Thrive 2027 Campaign is a Success: Private Sector Makes Commitment to Support Future Prosperity

Several men holding plants smiling at the camera in a conference room
John Hull, Roanoke Regional Partnership executive director, with the Thrive 2027 Campaign Leadership team.

Thanks to the support and commitment of 122 businesses and organizations who made the decision to invest in the Roanoke Regional Partnership.  The Partnership’s Thrive 2027 Campaign surpassed its $3.6 million fundraising goal and brought in more than $4 million, demonstrating the Partnership’s strength and value as the leader in regional economic development, business attraction, talent, and placemaking.

These funds will accelerate the local economy and enhance the region’s competitiveness for business and talent attraction.

John Hull, executive director with the Roanoke Regional Partnership, said, “More than 122 businesses and organizations including 31 new investors across all sectors representing the diverse geography of the Roanoke Region of Virginia have made the commitment to invest in future growth for our great region. The economic progress that we have seen and will continue to enjoy is made possible by the leadership and investment of both the public and the private sectors working together.”

The Thrive 2027 Campaign is a five-year plan with four focus areas: economic growth and innovation; talent attraction and workforce development; commercial real estate and infrastructure; and place making and livability. Simply put, these are the Partnership’s marching orders for the next five years. Success measurements for these initiatives are the creation of 3,000 new jobs, $350 million in capital investments, a 10-percent increase in the number of in-migrants, a 15-percent increase in per capita income, and a 300-percent increase in inventory of certified sites by 2027.

While there are four different areas of focus for the plan, each is connected and builds upon the other. By highlighting the livability of the region and marketing the outdoor assets current residents enjoy, we’re attracting a talented workforce. By ensuring we’re ahead of the game with marketing intelligence for the regional economy, we can help local governments and the private sector make sound decisions as related to real estate and workforce development. The beauty of this plan is that by focusing on one aspect, they should all improve.

Although the fundraising campaign officially ended in May, the Partnership continues to recruit new investors. Our partners are already witnessing successes with theexpansion of local businesses like Wurth Revcar and Lowe’s and adoption of new degree programs by higher education institutions to support the region’s current and future workforce. Additionally, the volume of interest in our market from outside prospects remains steadily high.

The private sector investments match the investment of eight local governments who have been longstanding supporters and daily working partners of the Roanoke Regional Partnership in making a regional economic impact– Alleghany County, Botetourt County, Franklin County, Roanoke County, the cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem, and the town of Vinton.

The Roanoke Regional Partnership has built an impressive record of generating significant economic wins and building a strong, diverse economy. With the continued support of regional businesses and government, the Partnership is poised to produce economic wins and contribute to the prosperity of the Roanoke Region of Virginia.

Roanoke Offers High Quality of Life with Low Cost of Living

cost of living index second quarter 2016

When it comes to cost of living, Roanoke offers the best value of any metro in Virginia.
It’s not just milk and bread. Roanoke ranks at the top of the list across a number of categories, including housing, grocery items, and health care.
Numbers released by the Council for Community and Economic Research for the 2nd quarter of 2016 rank the Roanoke metro area as 50th lowest cost metro in the nation with costs lower than 80 percent of participating metros. With an index of 88.2, costs in Roanoke are 11.8 percent lower than the national average of 100.
The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services. The composite index is based on six component categories – housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. This is where the overall ranking comes from.
But how do we know what things cost? Roanoke Regional Partnership staff members collect this data each quarter and submit it to the council so that you can see how our region fits into the larger picture. It is based on more than 90,000 prices covering 60 different items for which prices are collected quarterly by chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and universities in each participating urban area.

Cost of living information is an important tool for individuals and businesses. It provides a baseline comparison for how far a dollar will go. And in the Roanoke Region your dollar stretches further.
The numbers put Roanoke well below the national average for costs and ahead of similarly sized metro markets in the South such as Richmond (93.7), Asheville (95), and Chattanooga (95.8). New York City (Manhattan) ranked highest in cost of living with an index more than twice the national average (226), followed by Sunnyvale, CA in second (224.2). 

Compare costs for yourself with this cost of living analyzer.

Salem Ranked as One of ‘Happiest Cities in Virginia’

salem virginia

Salem is one of the happiest places in Virginia, according to a compilation of data from

Salem comes in at No. 5 on the list, behind McLean, Poquoson, Christiansburg and Vienna. The ranking comes from a number of places, including data from the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research, the General Social Survey, the National Survey of Families and Households, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – all collect surveys that ask respondents to report on overall satisfaction with life.

Here’s what they had to say about Salem:

“Ranked as one of the most inexpensive places to live in Virginia, Salem is located just outside of Roanoke. With its own small town charm, plus all the amenities of Roanoke close by, Salem offers affordable housing, low crime and good education, making it one of the best places in Virginia to get the most bang for your buck. In fact, Salem earns an A+ from Area Vibes for overall cost of living, which, no doubt, make Salem residents very happy, indeed.”

See the rest of the list and learn more from