Business Climate

Formed in 2002, the Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation actively markets the area to welcome diverse business and industry supported by regional cooperation, innovation and connectivity.

The region’s flexible business landscape, corporate and small business incentives, strategic location, infrastructure and experienced leadership create an environment ideal to launch, sustain and grow businesses across a variety of industries. AHEDC brings to the table the combined advantages of the four communities the organization represents, along with resources in tandem with regional and state organizations, including the Roanoke Regional Partnership and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Key Industries

Competitive Advantages

Access: Although surrounded by natural beauty, the Alleghany Highlands offer easy access to major markets across much of the country. Located along the I-64 corridor running east and west, the region connects with I-81 running north and south from Tennessee to the Canadian border. WestRock, an international leader in paper and packaging, has a major hub in Covington and is Virginia’s largest exporter. The region is also located less than 20 miles to Ingalls Field Airport, 33 miles to Greenbrier Valley Airport and about an hour from Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport. CSX services the area for freight by rail.  

Broadband: In October 2021, fiber broadband provider Lumos Networks completed the final fiber network expansion project for the Alleghany Highlands, making the Lumos service area a 100% Gig+, totally fiber broadband network. The company’s service area covers 95% of the Alleghany Highlands region, putting the area years ahead of other localities in the Virginia Commonwealth and much of the nation. The telecommunications infrastructure makes this region well suited for data centers and information technology-reliant industry sectors.

Collaboration: The four partners that make up AHEDC – Alleghany County, City of Covington and Towns of Clifton Forge and Iron Gate – work collaboratively throughout the region with each local government entity fully invested and engaged in growing the region together. In addition to the immediate catchment area, AHEDC and the communities represented also work closely with the Roanoke Regional Partnership and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to bring additional marketing expertise and incentive and grant opportunities to the table for those looking to launch, grow or relocate a business to the Alleghany Highlands.

Virginia Means Business: For the second year in a row, the Commonwealth of Virginia has been named “America’s Top State for Business” by CNBC. With the 2021 recognition, the Virginia becomes the first to receive back-to-back wins and has captured the top spot five times over the life of the rankings, more than any other state. Virginia also receives high marks for business in the latest rankings from Forbes (#4), Site Selection Magazine (#6) and U.S. News & World Report (#13).

Largest Employers

Targeted Assistance