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Blue Ridge Optics of Bedford, Virginia has been selected as one of 13 finalists in the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Fourth Annual Tayloe Murphy Resilience Awards. This prestigious awards program honors strong, resilient small business owners in Virginia who have endured downturns in the most economically-challenged communities due to their dedication and perseverance.

The Bedford County Office of Economic Development nominated the company for this award due to its demonstrated ability to adapt and grow during difficult times. Blue Ridge Optics grew from two to 22 employees since it was formed in 2006 and has been successful at reacting quickly to changing economic conditions. When U.S. military spending began to decrease, the company shifted its mainly all-government contract business to bring in more commercial accounts, growing that base steadily in the past couple of years.

“We’re fortunate that Blue Ridge Optics selected Bedford as its location of choice and has since grown the business to become an industry leader in the engineering of laser optics and thin film coatings,” said Traci Blido, Economic Development Director for Bedford County. “We are excited to see how this company will continue to grow and create jobs in the coming years.”

Five overall winners will be announced at Darden’s Abbott Center on Tuesday, Oct. 15 during a special dinner, reception and awards ceremony.