LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) — The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance celebrates 140 years this week. The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance is the region’s oldest and largest business and professional association – serving the Lynchburg region since 1883.
Over the years things change but their mission stays the same — to bring business leaders together to advance our region and advocate for all of you in our community.
According to the LBA website, "The Alliance serves as the united voice for the Lynchburg region’s business community – connecting creativity and commerce. For over 800 businesses and organizations and their employees, our mission is to lead regional economic development."
SEE ALSO: Some Roanoke City Council members want to enforce a curfew for teens under 16
Republican Representative Bob Good (5th District) and Democratic Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) were among the 380 business professionals who attended Wednesday's anniversary celebration.
Good said the federal government needs to act as a partner and not a barrier to business owners.
"We’ve got Americans back to work. The federal government is meant to be a partner in doing that. We’ve got to cut all the reckless spending that has caused inflation. That's crushing business, consumers, and families," said Good. "We’ve got to declare the pandemic over, end all the emergency provisions, and get the federal government back to work. Get the state government back to work."
Senator Kaine focused on the importance of community resilience to succeed in business post-pandemic.
"A million people have died. Businesses have been affected. All over the globe there have been challenges/ but, America has linked arms and America has demonstrated resilience," said Kaine.
The Business Alliance unveiled how they plan on getting business done with a 5-year plan.
The goal behind this is to attract a talented workforce, wealth-creating jobs, and increase industrial sites, all while welcoming new residents and retaining current residents.
The business alliance says following their plan will help to create 2,000 new jobs. Gain $250 million in capital investment, boost the job placement for college grads in the region by 10%, and create an additional 500,000 square feet in industrial space.
SEE ALSO: Lockdowns, stolen guns, crime rates: A Conversation on Crime with Lynchburg's leaders
Representative of their 140 years of service, they announced the "140 Fund" which they describe as a revolving, self-replenishing fund that will support small businesses that apply.
The goal is to provide gap funding to businesses that need a little extra help to succeed in the Hill City.
Christine Kennedy with the business alliance said they're asking for $140 donations from organizations and individuals. To donate, text "GIVE" to 434-325-5337.
Some awards were recognized at the event as well as their 50-year members.
Senator Steve Newman (R-23rd District) was awarded the George Taylor Stewart III Award for his dedication, service, and influence on business leaders in our area.
LBA has also unveiled a new initiative called "The 140 Fund" that will provide support resources for local businesses and entrepreneurs in the region.
This new program will provide support and resources for local businesses and entrepreneurs in the Lynchburg region.