Floyd County EDA receives $2.3M federal grant for growth center
The building will be used for new businesses to grow and for existing businesses to remain operational during natural disasters.
The Floyd County Economic Development Authority announced this week it has received a $2.3 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to construct the first building for the Floyd Growth Center, a shared space in the Floyd Regional Commerce Center for small industrial companies.
Different from a small business incubator, the center will allow businesses to stay as long as they want, said Floyd County Community and Economic Development Director Lydeana Martin. The county estimates that two businesses will be able to operate in the center at a given time, unless building plans change or the space is further divided, she added.
Building 1 will be a 13,000-square-foot industrial building with two main spaces. One space will be approximately 4,300 square feet, and the other approximately 8,700 square feet. Both spaces will have a production area, a drive-in door and office space.
“When we applied for this last August, our goal was to develop affordable spaces for premium production or fabrication work, where local businesses could grow into and other businesses could consider space in Floyd,” Floyd EDA Chairman Jon Beegle said in a statement.
Construction for Building 1, which is expected to cost $2.88 million, is expected to begin by spring 2021.
The project is being funded through the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019, which gave the EDA $600 million for disaster relief and recovery related to Hurricane Florence, which hit the county hard in 2018. The Floyd Growth Center construction will also receiving $302,000 in funding from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.
“The EDA’s support for the Floyd Growth Center Building is a significant investment in our region’s economic development,” U.S. Rep. H. Morgan Griffith, R-New River Valley, said in a statement. “It will promote long-term growth and job creation, as well as build capacity for resilience and recovery in the face of natural disasters.”
“[The U.S. EDA] had special funding to help communities affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael in 2018,” Martin said. “Thanks to input from more than 50 local businesses, we were able to document the impact of those storms including loss of power, blocked roads and flooding. This building will provide a more resilient option to businesses looking for non-retail space.”
The EDA grant will be matched with $576,385 in local investment and is expected to spur $5 million in private investment, according to the Chamber of Commerce.
“EDA is proud to support Floyd County’s strategy to nurture and protect business interests,” Dana Gartzke, performing the delegated duties of the assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, said in a statement. “Designed to withstand natural disasters, the new Floyd Growth Center Building will support essential training and the continued success of local businesses within the regional economy.”