May 25, 2006

Southside Business Technology Center Receives Tobacco Commission Grant

The Southside Business Technology Center (SBTC), a non-profit organization created in partnership with Virginia Tech, announces its expansion of management/business consulting services for new business development and existing industry transformation within the counties of Floyd, Franklin, Halifax, Henry, Mecklenburg, and Pittsylvania, and the cities of Martinsville and Danville. With a $75,000 Special Projects grant awarded April 27, 2006 from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, SBTC will use funds to increase personnel capacity and support additional operational expenses associated with expanding service delivery to businesses throughout Southside Virginia.

Through start-up funding from the Harvest Foundation, the Center opened its doors in May 2005 and has provided assistance to approximately 40 businesses in the areas of business plan development, feasibility studies, start-up procedures, locating sources of capital, market research and analysis, financial and operational analysis, and legal framework issues. The SBTC utilizes professional staff consultants, faculty members, and student interns to deliver its product to the business client.

“I am very pleased with the development of the SBTC and the quality of the services our organization is providing to Southside businesses. Our deliverables enable the client companies to identify real improvements in their sales, operations, and growth plans,” said Candace Payne, chairperson of the SBTC Board of Directors. “I believe the Tobacco Commission grant will help the SBTC to continue improving its services and geographical reach, thereby further contributing to the overall economic development of the Southside region.”

During its second year of operation, the Center plans to serve as a major driving force of business development in Southside Virginia. Funding assistance from the Virginia Tobacco Commission will help keep the Center on track with its efforts to support the region’s entrepreneurs and facilitate job creation. The SBTC projects to serve 60 client businesses during the expansion, along with the creation of ten internships for business student interns from local colleges.

For more information about the SBTC, please visit or call Eva Doss at 276-638-2523, ext. 210.

The Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission is a 31-member body created by the 1999 General Assembly. It has, as a significant part of its mission, the promotion of economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities. To date, the Commission has awarded 641 grants totaling $274 million across the tobacco region of the Commonwealth. For complete information on all of the Commission’s history, mission, funding programs and past awards, visit our website at