From high-techs to long treks, Blacksburg’s business climate blends the best of both worlds. Virginia Tech’s influence can be seen throughout the city’s diverse economy, from its impact in the technology industry to the small businesses catering to college kids.
At Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, numerous cutting edge companies dealing with technology research have set up shop, with space still open for new high-tech tenants.
Also based in Blacksburg , VTLS Inc. has been a pioneer in the library automation software industry throughout its 25-year history. Originally created for Virginia Tech, the information management software developer became a for-profit company in the mid-1980s and now serves customers in more than 30 countries around the globe.
Another company, Mailtrust, is the leading provider of e-mail hosting services to small and geographically dispersed businesses. Named by Inc. Magazine as America’s fastest growing business e-mail specialist in 2007, they provide business-grade e-mail hosting to all sorts of companies.
When it comes to Blacksburg’s local retailers, outdoor enthusiasts can find several places to stock up on supplies.
Tucked in the heart of Appalachia, Blacksburg gives its residents their pick of outdoor exploits, with dozens of nearby mountain summits and miles of biking trails. Blue Ridge Outdoors, Greenhouse Board Shop and High Peak Sports all outfit snowboarders, kayakers and other adventurists.
Gentler souls can be gratified by Blacksburg’s selection of art supply stores, galleries, artisan shops and even retail activism.
Relaxing is certainly encouraged at Easy Chair Bookstore, a small, independent store as cozy as an old, well, easy chair. Hosting reading events for the whole family, the bookstore comes complete with a coffeeshop where you can savor your new reads over a hot cup of joe.
Consumers can shop guilt-free at Homebody, located on Main Street in downtown, which features fair-trade jewelry and union-made clothes as well as books and posters promoting different causes.
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