A large crowd of Floyd County business owners (and representatives) and local officials ate bagged lunches, introduced themselves and heard economic statistics, tourism stories and other information for lunch Friday at the Hotel Floyd conference room.
Information about 500 new jobs and 90 new business establishments in the county recently, an unemployment rate ranging from 2.4 to 3.1 percent and a more positive attitude, said county Economic Development Director Lydeanna Martin.
Martin also pointed to a need to raise wages in the county. The median income of local workers sits at $557 a week, which is more than $300 under the New River Valley average.
Floyd Tourism Director Pat Sharkey listed some of the ways that tourism has brought more visitors and revenue to the county. She pointed to a new grant from Virginia to join in on recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Old Dominion’s “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan and recognition from state agencies of the county’s emphasis on tourism.
Although Floyd County ranks lower in population among New River counties, its residents raised $124,000 — 45 percent — of the $272,000 for the Give BIG NRV campaign.
During the introductions, some told the crowd their name and business affiliations while others expanded with details of their operations and others delivered an ad for what they do.
Friday’s lunch was the second of what is planned as an annual event.