The second meeting of the entire group appointed by Town Council will meet this Friday, August 19, at 11:30. The Business Climate Task Force was formed to explore ways Blacksburg can improve the process for businesses in town and to see where some of the bad press we receive is more rumor than fact.

Kevin Byrd of the New River Planning District is leading this group. For the past few weeks he has met with stakeholders in small groups to solicit their opinions and ideas. These groups include: Town Council, Town Manager and Department Heads, Staff in Building, Engineering, Planning (no dept heads), Business Owners, Development Community, Town/Gown (mostly University) and Residents.

The initial reports I have received, both from town staff and from people who attended the meetings, has been positive. Honest exchanges of concerns and ideas were presented and explored. I appreciate the time spent by many to help us improve our process.

This Friday we will formally review these comments. There will be many ideas and suggestions made – including, I am sure, ways Town Council can help make the process better. We are all ready to listen and move forward.