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New Valley Partnership Talks Green Business Strategies

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There's a new partnership in the Shenandoah Valley, and Thursday night they held their first event at the fly shop in downtown Waynesboro.

The panel of experts in creating a green business shared their stories.  From alternative energy to sustainable farming, organizers say it was an opportunity to highlight some successes.

Jeff Nicholson's unique idea came by happenstance.  "There were just people standing on the street corner one day that said ‘we're hikers, we'll buy your boat'.  And so I sold them a boat and suddenly I had a business," he said.

Two years and nine boats later, Nicholson says he can't keep boats in stock at Aquablaze Solutions.   And Waynesboro wants to attract more entrepreneurs to the area. 

That's the basis for a new partnership between Waynesboro Downtown Development, the Economic Development Office and Staunton Creative Community Fund.  Organizers say Thursday night was also about getting people talking and making connections.

"What's working and how can that move onto the next business, the next entrepreneur who is thinking about downtown Waynesboro," said Meghan Williamson with the Staunton Creative Community Fund.

People said they'd like to see a bike rental facility, a brewery and a place to buy local foods year-round.  This new partnership also has some funding opportunities for small businesses.

Reported by Tara Todd

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