The Roanoke Valley is a hub of retail trade, services, entertainment, business and health care in northeastern North Carolina. The Valley has many assets found in much larger markets, yet Halifax County maintains a small-town quality of life with an eye toward global commerce. Companies large and small have found that people in the Valley take care of businesses.
Approximately $65 million in new or expanding business and industry projects were announced in Halifax County, along with the creation of more than 700 new jobs during an 18-month period beginning in 2010.
“Halifax County has established itself as a prime location for a variety of industries,” says Cathy Scott, executive director of the Halifax Development Commission. “Companies are attracted to Halifax County because of its strategic location along the I-95 corridor, abundant land for development, low tax burden, highly trainable workforce and a pro-business climate.”
Executives at LSA America, which manufactures light sport aircraft, agree. In 2011, the company established a manufacturing facility in Halifax County that will employ 35 people.
“We chose the Roanoke Valley because of the pro-business climate, available facilities and the transportation infrastructure we needed to be successful,” says LSA President, Doug Hempstead. “The area’s modern regional airport with capacity for business growth is highly attractive to us in growing our company here."
Another recent success story comes from Don Pancho Authentic Mexican Foods, a division of Reser’s Fine Foods of Beaverton, Oregon. Construction of Don Pancho’s tortilla production facility was completed in 2011. Reser’s discovered Halifax County’s competitive advantages in 1999 and constructed an $18-million chilled salad production facility. Over the years, the company has continued to expand and diversify its food production with plans to add additional product manufacturing and hundreds of additional jobs in the future.
Built for the Future
To keep the business recruitment and expansion momentum moving, Halifax County leaders have developed a new 700-acre industrial park adjacent to the Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport. The Halifax Corporate Park is a North Carolina Certified Industrial Park and shovel ready for business. Empire Foods, a food processing company, plans to open a 35,000-square-foot facility at the Halifax Corporate Park in 2012. Empire Foods uses cutting-edge technology to preserve fresh, local produce that not only makes the food shelf-stable for up to a year without refrigeration, but also retains 98 percent of its antioxidants and nutrients. Empire focuses on locally produced fare such as strawberries, apples, blueberries and tomatoes.
To increase its appeal to diversified industries, Halifax County officials are working toward the development of a rail transloading facility at the Halifax Corporate Park to serve the needs of regional business and industry. Proximity to both North Carolina and Virginia Ports expands the viability of transloading operations and helps secure the Valley as a prime location for world-class business and industry.
Check out more on the business climate in Roanoke Rapids, NC.