“The time to promote South Boston is now,” said Tommy Elliott, chairman of the South Boston Industrial Development Authority and candidate for town council.

“This is a pivotal moment in our history and economy. Our town is poised for growth and broader recognition as a viable new digital business location and center for digital training.”

With The MidAtlantic Broadband Microsoft SOVA Innovation Hub scheduled to open in November, he said, “It’s the perfect opportunity for favorable state and national level publicity to showcase the benefits of collaborative digital skills education, the advantages of basing a business in this supportive community and spurring investor interest.”

Microsoft, through its TechSpark initiative, plans to encourage innovation and partner with local nonprofit organizations to offer extensive digital skills education and retraining. Elliott sees this center as a magnet for locals and newcomers to learn, get jobs and launch new enterprise making South Boston their home base.

“Microsoft makes location decisions based on data and the future. Their recent investment in a major data storage facility in Boydton 30 miles down the road and this new Innovation Hub in downtown South Boston are powerful indicators they know something about our growth potential,” said Elliott.

“We’ve a lot to offer. A Virginia Main Street Community situated at 58/501, nationally recognized historic tourist attraction with Crossing of The Dan and Berry Hill. We breed famous NASCAR racers at South Boston Speedway and downtown is bustling.”

Elliott continued, “We’ve got the higher ed center, good hospital/health care options, rural beauty, low taxes, reasonable real estate, deluxe apartment living, cozy coffee shops, great Southern dining and really nice people. I’d say we have a surplus of blessings here.”

Over the past 55 years, Elliott built his company with hometown talent. Elliott Electric, Inc. is a major commercial and industrial contractor with offices and warehouses in South Boston and Danville. Licensed in Virginia and North Carolina since 1965, they’ve employed more than 160 electrical, HVAC and plumbing technicians.

They sponsor the annual South Boston Christmas Parade and actively support high school sports, The Prizery Cultural Center and other local charities.

“Our country and our town are recovering from the devastation of COVID-19, but this virus and forced isolation has fast tracked our digital future. Good jobs and profitable businesses don’t have to locate in overcrowded metro areas anymore,” said Elliott.

“It’s a digital world out there. I’m no tech wizard personally and sometimes I’m not too happy with its impact, like people texting while driving, but it’s dramatically changed and improved my business and my life. I read a lot. I listen, and I see where we’re heading.”

In Elliott’s 15 years as chairman of the South Boston Industrial Development Authority working with his board and town managers, they’ve explored and implemented major redevelopment projects, injecting millions in investment into the local economy but Elliott sees their latest project, the MidAtlantic Broadband Microsoft Innovation Hub as a game-changer.

“I hope to continue this work as a member of town council. My heart and soul are in this town. I’m asking the good people of South Boston to allow me the privilege to serve, to work with town leaders, council, chamber, Destination Downtown and others. We all have the same goal. Let’s stop waiting for something to happen. Let’s work together and make something happen.”

Contact Elliott at Tommy@elliottelec.com or call his office at 434-572-2349.