Waynesboro Economic Development Website COVID Recourses: www.waynesborobusiness.com/recovery-resources
Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership Video: www.facebook.com/VAShenValley/videos/265569867912387/
Showcase East Main Street (Rt. 250) Corridor Videos: the City has produced three short videos showcasing the organic success and recent recovery of business assets on East Main Street (Route 250) upon entering the City of Waynesboro, following business interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The videos will be leveraged in both Economic Development and Tourism marketing activities, for business & talent attraction and visitor attraction, respectively.
East Main Street Tourism Video: youtu.be/vd4bpv1IqFE
East Main Street Quality of Life Video: youtu.be/WJcBqyfrKKQ
East Main Street Video Targeted for Outdoor Brands: youtu.be/sJHVM3TeYOo
Grow Waynesboro: www.growwaynesboro.com
Grow Waynesboro is the entrepreneurial initiative of the City. The website hosts information on starting a business, success stories, results of previous start up competition, and will be the host for any future start up contests or programs. The Meet the Entrepreneur section offers perspective and encouragement.
Waynesboro At Work: In October 2020 the City launched a new series as a sub-brand of Grow Waynesboro, the City’s entrepreneurial initiative, to highlight the extraordinary talents of entrepreneurs and business professionals within the community. The City teamed up with Converge Local to produce Waynesboro at Work, which combines audio, visual, and written elements to create a dynamic and engaging new series. The interviews are shared across various platforms, including the Grow Waynesboro “Meet the Entrepreneurs” blog, YouTube channel, and Spotify. While the primary focus of Waynesboro at Work is to highlight the ingenuity of local entrepreneurs, it also encompasses the budding technology sector and other exciting projects happening in the City. Three businesses have been highlighted so far:
Mission Possible with VIRTEX Corporation Blog: www.growwaynesboro.com/2020/12/31/mission-possible-at-the-virtex-corporation/
Waynesboro at Work with Virtex Corporation Podcast: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WBYO9-tTQA
Something Special is Brewing at Blue Ridge Bucha Blog: www.growwaynesboro.com/2020/12/29/something-special-is-brewing-at-blue-ridge-bucha/
Waynesboro at Work with Blue Ridge Bucha Podcast: hwww.youtube.com/watch?v=vWXZGsFN6us
Building a Legacy at Bear Creek Outdoor Living Blog: www.growwaynesboro.com/2020/10/31/building-a-legacy-at-bear-creek-outdoor-living/
Waynesboro at Work with Bear Creek Outdoor Living Podcast: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RysrZF9LQBA&t=24s
Startup Shenandoah Valley is a hybrid program that combines the strengths of accelerator and incubator models. The program delivers online coaching to identify and address the riskiest parts of each entrepreneur’s business model. Participants will join a cohort with access to the best resource providers, mentors, and investors in and beyond the region. This powerful network and flexible online guidance are what make S2V unique. S2V is offered to participants at no charge and without equity requirements. Applications for the second cohort will be available soon.
The Business Scale-Up Project uses economic gardening practices developed by Chris Gibbons over the last 30 years and implemented by the National Center for Economic Gardening. Eligible Participates should be growth oriented second stage companies with 10 to 99 employees, $1-$100 million in annual revenues, with growth trends in three of the last five years and are traded sector industries. For more information contact Greg Hitchin.
The Small Business Resiliency Team (SBRT) Program provides expanded business support services and technical assistance to area businesses in the wake of COVID-19 challenges. The program will deploy Business Resiliency Navigators to guide growth-oriented businesses through a dedicated and well-designed process for achieving incremental and sustainable growth throughout the pandemic recovery period. Business Resiliency Navigators will work directly with small businesses, assisting with E-commerce, Financial Management, and Marketing needs. The SBRT’s focus is on tourism, retail, healthcare, and professional services businesses, however other companies will be considered. In addition to providing assessments, development of action plans, strategic counseling, and targeted training, the program will provide for services such as accounting, bookkeeping, website development, or e-commerce assistance rendered by industry experts as recommended by the SBRT.
External Marketing: Tourism
Tourism website: www.visitwaynesboro.net
Traipse: This interactive, free, contact-free tour guides users around town to discover our world-class street art and other fun stops along the way. The Traipse app was utilized for this tour in order to give people who visit Waynesboro something to do when many businesses were closed or operating differently. It encourages visitors to explore and walk around, likely finding things they wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
GART’s Reopening SAW Campaign: This 3-phase marketing campaign leverages $50,000 in GO Virginia ERR funding, while matching with $25,000 from GART. The first phase was a small digital marketing campaign geared towards locals, encouraging them to get out and explore their own backyard using new @ExploreSAW social media channels and a landing page with ideas for things to do. The second phase includes the development of a microsite highlighting things to do in all three localities and the launch of a digital savings passport (through Bandwango), launching this month. The third phase will be the creation of 2 new videos this spring, the first of which will highlight a business or attraction from each locality, their experience with Covid-19, and what they are doing now to keep visitors safe. The second video will be more outdoors-focused and show some of the beautiful scenery in our area, including top outdoor recreation activities.
Shenandoah Beerwerks: All marketing efforts were redirected to people in the local area this spring. We developed a blog in March that listed all Beerwerks breweries and kept their operation status up to date through June, which was shared and boosted several times in order to support local breweries.
SVTP: The group created a “We’ll be waiting for you” video which emphasized the importance of supporting small businesses. We also launched a brand new website and digital marketing campaign to drive people to the website and raise awareness of the Valley as a safe, fun, affordable destination during the pandemic.
Waynesboro’s WanderLove grant: This was a $10,000 grant from Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) that was meant to showcase safe road trips that people could take in Virginia. We developed two itineraries based on target audiences that highlighted Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway as routes to get to Waynesboro, and low-risk activities they could do once they got here. We used half of the grant funding to build a two-month campaign with Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine that included over ten types of ads across print, digital, and social channels. The total reach for October-November 2020 saw 44,018 impressions and 1,094 engagements. The second half of the grant used our itineraries to create a set of Facebook ads to go with each, which then asked people to sign up with an email address to receive the itineraries through a three-email drip. This campaign generated 956 leads in just over three months.
Waynesboro Recovery MLP: This $20,000 grant from VTC will focus on the many wonderful opportunities for outdoor recreation in our area, and tie in with our restaurants in 2Q2021, dubbed “Work up an Appetite in Waynesboro.”