January 2022
City Continues Online Applications for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding
Online grant applications continue to be available for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. Individuals, families, nonprofits, mental health service providers, substance abuse treatment, small businesses, and arts and cultural organizations may apply through the City of Roanoke. Specific ARPA funding has been dedicated for these initiatives, and applications will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.

Please access applications by category here: www.roanokeva.gov/arpagrantapplications 

For more information and to submit an application, visit www.roanokeva.gov/starcitystrong. If you have questions about the application process, please contact Angie O’Brien in the City Manager’s Office at 540-853-5309 or send an email to angela.o’brien@roanokeva.gov.
The Roanoke Regional Partnership collaborated with regional innovation leaders including staff from Carilion Clinic, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, and Roanoke Innovates on an opportunity to be featured in Area Development magazine and AreaDevelopment.com. The issue, released in December 2021, is focused on Innovation Corridors around the nation.

You can see a digital copy of the magazine, which is distributed in print nationally to 50,000 C-Suite level executives and consultants, by clicking here.
Fralin Biomedical Research Institute biotech spin-out raises additional funding for research
Acomhal Research Inc., a cancer research start-up founded by Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC scientists, recently secured $305,000 in funding from the Virginia Tech Carilion Seed Fund, the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation, and angel investors.
Assistant Professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC and
Acomhal Research Inc. Chief Executive Officer Samy Lamouille
Photo courtesy of Matt Chittum for Virginia Tech.
With a wave of new grants and investments, a cancer stem cell research company founded by Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC scientists is nearing a million dollars in total funding toward development of a new therapeutic to fight drug-resistant cancers such as glioblastoma multiforme and metastatic disease including triple negative breast cancer.

Acomhal Research Inc. was recently awarded $305,000, including $150,000 from the Virginia Tech Carilion Seed Fund, $100,000 from the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) GAP Funds Program, and $55,000 from the CommonWealth Angels investment group. Those funds follow $625,000 the company received in Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants over the previous four years. The VIPC was formerly the Center for Innovative Technology.
Spotlight on Business - George's Flowers
Committed to supporting the Roanoke community with fresh, unique, and quality flowers and customer service since 1981

Located along the Franklin Road corridor, George's Flowers has been an icon in Roanoke since its establishment in 1981. George Clements, the owner, has grown his business into the area's "go-to floral shop" for everyday events, like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and special occasions. George and his team are dedicated to continuously improving the customer experience by utilizing the latest technology and staying ahead of new floral trends.
Tyler Carlin Joins LeadPoint Digital as Business Development Manager
LeadPoint Digital, a downtown Roanoke marketing agency opening their new headquarters in Century Plaza in 2020, recently announced the addition of Tyler Carlin as Business Development Manager.

Tyler will guide regional and national businesses to reaching their audiences through strategic partnerships and comprehensive marketing strategies.

As a Roanoke native, Tyler knows the region and has been an integral member of the growth of local businesses in a variety of industries.

“I knew when I met with the team that I had found something special,” he said. “Roanoke has been seeking its identity at the national stage and top-notch teams like the group here are what’s going to get us there. I am excited to be working with a team of hard working, fun individuals who truly believe in their goals and values.”
RAMP is pleased to announce that applications are now open for our Spring 2022 cohort focused on Health and Life Science startup companies. Click here to access the application!
MEET RAMP TECHNOLOGY COHORT:
COWDEN TECHNOLOGIES
Four Blacksburg- and Roanoke-based entrepreneurs working with machine intelligence, drone docking stations, healthcare credentialing, and thermal sensing were chosen to RAMP’s Fall 2021 Cohort focused on technology startups.

Learn more in the video below about Fall 2021 Technology Cohort Cowden Technologies from CEO Mickey Cowden.

“Drones are cool,” says Mickey Cowden, “but the longer I worked with them, I realized I spent more time setting up the drones or troubleshooting hardware issues before I could do anything productive. I have spent a lot of time changing batteries, charging batteries, and offloading data. I got tired of doing that, and I thought, ‘this could be done without the person doing all the logistics.'”

So he founded Cowden Technologies, which has designed a smart docking station for drones, enabling remote environment management without requiring human supervision.
Registration is NOW OPEN for
The 8th Annual GAUNTLET Business Program and Competition
 
The GAUNTLET includes business training, mentorship, scaling strategies, and much more. Anyone can participate in the classes and decide to compete
for over $300,000 cash and prizes! 
Virtual classes begin February 1, 2022.
 
For more information about The GAUNTLET and to apply online,
please visit the link above.
Blue Ridge Literacy Receives Generous Grant from Freedom First Credit Union to Continue Citizenship Preparation Services
A $6,000 grant will help Blue Ridge Literacy ((BRL) provide continuity of English literacy and Citizenship Preparation services to adults in the Roanoke Valley.

The grant was awarded through Freedom First Credit Union’s (FFCU) Community Grants Program which supports the work being done by community organizations to break down barriers, enable people to fully participate as local citizens, and help families achieve economic success and a better quality of life. 
According to BRL’s Executive Director Ahoo Salem, funds from FFCU will support programming for a minimum of 60 foreign-born adults at different stages of their naturalization process. In order to pass the US naturalization interview, lawful permanent residents are tested on their knowledge of US Civics and English skills. BRL’s Citizenship Preparation Services are designed with consideration of the learners’ skill-based needs and naturalization processes. The goal is a 100% pass rate for the learners who take their citizenship test. 

Salem, who became a US citizen herself in 2021, continues to say that “becoming an American Citizen is an important life goal for many BRL learners. Our affordable and structured Citizenship Preparation Programs ensure that lawful permanent residents have the needed skills to realize this important goal.”

BRL offers in-person beginner-level English and Civics classes for lawful permanent residents at the earlier stages of their immigration journey as well as online and in-person high intermediate and advanced level citizenship preparation classes and citizenship study groups for foreign-born adults who have started their naturalization process.
In case you didn't know...
Plastic Bag Tax was instituted January 1, 2022
Beginning on January 1, 2022, a five-cent tax was instituted on the sale of disposable plastic bags provided to customers in grocery stores, convenience stores, and drugstores in the City of Roanoke.

Legislation enacted during the Regular Session of the 2020 General Assembly (House Bill 534 (2020 Acts of Assembly, Chapter 1022) and Senate Bill 11 (2020 Acts of Assembly, Chapter 1023)) authorizes any county or city to adopt by ordinance the Virginia Disposable Plastic Bag Tax. The tax will be administered by the Virginia Department of Taxation. View legislation here
Roanoke: "An Arts and Culture Hotspot" by
Northern Virginia Magazine
The mountains, welcoming hospitality and charm are often reasons why so many visitors return. Northern Virginia Magazine designated Roanoke as an arts and culture hotspot that is worth the drive, complimenting the region's many entertainment options, outdoor adventures, and farm-to-table cuisine. 

Renne Sklarew, author of "Roanoke Has Become an Arts and Culture Hotspot Worth the Drive" said the following about the region:

"The arts capital of Virginia's Blue Ridge has a collection of engaging museums, a famous design store, kid-approved edutainment and a mountain with a star on top."

Pick up a copy of Northern Virginia Magazine or opt for the digital itinerary for your next adventure to Roanoke in Virginia's Blue Ridge. 
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, business highlights and programs within the City of Roanoke.

Tune into RVTV Channel 3 to learn more or access it through our website at www.BizRoanoke.com.

Check out our latest shows below featuring
Sweets by Shaneice and Market Gallery!
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
Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture
Presented by the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
Thursday, January 20, 2022
5:30 pm
 SARS-CoV-2 variants – Past, Present, and Future
Professor of Public Health and Microbiology
Department of Medicine
University of Cambridge, UK
Executive Director of the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium
Elected Member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
2:00 - 3:00 PM

Thursday, January 13, 2022
2:00 - 3:00 PM

Tuesday, January 25, 2022
4:00 - 7:00 PM
For additional events, workshops and resources, click here!