January 2021
Governor Northam Announces Over $6 Million in GO Virginia Grants to Stimulate Economic Growth, Address Ongoing Impacts of Pandemic
Funding supports 11 projects to foster innovation, expand workforce development programs, and grow portfolio of business-ready sites.
Governor Ralph Northam recently announced two allocations of Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grants, totaling more than $6 million.

The first allocation will support two statewide projects and six regional projects that grow Virginia’s business-ready sites portfolio, provide additional capacity to expand talent pipelines in key industries, and support the growth of startup businesses engaged in coastal resiliency and life sciences initiatives.

The second allocation was awarded to three projects through the Economic Resilience and Recovery Program that was created by the GO Virginia Board in April to quickly deploy resources that will help communities mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will leverage an additional $6.5 million in local and other non-state resources to assist with ongoing economic diversification and growth efforts throughout the Commonwealth.

Virginia Department of Health Launches
COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) recently added COVID-19 vaccine data to the COVID-19 Daily Dashboard on two new tabs, Vaccine Summary and Vaccine Demographics. This new information will keep the public informed about the numbers of COVID-19 vaccines distributed and administered in Virginia. It will be updated daily.

“We are providing this information because there is a lot of interest in COVID-19 vaccine.” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “In this initial phase, our VDH teams are working with healthcare systems to get vaccines to healthcare personnel and with CVS and Walgreens to vaccinate long-term care residents and staff. As the supply of COVID-19 vaccine gradually increases, it will continue to be offered to additional groups.”
Roanoke-based Luna Innovations and Lockheed Martin Extend Partnership

Luna Innovations Incorporated (NASDAQ: LUNA), a global leader in advanced optical technology, announced in mid-December a $6.2 million deal with Lockheed Martin, further extending a long term relationship that has resulted in the development of new optical measurement products that will help to ensure the global fleet of F-35 aircraft, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, are ready for service.

“The longevity and success of our relationship with Lockheed Martin is a testament to our mission to accelerate bringing state-of-the-art products that rely on fiber optics, like the F-35, to market and recognizes our technical expertise as well as our employees’ significant contributions to the success of such critical programs," said Scott Graeff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Luna. “The foundational work we have done in the last several years has created the platform and scale to support the fulfillment of increasingly larger orders.”
 Passenger Traffic Down Slightly at ROA 
November 2020 down 3% versus October 2020 at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport saw a slight decrease in November 2020 traffic of 3% versus October 2020 with 25,020 passengers flying via ROA compared to 25,783 in October 2020, a reduction of 763 passengers, equating to 25 fewer passengers flying each day. The decrease was the result of November being one day shorter than October, and many college students returning home until after the first of the year.

The airport saw a decrease in November 2020 traffic of 60% on a year-over-year basis; however, nationally, traffic was off 65%.  November 2020 saw 25,020 passengers fly via ROA vs. 62,779 in November 2019, a decrease of 37,759 passengers. Year to date passenger traffic as of November 2020 was down 59% versus 2019, with 268,334 passengers served this year compared to 657,880 in 2019. 

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport Commission works with the airlines to maintain air service serving the region. ROA is open and operational when the public needs to fly and has implemented enhanced cleaning protocols, as have the airlines servicing ROA, to make air travel as safe as possible. The Commission sincerely thanks our customers for choosing to fly ROA.

“Passengers are more and more comfortable with the measures taken by the air carriers and airports to ensure their safety,” stated David Jeavons, acting executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. “We hope traffic grows throughout the winter. Lower overall airfare has stimulated demand, and as airlines rebuild their schedules, it is critical to use our current service not only to keep it but also to have more restored and help our economy grow. We continue to appreciate the support of our community, choosing ROA, and not driving out of the market to fly.”

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is the primary airport for Virginia’s Blue Ridge and the New River Valley serving passengers via four airlines (American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and Allegiant Air) with nonstop service to 5 hub cities (Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago-O’Hare, Philadelphia, and Washington-Dulles) as well as weekly flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. 
Spotlight on Business - TXTUR.COM
Txtur of Roanoke, Virginia is a new company creating furniture of the future by looking into the past. Founded by Bedford native Greg Terrill, Txtur is a spinoff company of Roanoke's Frank Chervan which has been manufacturing furniture for the hospitality and health care industry since 1932.

Decades ago, products were made to last, to be repaired and to hang around for years and even generations rather than be thrown to the curb the minute the upholstery tore or a spring started squeaking.

At Txtur, we continue this tradition. Every piece of modern furniture built and sold by Txtur is completed right the first time, in Roanoke, by the company’s team of 200 employees. Each piece is built sustainably with recycled materials— even the sawdust is recycled to heat this locally-based manufacturing plant. The few furniture components not produced in-house are sourced from partners also located in Virginia such as Moore & Giles in Lynchburg.

Solid, long-lasting modern furniture, built locally and offered by a family-owned business with nearly 75 years of experience...so what makes Txtur truly stand out? The answer is upcycling.

Each piece of furniture purchased from Txtur can be upcycled at any time. What does this mean?

If you buy a piece of furniture from Txtur and you are not pleased with your purchase — maybe you just decide you don’t like the color of the fabric — all you have to do is scan the furniture’s Txtur Lifecycle code with your phone to learn more about the furniture and the upcycle grade.

You can arrange to have your piece of furniture sent back to Txtur or to have the Txtur representatives pick it up at your home.

Once the furniture is back at Txtur, you will receive a credit on your account to be used towards a new piece of furniture, or a new-to-you piece of upcycled furniture which has been completely remanufactured. You can rest assured knowing the piece of furniture you returned has not been tossed to the junk heap; instead, the Txtur production team will refinish and reupholster every square inch of the returned piece, rejuvenating it for years to come.

Why is this important? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each year Americans throw away more than 12 million tons of furnishings. Many companies feel it isn't their problem, but Txtur feels differently. Txtur believes it is worth working harder to keep the planet cleaner and a safer place to live, and that a furniture purchase should not end up as refuse.

The folks at Txtur also believe that once a product leaves their warehouse and heads to your home, they continue to be responsible for it.

At Txtur, “green” is a mission and taken seriously from chairs to barstools, end tables to dining room tables, home office furniture to ottomans, and more. Txtur offers quality, sustainable products that can be purchased with confidence and a clear conscience.

Visit the Txtur showroom at Black Dog Salvage to experience this locally-made line of furniture and learn more about pricing.
Fralin Biomedical Research Institute scientists uncover novel mechanisms that wire the brain’s cerebral cortex

Virginia Tech scientists describe how a type of brain cell plays a critical role in blueprinting the molecular brakes that help quell brain hyperactivity, seizures, and mental illness.
Michael Fox, a professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC and director of the School of Neuroscience in Virginia Tech’s College of Science.
A research team led by Michael Fox, a professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, has identified the type of brain cell that produces collagen 19, a protein that is crucial for the formation of inhibitory circuits in the brain.

The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, depicts a previously unknown molecular mechanism underlying healthy brain development. 
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.
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.

The Virginia Small Business Development Center offers an array of educational events and workshops.

Gauntlet Virtual Meet & Greet 
The Gauntlet is Virginia's largest business program and competition with over 525 alumni! Learn more about their plans for 2021 in this virtual event to be held
Tuesday, January 12th at 6:00PM
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.

Code Beats Coding Camp
January 19—February 18, 2021
Tuesdays & Thursdays
7 - 8 pm
This FREE 5-week class is designed to demystify computer coding & make it accessible to Virginia adult learners.