County offers a knowledgeable workforce, financing programs and lots of community support.
Thirty years ago, when Gregory F. Krug set out to find a place to expand his international biotech company, Lampire Biological Laboratories, he discovered the perfect spot — a 125-acre farm site in Bedford County.
“We found Bedford County to have vast agricultural land available and a great infrastructure, including road systems,” he says.
He also found a knowledgeable workforce, financing programs and a surprising level of support from the Bedford County Development Association (BCDA), county commissioners and other groups.
Early on, BCDA president and CEO Bette Slayton personally introduced him to state officials, who after listening to Krug’s story, approved the economic incentives he needed.
The local Lampire facilities now include a “pharm” campus that spans more than 600 acres and a state-of-the-art bioprocessing laboratory. Over half of the company’s 140 workers live and work in Bedford County.
“Of the three counties in which Lampire has facilities,” Krug says, “Bedford is the fastest and largest growing of our sites.”
“Bedford County offers a great quality of life to residents. There is culture, history and the great outdoors, to name a few of the county’s wonderful attributes.”– Gregory F. Krug, Lampire Biological Laboratories
From REI to small solo ventures, many businesses have benefited from the support of BCDA over the years.
When Smart Horn developer and Bedford native Ankit Patel set out to launch Meerya, a company that uses a patented digital technology, BCDA helped him realize — and expand — his dream. CaptiveAire, the nation’s largest commercial kitchen ventilation system company, recently doubled the size of its Bedford plant.
And when Phil Goldberg, president of Green Leaf Medical, opened his medical cannabis growing and processing business, he noted: “This is a unique community. A place of caring people that look out for each other. The interactions I had told me a lot about the community and really helped solidify that we were in the right place.” Green Leaf has now invested $50 million and created hundreds of new jobs in the county.
From providing some much-needed “hand-holding” through the maze of regulations to paving the way for tax abatements, BCDA and its partners frequently go beyond expectations to assist businesses of all sizes.
“It’s gratifying when people come to Bedford County with a project, they note, ‘It’s so much easier to do business here,’” Slayton says. “I think it’s a combination of good programs, a spirit of cooperation and Bedford County’s can-do culture.”
A business coach also aids aspiring entrepreneurs with micro-loans, training and mentoring, while the business parks stand ready to go.
With more young professionals moving here to work remotely, the county is committed to ensuring high-speed internet access for all residents by the end of 2023.
Bedford County isn’t just a great place to do business, Krug says. It’s a great place to live.
“Bedford County offers a great quality of life to residents,” he adds. “There is culture, history and the great outdoors, to name a few of the county’s wonderful attributes.”