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Advancement Foundation Awarded Major Grant to Accelerate Economic Growth

The Advancement Foundation was awarded a $700,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to transform critical areas of a 38,000 square foot former manufacturing facility in Buena Vista, VA into a model for agribusiness acceleration.

This is another success story in the nonprofit’s mission to create bold opportunities that ignite economic prosperity and equality for the rural communities it serves. The facility was purchased through initial funding from Virginia Housing Development Authority and investment by Go Virginia for Region 8 Go to provide commercialization services of scalable agribusinesses.

“The ARC grant is a big step forward to strengthen economic growth by scaling value-added products beyond regional boundaries. The ARC grant will be used to improve the capacity of the Accelerator by building a commercial kitchen and installing ADA entryways and bathrooms.  Comprehensive acceleration services and space to ramp up value added product manufacturing and distribution will lead to 50 full time and 26 part time jobs” says Annette Patterson, President of the Advancement Foundation.

The Virginia Innovation Accelerator, is ideally located just off of Interstates 81 and 64, and is prominently situated in downtown Buena Vista.

“The City of Buena Vista and the greater region are poised for economic growth with a strong industrial base, multiple institutions of higher education, and a desire to succeed,” said Kristina Ramsey, Director of Economic Development. “The Virginia Innovation Accelerator complements these assets and we’re excited for the contribution it will make for the City’s long-term growth.”

Board Member, Bette Brand adds, “The Advancement Foundation found the ideal ecosystem in Buena Vista for success in product development, innovation, and commercialization opportunities for high-growth agribusinesses, like AgTech and environmental industries.”

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