<img class="size-medium wp-image-53352 alignleft" src="https:\/\/theenterprise.net\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/23\/2021\/06\/tobacco_1623147476-300x199.jpg" alt="" \/>The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission recently met electronically and acted on 17 funding requests, including projects that will support Virginia's livestock industry, improve the region's ability to attract top employers by increasing the number of shovel ready sites available and expand broadband access.\r\n"As we start the process of recovering from what has been a challenging year, the efforts of the Tobacco Commission to stimulate economic growth and opportunity in Southern and Southwest Virginia will be more important than ever,\u201d Edward Owens said, chairman of the commission, said. \u201cThere is much work to be done but I am confident that as we continue to work with our local and regional partners, we will positively\u00a0impact those who live and work in rural Virginia."\r\n\u201cThis meeting was a great\u00a0example of how critically\u00a0important\u00a0the commission is to supporting every\u00a0aspect of economic growth and workforce development,\u201d Executive Director Evan Feinman said. \u201cEverything from cattle farming to tourism to workforce development projects are being supported by the commission and they'll all\u00a0bring jobs and investment to Southern and Southwest Virginia."\r\nThe commission gave final approval for 17 funding requests totaling $4,627,5037 in grants and loans. The total funds to be disbursed include $2,587,628 for Southern Virginia projects and $2,039,875 for Southwest Virginia projects.\u00a0The individual approved requests ranged in size from $9,000 to $880,643.\r\nAdditionally, the commission approved offering as much as $31,989,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund (TROF) grants and loans to attract large projects to the region. Some of these projects are in competition for the same location.\r\nThe commission also adopted a new budget for the upcoming fiscal year.\r\nThe Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission is committed to developing a diverse economy in the regions we serve. The approved projects will continue to build on that effort and will help Southern and Southwest Virginia grow and prosper for decades to come.