How do you bring business to Cumberland? Task force launched

Published 12:01 am Friday, February 23, 2024

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While the Cumberland comprehensive plan was being developed, residents filled out surveys to share their thoughts. Residents kept talking about how they go to Goochland County to shop or take part in events. Others in central Cumberland head over to Powhatan to get their shopping done, while some folks in Randolph say they actually think of themselves more as members of the Farmville community than Cumberland. 

“While identifying with multiple places is not a problem, it appears that Cumberland County’s self-identity needs reinforcement,” the comprehensive plan states. “Cumberland is not its neighbors and may have similar or completely different challenges unique to its residents.” 

So how do you fix that? You bring in what’s been missing. During their Tuesday, Feb. 13 meeting, Cumberland supervisors approved creation of a New Business Task Force for the county. The Task Force will include two supervisors, three Economic Development Authority members, and two at large seats, set aside for Cumberland County residents.

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“Cumberland County residents have stated a desire to maintain the rural nature of Cumberland but have also asked for grocery stores and businesses for jobs. The New Business Task Force will provide an opportunity to strengthen the County’s efforts to diversify the tax base and keep the County rural,” Board of Supervisors Chairman John Newman said. 

Looking at task force goals 

The task force’s main goal is to bring in new companies, along with development. And Cumberland wants to focus development in six “village centers”, another piece pulled from the new comprehensive plan. 

The village centers include the Randolph area, north of Randolph, the Cartersville area in the north of Cumberland, the Cobbs Creek Reservoir area also in the north, the identified “rural crossroads” areas throughout the County, and Cumberland’s namesake and central courthouse area. For example, the courthouse area is seen as a place to bring in new mixed use, commercial and residential growth, along with “amenity-filled public spaces for the community to gather.”

Now that doesn’t mean any businesses. Specifically, the task force has been created to focus on shops like grocery stores, things that don’t have much of an impact on county services. And then recruit them in the areas we just referenced. 

At the same time, the task force will be wearing another hat as well. The group will map out marketing strategies for recruiting development, while identifying and promoting tourism in the county. 

What happens next for Cumberland? 

The task force concept has been created. Now it needs members, specifically two residents to fill the at large seats. Anyone interested in applying just needs to send a letter of interest to Cumberland County Administrator Derek Stamey by March 15. You can email him at This is expected to move quick, with members chosen during the March meeting of county supervisors. Then the task force is expected to hold its first meeting by the end of March.