February 2021
Virginia Enacts First-in-the-Nation Permanent COVID-19 Workplace Safety and Health Standards Amid Pandemic
Virginia’s permanent COVID-19 workplace safety and health rules took effect Wednesday, January 27, after Governor Northam approved the standard adopted by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board last week. The standards mandate appropriate personal protective equipment, sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness and response plans, record keeping, training, and hazard communications in workplaces across the Commonwealth.

“While the end of this pandemic is finally in sight, the virus is still spreading, including several highly contagious variants, and now is not the time to let up on preventative measures,” said Governor Northam. “I am grateful to the many businesses and organizations who have been with us throughout this process and continue to take the necessary steps to operate safely. These standards will reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and protect the health and safety of Virginia workers, consumers, and communities as we move our Commonwealth forward together.”
Paycheck Protection Program Reopens

The US Small Business Administration has reopened the federal Paycheck Protection Program -- the forgivable loan to help businesses survive during COVID. Applications must be submitted to a bank or other lender, not directly to the SBA. Previous recipients are eligible for a second loan. While lenders have not yet received all guidelines for the program, we suggest you contact your bank immediately if you are interested in applying.

For more information on this round of the program, see SBA's website: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program

You may also view this recorded presentation by the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center: 
Virginia Department of Health Launches Text Messaging Service To Streamline Positive Test Result Awareness and Exposure Notifications
New messaging service will assist with timely test verification for users to anonymously
submit positive results to others.
Virginia is making the process easier for people to be notified of positive COVID-19 test results — and anonymously share those results with others who may have been exposed. Starting on Thursday, January 28, 2021, VDH began sending a series of text messages to people who receive a positive COVID-19 viral test result in Virginia.
Hull Named Executive Director of Roanoke Regional Partnership
The Roanoke Regional Partnership announced in early January that John Hull has been named executive director. He replaces Beth Doughty who retired after 22 years with the regional economic development organization.
Virginia Tech, Children’s National Hospital award $100,000 to fund collaborative cancer research pilot projects
Two multi-institutional teams, which each include a researcher from Children’s National and Virginia Tech, will be awarded $50,000 to study aggressive forms of brain cancer
Liwu Li, Yanxin Pei, Susan Campbell, and Yuan Zhu were awarded funding through the new pilot research program.
“We were delighted to see so many innovative and competitive research proposals for our first round of pilot grants in the area of brain cancer. By forging new research collaborations with our partners at Children’s National, we hope to make major strides in addressing one of the most common and devastating groups of cancers in children,” said Michael Friedlander, Virginia Tech’s vice president for health sciences and technology, and the executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC. “The pilot funding will bootstrap several programs to be able to acquire ongoing sustainable funding by providing the opportunity to test novel high-impact ideas for new strategies for treating these disorders. There are simply too few good options for children in this space now and this partnership can change that for the better.”
Valley Life, an annual publication from your Roanoke Regional Chamber and the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber, has officially become VBR Life.
In the 2021 edition of VBR Life, readers will find what they have come to expect: a complete guide for anyone visiting, living, and doing business in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. VBR Life includes information on schools, health care, tourist attractions, transportation, housing, and more.

If your business would like a box or two of VBR Life to offer to customers or staff, submit your information on this form and we'll arrange for delivery.
Every day is a perfect day in the Roanoke Region of Virginia!
Explore our region.
Interested in a new job?

Virginia Tech is actively searching for essential positions. To learn more about available career opportunities, click below.
Don't forget...BizRoanoke is on RVTV Channel 3!

BizRoanoke is a monthly television program highlighting economic activity and programs within the City of Roanoke.

Tune into RVTV Channel 3 to learn more, access it on our website at 
www.BizRoanoke.com or click below for our most recent show featuring TXTUR, a Frank Chervan company and their new showroom at Black Dog Salvage.
The City of Roanoke Department of Economic Development is on Facebook and Instagram! Please "like" or "follow" us today!
Check it Out!

City Owned Available Property
The City of Roanoke has a variety of properties available for acquisition, including existing buildings (as available) and buildable sites. Proposals for these properties must be approved by Council and must be submitted to the City of Roanoke Department of Economic Development. 

For more information on available properties and the proposal process, please visit the links below:

Upcoming Training and Events
RAMP invites Health and Life Science Companies
to Apply for Spring 2021 Cohort
Five Companies to be Selected

Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program (RAMP) opened applications on December 15 exclusively to health and life science companies for its March cohort -- a 12-week curriculum that provides mentoring, free office space with high-speed internet, access to venture capital and $20,000 in equity-free funding. Deadline for applications is February 15th.
Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge will host an informational training webinar on Wednesday, February 3rd at 9:00 a.m. regarding accessing your listing through the Partner Portal also known as the Extranet. Extranet allows business partners to update and manage their website listings, changes in hours of operation, amenities and add new photos! 

This webinar is FREE to attend and will be hosted via Zoom. 
The training webinar will also go into detail regarding adding events and packages/discount coupons.

Email mrichardson@visitvbr.com should you have any questions.
The Virginia Small Business Development Center offers an array of educational events and workshops.

Opportunities from the International Trade Division of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership's International Trade Division is offering two training opportunities for Roanoke companies engaging in international business. The training includes:
International Documentation Training Seminar
Incomplete or inaccurate documentation for international shipments can cost businesses time and money. Join VEDP and Allocca Enterprises, Inc. to learn how to correctly complete international documents and minimize delays. Click HERE to register for this Tuesday, February 2 event. $25 class fee.

Perfect your International Sales Pitch
How are you adapting your approach to sales and communicating your company’s value proposition in the new world of virtual meetings? Join VEDP for a 3-part webinar training series designed to help you perfect your virtual presentation, communication, and sales pitch skills. These presentations are free.
Part 2: Persuasive Communication - Feb. 18
Part 3: Perfecting Your Value Proposition - Feb. 25
Calling all Innovators, Inventors, Businesses who want to scale:
Innovation Mill is inspired by emerging high growth industries in the area as well as the continued growth of the new and early stage businesses to advance dynamic economies in the community. Innovation Mill may assist with a full range of innovative services to help set the vision, evaluate data, address expansion issues, commercialization, address legal work steps (FDA, UPC, IP, etc.), tackle perceived manufacturing/modeling pinch points, develop processes, and scale. Companies will work alongside their own Business Innovation and Development (BID) team to innovate, pivot, and expand their company.

If you own, work for or are thinking of opening a brewery in Virginia ... you need to know the rules.

Every brewery is subject to complex federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Whether you are a start-up or existing brewery, this course will help you successfully navigate the legal waters regarding the craft beer industry.

When:  Feb. 23, March 2 & March 9, 2021
Time:  6-8 p.m.
Location:  Virtual
Cost: $179 beginning Feb. 1