DANVILLE, Va. – Despite the pandemic, Danville’s business is booming as some new restaurants and markets open. But with a casino out in a couple of years, some companies are already trying to attract a crowd.

Danville residents who indulge in the taste of the sea no longer have to travel across state lines.

“A lot of Danville people go to Greensboro just because of Red Crab,” said Renea Zamora, Red Crab general manager. “You’re going to travel for it so why not just open one here?”

An idea the Chamber of Commerce likes to hear because it keeps the dollars local and attracts some new fans.

“We know the people who come here come back. The more people we can bring, the more fans we can create,” said Alexis Ehrhardt, president and CEO of the Danville Pittsylvania Chamber of Commerce.

With a casino coming to Danville in 2023, the extra pedestrian traffic is what the city is keeping its fingers crossed for.

“I have no question if you put on an amenity like a casino that will snowball,” said Ehrhardt.

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This is one of the main reasons the red crabs opened their doors in the first place.

“The more things we bring to Danville, the better Danville gets,” said Zamora. “And then when the casino comes along it’ll bring in a lot more stuff.”

On the other side, near the Franklin Turnpike, the Mount Hermon Fresh Meat Market opened to try their luck in entrepreneurship.

While the owner, Jacob Walker, isn’t relying on other attractions to attract customers, he wants to serve his community as the pandemic continues.

“We want to take care of anyone we can possibly take care of,” he said.

And with 75% of the small businesses that make up the chamber, Ehrhardt said these new small businesses are the community’s lifeblood.

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