Economic Development News

VIR touts economic impact to Halifax County

vir mtgMembers of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority met at Virginia International Raceway on Friday morning approving a motion to appropriate the purchase of a used 2013 SUV for IDA use and moving through an update on finances — all tight and in line with last year’s numbers.

After taking care of business, it was on to the main attraction, an overview of Virginia International Raceway from VIR Chief Operating Officer Kerrigan Smith.

Smith, an eloquent advocate for VIR, offered board members an insight into what he called a “challenging few weeks” during which VIR raced to complete re-paving miles of asphalt roadway across the site. An original contractor, explained Smith, had failed to complete the job with due diligence, and as a result, VIR and the contractor are still engaged in a legal suit.

The good news, said Smith, is that VIR continues to be a major economic asset in Halifax County expected to draw more than 40,000 visitors over three days to upcoming international manufacturers’ races—drivers with million dollar rigs moving “small cities” across the state to compete at VIR.

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Dewberry awarded contract for C-CARE formulation lab

board touring Southern VA Advanced Manufacturing CenterHalifax County Industrial Development Authority Board of Directors on Friday awarded a $101,475 contract for the design, bid and construction associated with the new Center for Coating Application, Research and Education (C-CARE) formulation lab.

During its regular monthly meeting held at the Southern Virginia Advanced Manufacturing Center (former Daystrom building), IDA directors authorized execution of the contract with Dewberry.

The Southside Economic Development Commission arm of the Virginia Tobacco Commission earlier this month gave a thumbs up to a $600,000 grant that will fund half the cost of the new formulation lab.

According to IDA Executive Director Matt Leonard, the full commission is expected to finalize actions on the grant funding at its Tuesday meeting.

The IDA also approved bond refinancing of existing debt and agreed to enter into a bond purchase agreement with Carter Bank and Trust to advance $616,721.94 in additional funds to pay for the C-CARE formulation lab outfits.

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IDA directors pay visit to Huber

In a show of support for local industry, directors of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority gathered Friday for their first off-site monthly meeting — at the Huber Engineering Woods facility in Crystal Hill.

“This is something we have wanted to do for a long time,” said IDA executive director Matt Leonard, “as we want to see more of what is going on in our community.”

Plant Manager Jeremy Catron welcomed the IDA contingent and thanked the group for helping to realign the local Enterprise Zone to now include Huber.

Mark Yates, comptroller for the company, said Huber has benefited from two of the incentives offered with the Enterprise Zone designation, — a refund of machinery and tools tax payments, and separate job creation incentives offered by the county.

The latter has resulted in the hiring of 17 new employees, bringing Huber’s employment up to 150. Proceeds from the machine and tool tax reduction have been reinvested in new equipment at the plant, said Yates.

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The New ChemQuest Technology Institute incorporates C-CARE testing facility

The state-of-the-art application testing facility expands The ChemQuest Group service offering


ChemQuestThe ChemQuest Group, Inc., a leading business strategy firm in specialty chemicals, and The Industrial Development Authority of Halifax County, Virginia, announce an agreement on terms to incorporate C-CARE (National Center for Coatings, Application, Research, & Education), South Boston, VA into the newly formed ChemQuest Technology Institute.

The state-of-the-art facility was designed to provide coatings suppliers the ability to test their products in a controlled environment that replicates a range of production conditions. The applications laboratory incorporates a wide selection of technologies, including 6-axis robotics, electrostatic and wet spray, flat and hang lines, IR, UV and convection curing. Also included is an automobile sized cross-ventilated spray booth suitable for robotic or manual equipment.

ChemQuest envisions these capabilities will strengthen the Technology and Development pillar of their value chain services. As part of the agreement, The ChemQuest Group, Inc., through The ChemQuest Technology Institute, will be adding formulary and analytical laboratories and expanding services to support specialty chemicals clientele in paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants, plastics, inks, personal care, HI&I and more.

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Enterprise Zone Payments Made; Other Programs Expanded

March 4, 2016

For Immediate Release

Halifax IDA: Enterprise Zone Payments Made; Other Programs Expanded

The Halifax County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has distributed $112,446 in Halifax County Enterprise Zone grants to nine different business and industries for their capital investments made.

Enterprise Zones are allowed in select communities by the Commonwealth of Virginia. They allow localities to offer grant-backs of a portion of the increased tax revenue a County receives when businesses and industries invest more in the community. The IDA administers the program for the County because of its strong ties to the County’s industries.

“We’re pleased with this year’s results,” says Matt Leonard, the IDA’s Executive Director. “Through our work to expand the zone in 2014, we have been able to extend Enterprise Zone benefits to some who were not previously eligible, Huber, for example.”

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Governor McAuliffe Announces New Sawmill in Halifax County

March 9, 2016

For Immediate Release

Slick Rock Lumber to Create Thirteen Jobs, Purchase $5 Million in Virginia Forest Products

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Slick Rock Lumber will open a new sawmill operation in Halifax County.  The company will create thirteen new jobs in the county and source seventy-five percent of its timber needs from Virginia land owners.  This is the first economic development announcement in Halifax County during the McAuliffe administration and the first AFID facility grant announcement for the county.  

Speaking at the announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Virginia’s forestry industry supports thousands of good jobs in our rural communities and provides important market opportunities for the Commonwealth’s private forestland owners.  Partnering with a company like Slick Rock Lumber is a great way my administration can support Virginia’s forest products sector, one of Virginia’s top private industries.  Slick Rock’s new facility will bring welcomed employment opportunities and economic vitality to the region, further helping with my administration’s efforts to build a new Virginia economy.”

Slick Rock Lumber will invest $535,000 in site improvements and equipment needed to open the new hard- and softwood sawmill. The company’s primary products will be railroad ties and large planks to be made into mats for use by utility, construction, and logging companies.  Slick Rock is also committing to purchase more than $5 million of Virginia timber over the next three years, or 75 percent of the forestry inputs needed for the new production venture.

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Governor McAuliffe Announces New Craft Distillery in Halifax County

March 9, 2016

For Immediate Release

Springfield Distillery to Create Five Jobs, Source 100% Virginia-grown Products

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Springfield Distillery will open a new whiskey distillery in Halifax County.  The company, the first craft distillery in Halifax, will create five new jobs in the county and source one-hundred percent of its corn and barley needs from Virginia agricultural producers. The Commonwealth of Virginia is partnering with Halifax County and Springfield Distillery on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID).

Speaking at the announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Springfield Distillery’s investment is an excellent example of the important role that small businesses and our diverse agricultural economy can and will play in building the new Virginia economy.  I’m pleased that the AFID grant to Halifax leverages agriculture, one of the Commonwealth’s largest economic drivers, to bring together multiple aspects of economic development – entrepreneurship, manufacturing, and tourism - in one operation.  Entrepreneurial projects like these should be recognized and commended for strengthening these important sectors of the Commonwealth’s economy and for enhancing Virginia’s reputation as a world-class spirts, wine, cider, and craft beer producer.”

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Companies get $112,446 in IDA ‘grant backs’

Eight local businesses have received a total of $112,446 from the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority as a reward for making capital investments over the past year.

The “grant-backs” by the IDA were made to businesses and industries that operate in the Halifax County Enterprise Zone, a key tool for attracting and retaining local employers.

“We’re pleased with this year’s results,” said Matt Leonard, IDA executive director. “Through our work to expand the zone in 2014, we have been able to extend Enterprise Zone benefits to some which were not previously eligible, Huber, for example.”

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