A small storefront on Lynchburg's main street was the ideal spot for Renee Wood's business.
"There seemed to be a need in the downtown area for a women's clothing boutique," said Wood, who opened "Gladiola Girls" in October 2012.
Her store sells everything from designer jeans to quirky accessories.
"I've been happy with Lynchburg," said Wood, who moved her business to the city from another location in North Carolina. "I really enjoy the people here."
Wood's boutique is an example of something that's becoming more prevalent in the area.
Statistics from the Region 2000 Workforce Investment Board show 95% of all Lynchburg-area businesses employ fewer than 50 people.
"Without the success of those (small) businesses, the bigger businesses in the area could not carry the economy," explained Ruth Hendrick, vice president of workforce solutions and community education at Central Virginia Community College (CVCC).
Lynchburg's economic leaders are doing what they can to support the growth of small businesses.
In just the last year, the region's small business development center moved to the campus of CVCC, where experts like Hendrick are available with advice and counseling.
"We offer consulting and additional classes and seminars, to help them take their businesses to the next level," Hendrick said.
Hendrick's office works with Lynchburg's economic development authority, to connect business owners with both training and financing.
Wood took advantage of those resources and was able to get a low-interest loan, which made launching her business a lot easier.
"Entrepreneurship is about taking risks, but it's well worth it," said Wood.
The payoff is a stronger economy, which will ultimately bring more customers to her Main Street business.