Other regional strengths include:

 

  • Shovel Ready Industrial Sites

  • Low Labor and Land Costs

  • Competitive Tax Rates

  • Ample Recreational Opportunities

  • Strategic Location on the Eastern Seaboard

  • Access to Healthcare

  • Low Cost of Living

  • High Speed Broadband

  • Availability of Water

  • Small Town/Rural Environment

  • Growing Support for Local Foods

  • Brownfield Redevelopment Opportunities

  • Excellent Community College System and Proximity to High Caliber Four-Year Institutions

  • Transportation Network

Benefits

 

Virginia is regarded for its high quality of life that can be summed up in three words - education, healthcare,

and culture.  Southern Virginia combines these attributes with elected bodies receptive to businesses, a

competitive tax structure, startup business programs, and a diversity of small businesses and well known

entities such as Microsoft, Dominion Power, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC),

Sentara and Virginia Commonwealth University.

 

The region’s broadband is available and robust with over 1,800 miles of fiber network. The transportation

system is extensive with Interstate 85, U.S. Highway 58, and numerous others, but without congestion and

within a one day’s drive to major markets. Land is relatively affordable with traditional infrastructure such

as water and sewer available in key locations. A proposed gas line to the new Dominion Virginia Power

Plant, while controversial in some communities, would greatly expand that resource for the region.  Lack of

available natural gas infrastructure has been an Achilles’ heel for the region in attracting some industries.  

 

The healthcare sector has two strong hospitals that are continuing to enhance the area – Sentara Healthcare-Halifax Regional Health System and the VCU Community Memorial Hospital which will further strengthen the health industry in Southern Virginia and northern North Carolina.

 

Tourism has emerged as a significant source of revenue and recreation.  This further enhances the

quality of life and reputation of the region while requiring relatively few resources. The Tobacco Heritage Trail (www.tobaccoheritagetrail.org), Southern Virginia Wild Blueway (www.SOVAwildblueway.com), Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail (www.dgif.virginia.gov/vbwt), and Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail (www.varetreat.com/civil-rights-in-education-heritage-trail)  are just some examples.  The Kerr Reservoir is a major area draw among other lakes in the area. Berry Hill Resort & Conference Center in Halifax County is another prominent attraction.  Significant examples of economic recovery are evident in numerous downtowns with façade and gateway improvements, signage, streetscape renovations, small business development, leasing of empty spaces, and increased marketing. 

The workforce demonstrates a strong work ethic with relatively well developed skills. More importantly there are a number of educational centers focused on training the workforce. Danville Community College, Southside Virginia Community College, and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center - Work Force Training Center of Excellence are all working hard to increase the available skilled workforce.  The latest example is the collaboration between three community colleges – Danville, Patrick Henry, and Southside – on Southern Virginia Works, a workforce training effort that balances each region and institution’s strengths and weaknesses.

 

Southside Planning District Commission

200 S. Mecklenburg Ave. South Hill, Virginia 23970

(434) 447-7101 www.southsidepdc.org