Virginia received an “A” for the second year in a row from Thumbtack.com’s Small Business Friendliness Survey.
The Commonwealth also improved its rank to No. 6 in the annual study. The Kauffman Foundation and Thumbtack.com surveyed more than 7,700 small business owners nationwide to obtain the results.
Virginia outshined its competition in the mid-Atlantic. In the category of overall friendliness, Virginia received an “A” while Maryland received a “C,” North Carolina received a “B+” and Tennessee received a “B+.”
Virginia is celebrating Business Appreciation Month by showcasing Georgia Pacific and the 125th anniversary of its Big Island paper mill in Bedford County, Virginia.
Georgia Pacific is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, building products and related chemicals. Located just north of Lynchburg on the James River, Big Island mill is one of four Georgia Pacific locations in Virginia. The other facilities are located in Gladys, Emporia and Ridgeway.
The Big Island mill has been in continuous operation since 1891, when the first roll of paper was produced. The mill has faced ownership changes, fire, floods, and machinery and technological shifts during the past 125 years.
The paper mill’s most recent announcement in 2015 included a $50 million investment to improve reliability and environmental performance and upgrade technology.
To mark the mill’s 125 years of continual operation, Georgia-Pacific has launched a year-long commemoration throughout 2016 to honor the mill’s history, celebrate generations of employees and to thank the community for its enduring support.
The Big Island facility employs about 330 people and is Bedford County’s oldest business. The company credits its success to the community, which helped sustain and support Big Island and generations of families who continue to work at the mill for more than a century.
In addition to a strong manufacturing workforce, Virginia provides Georgia Pacific with a strategic location, offering easy access to the company’s customers. Located on the upper James River, the Big Island location offers employees a high quality of life with close proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains, scenic hiking and biking trails, and numerous national parks.
As we celebrate Virginia Business Appreciation month, Georgia Pacific’s Big Island paper mill serves as a great example of how Virginia can offer long-term prosperity. To learn why companies like Georgia Pacific call Virginia home, click here.
An undated photo of a maintenance crew working at the Big Island paper mill.