a growing economy
Concentrated business development along Virginia’s I-81 has
spurred rapid growth in Bristol. The Falls at exit 5 is considered
by the Commonwealth to be a Development of Regional Impact
and the logical extension of the highly successful Exit 7 retail
corridor. This area features fine dining, lodging franchises such
as Hilton, Marriot and Holiday Inn, and major retail giants such
as Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Hobby Lobby and
Easy access and a centralized location that draws not
only interstate travelers but regional patrons from across
Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia has been this
areas recipe for retail success.
Bristol has a long history of manufacturing success stories.
Despite national decreases in manufacturing jobs, this sector of the local
economy still employs over 15 % of the metro area workforce, the third largest employment category behind retail trade and government services.
The Bristol area is home to a variety of equipment and component manufacturers, including compressors, electrical equipment, mining machinery, and automotive parts. Two of the largest industrial employers are home-grown companies who have provided stability and continual growth of jobs in the community.
Electro-Mechanical Corporation will be celebrating its 60th year in
Bristol and the Strongwell companies started in Bristol in 1924.
In late 2017, Bristol welcomed American Merchant, a new U.S. textile
company who will be hiring 400 employees, and investing over
$20 million in automated equipment. The City currently maintains an
inventory of available commercial buildings for new business opportunities, including the One Alpha Place property with 130,000 sf of premier office space overlooking Sugar Hollow Park. Also, the former Bristol Mall retail
facility under new ownership is being developed as a mixed-use
Robert Burton CEO
American Merchant Textiles