TOURISM WORKS for Your Halifax County Business

Virginia is For LoversMeet with Virginia Tourism at the Prizery on August 19, 2009

Small businesses represent 95% of Virginia’s tourism industry, including retail, dining, lodging, attractions and events. Virginia Tourism and the Halifax County Tourism Department is committed to driving traffic to your tourism business! Want to pitch your story to our PR staff? Interested in what tourism grant funding is available? Make sure you are listed on, the Commonwealth’s official travel and tourism website and the local travel website. Come by during a lunch break and meet one-on-one with VTC’s marketing and development staff to target and reach travelers, the media and to increase your tourism visitation.

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County Officials Meet With Senator Mark Warner

Halifax County VA officials meet with Senator Mark Warner Senator Mark Warner met with Halifax County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Executive Director Mike Sexton, County Administrator George Nester, IDA Chairman John Cannon, and Capital Results Partner Rob Shinn on June 4th along with Congressman Periello’s staff member Beth Elliott to discuss projects in Halifax County.  Senator Warner agreed to work together to support the county’s request for federal stimulus and earmark funds.  In addition economic development projects were discussed and plans were made to continually involve the Senator with these projects to ensure he is able to assist in any way possible.  Members of the group will maintain contact with the Senator’s staff to keep him up to date on projects or activities.


photo left - Mike Sexton, IDA Executive Director; John Cannon, Chairman of IDA; Senator Warner; George Nester, County Administrator of Halifax; Rob Shinn, Partner at Capital Results.








VEDP Director of Communications & Promotions Visits Halifax

Mike Sexton and Rick Richardson, VEDP Director of Communications & PromotionsRick Richardson, Director of Communications & Promotions at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) visited the Halifax County IDA on Thursday, May 28th.  Mike Sexton, Executive Director for the IDA took Rick on a tour of the hidden treasures in Halifax County.  Places visited included The Prizery, The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, Berry Hill and the STEM Center.  Rick quoted Halifax County as "surprisingly sophisticated" and is looking forward to a return trip.

Supporting Business Development and International Trade, VEDP's Communications & Promotions division plans, executes and manages the Partnership's overall marketing outreach initiatives. VEDP uses a comprehensive and aggressive marketing strategy to communicate that Virginia is the best state for business around the world.  What does this mean for Halifax County?  It means showcasing our existing businesses in various state marketing pieces, features in VEDP's newsletter on Halifax County business expansions and new business developments, and partnering with VEDP on various industry trade show missions.  The Communications and Promotions Department is a marketing arm that continues to be an important ally for Halifax County.

Neil Young showcases Lincoln Volt at VIR

Neil Young tests hybrid car at VIR's VIPER facilitySearching for a “Heart of Gold?” That’s just what Neil Young found when he stopped in Halifax County in March. Famous rocker Neil Young visited VIR to have testing performed on a hybrid 1959 Lincoln Continental convertible at the state-of-the-art chassis dyno located at the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research (VIPER).

Young says the huge 1959 Lincoln was selected for the project because “it doesn’t go against the flow…my theory is if you go with flow and then the change will happen quickly. People want big cars. Let’s build a big, smart car.” The big “American Car” as Young refers to it will go down the road in comfort and safety while delivering up to 100 miles per gallon. Using VIPER's instruments to fine-tune the single-rotor Wankel engine driving the generator, the stop helped to improve the car's efficiency. Dyno staff led by Victor Seaber helped the team test the generator engine and electric motor output on the chassis dynamometer at VIPER's lab in VIR's North Paddock.

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Virginia Clean Energy Business Incubator Named 14th US Business Incubator by Clean Energy Alliance

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Clean Energy Alliance Announces New Member

Albany, NY – The Clean Energy Alliance (CEA) is pleased to announce the addition of the Virginia Clean Energy Business Incubator (VCEBI) as CEA’s 14th U.S. business incubator focusing on clean energy technology development. The Virginia Incubator is located within a 60,000 square foot facility at Riverstone Technology Park, a 165-acre site in Halifax County. The energy research, development, and commercialization initiative at Riverstone is led by Dr. Carole Cameron Inge of Virginia Tech. Capabilities available to support clean technology development and commercialization inclue state-of-the-art modeling and simulation tools, information technology, engineering design, broadband telecommunications, geospatial informatics, and two-way interactive telepresence technology. VCEBI’s initial clean technology projects focus on distributed energy grid technologies, TriGen power generation with cellulosic materials, agribusiness research looking at alternative crops as fuel sources with Virginia State University, and small wind technologies that have the potential to enable distributed wind power to be produced economically, even in low wind regimes like Virginia.

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VIRginia International Raceway - a venue for Halifax IDA Marketing Events and beyond

The Halifax IDA, in partnership with VIRginia International Raceway, will host trackside marketing venues during the 2009 racing season.  Project Managers from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership will attend one of several races at VIR this year.  VIR, the 17-turn 3.27 mile track located in beautiful Halifax County in Southern Virginia, is one of the world's finest road courses.  With on-site lodging, go karts, corporate events, both fine and fun dining, the VIR Club, Camp Motorsport, the Oak Tree Spa and southern hospitality, VIR truly is America's Motorsport Resort!

The Halifax IDA also markets VIR’s RacePlex Motorsports Industrial Park.  This park gives tenants a unique opportunity to develop products from a trackside location with optimum vehicle testing capabilities including four distinct road courses, a 5/8-mile karting course, and a variety of off-road courses and terrains. Shop size ranges from 2,500 to 20,000 square feet. Additionally, Southern Virginia is well known in the Mid-Atlantic region as “Virginia’s Motorsports Alley”. Companies who establish a presence here also have the added advantage of operating in close proximity to other race support and automotive businesses.

Arguably one of the most exciting opportunities found at VIR’s RacePlex is the Virginia Institute of Performance Engineering and Research (VIPER).  VIPER is a vehicle dynamics testing and research center offering state-of-the-art technology and expertise to help obtain peak performance from a vehicle. VIPER maintains a unique status as a non-profit organization affiliated with Virginia Tech, a leading academic & research institution targeting performance engineering, and VIR, a leading vehicle performance center. In addition, VIPER's custom designed 8-post test rig, owned by the Halifax IDA, represents the next generation of suspension testing equipment.

Halifax IDA ramps up Existing Business Retention Efforts

The Halifax County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) ramped up its business retention efforts in January 2009 by purchasing, along with the State of Virginia,  web-based business retention software called Executive Pulse.  Working closely with economic, workforce and community development professionals, Executive Pulse provides a full array of customized technology, training, management and survey solutions for regions (large and small) that are serious about the business of retention and expansion and how it impacts their economic, workforce and community development strategies.

Did you know that 80% of expansions and economic activity comes from existing business?  That means that existing business is the IDA's biggest prospect!  In today’s economy it is more important than ever to work closely with existing businesses to find out what the Halifax IDA can do to help.  One of the real benefits of Executive Pulse is that the information that is collected can be reported back to the community as well as to the state economic development office and other service providers.  As information builds in the database, service providers such as the Virginia Department of Business Assistance can help meet the needs of our local businesses in areas such as workforce development, company recruitment, and training costs.

Currently the Halifax IDA visits various businesses each week and gathers feedback about the company such as workforce, sales, e-commerce, facility and equipment data.  In addition, visits include feedback about the company’s attitudes and opinions regarding the community, the local and state business climate, municipal services and future economic conditions and business plans.  Annual visits to businesses in Halifax County will allow the IDA to better understand businesses needs.  In addition these visits will allow a better communication channel between the IDA and existing businesses.  If you would like to know more about our business retention efforts, please contact Halifax IDA Executive Director Mike Sexton at or Halifax IDA Marketing and Research Director Nancy Smith at, or phone the office at 434-572-1734.