Photo: Texas A&M University
In 1765, an adventurous man named Evan Shelby brought his family to an area and named it Sapling Grove. While it took some time, the railroads finally came and in 1853 Joseph R. Anderson laid out and built what is today Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia. There is a rich and full history of this important part of East Tennessee and Southern Virginia.
The Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia region possesses many excellent assets in the world of community and economic development. While the reality of a two-state region holds challenges, it also offers real and interesting advantages. There is no question that the more choices a community can offer, the better positioned they are for positive economic activity.
Diversity, both in the economy and in choices, for people from all over the world are key attributes. The Bristol economy has a diverse mix of employment across healthcare, manufacturing, retail, outdoor recreation and motor sports, and corporate management.
Under the leadership of the Bristol TN-VA Chamber of Commerce, the region is pursuing a collective vision for its future to ensure that population and economic growth continue to create wealth, enhance quality of life, and strengthen its appeal as a destination for companies and talent.
To facilitate this process, the Chamber has partnered with Atlanta's Market Street Services, the nation’s top firm focused solely on strategic economic development for communities. Founded in 1997, Market Street’s staff has worked with clients in 34 states and more than 165 communities throughout the country to devise measurable, achievable strategies and determine what is needed from an organizational standpoint to successfully implement those initiatives.
The initiative will bring together committed leaders to fashion a positive way forward for the area and create a holistic, actionable, and realistic strategy to make the Bristol TN-VA region an even better and stronger community in which to live and work.