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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Letter: Toby Deal
Incentives to lure retail

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I was asked by one of our county supervisors to write this letter, and I certainly appreciate the opportunity. The first thing to mention is that all of our city and county representatives, in my opinion, are doing a great job. I felt proud of the effort put into keeping our roads cleaner as I drove home last night from Collinsville to Horsepasture. I can honestly say that in the 32 years of living here after coming from North Carolina, I have never felt as good about the progress being made in our area.

Yes, we still have high unemployment and many local needs, but definitely we are going in the right direction, and we should all be so thankful for what we do have. With county, city, civic and church organizations cooperating, we can continue to move forward.

The one major area I feel we still need to address is the lack of retail stores at which to shop. As Christmas was winding down last December, the five females in my family had made no less than 10 trips to Danville and/or Roanoke to shop and spend money. The several visits to our local mall were somewhat fruitless (sad to say). So after calling our (Martinsville-Henry County) Economic Development Corp. and talking to a county supervisor, I decided to mention this idea.

We need to offer some kind of incentives to attract a national and popular chain to our area. The three that come to mind are Target, Ross or Marshalls, and I am sure there are some more great ones that I am not familiar with. To do this we need to have a plan where: 1. A nice building or space is made available (with low rent); 2. Give the potential tenant a direct incentive to come to our area; and 3. Let the tenant (store) know that our citizens are solidly behind the move and will give them our business.

Benefits would be hundreds of new jobs, tax dollars staying in the county or city instead of going to Danville or Roanoke, and much less gas being wasted to travel hundreds of miles out of town. With shopping returning to Martinsville, there would also be more restaurant meals eaten here and generally much more local spending on related goods — we would all win.

Toby Deal



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