said.

I talked to one business owner in Floyd who sells squirrel food around the world and he said he needs more space.

“Right now, we are using about 2-3000 square feet in this building,” said Jay Bekono, chief operating officer at Henry’s Healthy Pets. “We need to build 6-10,000 square feet to keep up with demand and growth. So, as soon as the county builds that road, we’re moving in.”

He said Floyd County sets businesses like his up for success.

“Floyd is very forward thinking in terms of E-business, which is really the future of all these small towns and small counties,” Bekono said.

Even in rural Floyd, Bekono can still market to the whole world.

“It doesn’t matter where we are, we can reach out to all of these people,” said Bekono. “Anybody that places an order today—we might get an order from Japan—we can get it there in two days.”

County officials said they are still in the early stages of planning, but they expect many businesses here in the future.

About the Author

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.

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