June 2021
Governor Northam Lifts Mask Mandate to Align with CDC Guidance, Announces Virginia to End COVID-19 Mitigation Measures
Commonwealth has administered nearly 7 million vaccines, 63 percent of Virginia adults have received at least one dose

Governor Ralph Northam recently lifted Virginia’s universal indoor mask mandate to align with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Governor Northam also announced that Virginia will ease all distancing and capacity restrictions on Friday, May 28, two weeks earlier than planned. The updates to Virginia’s mask policy are reflected in amendments to Executive Order Seventy-Two and became effective Friday along with previously announced changes to mitigation measures.

Governor Northam made the announcement in a new video message.
Virginia is able to take these steps as a result of increasing vaccination rates, dramatically declining COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and statewide test positivity rate, and revised federal guidelines.
Erin Burcham named new executive director of Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council
Erin Burcham
Erin Burcham, Director of Talent Solutions has departed the Roanoke Regional Partnership to become Executive Director of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council.

She begins her new role on June 7.
Race weekend activities for the 2021 Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon will officially begin on Friday, June 4 with athlete check-in at the River’s Edge Park- North. On Sunday, June 6, athletes will begin their IRONMAN 70.3-mile journey.
Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission Names Jeremy Holmes as
Next Executive Director
Jeremy Holmes
The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission recently announced that Jeremy Holmes has been named the new Executive Director. Holmes follows Wayne Strickland, who retires June 30th after 42 years with the
Regional Commission.
Recent Grand Openings!
Peak Energy and Nutrition
3822 Shenandoah Avenue, NW
Mayor Sherman Lea participates in the April 30 Grand Opening and Ribbon-Cutting at Peak Energy and Nutrition with owners Jairus Montgomery, Mia Simpson and Bear Simpson.
Peak Energy and Nutrition is a great story of friends choosing to move to Roanoke from other localities and working together to bring an exciting new business to Roanoke. They seized an opportunity to lease space at 3822 Shenandoah Avenue, completed a beautiful build out and celebrated with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting on April 30. 
Congratulations to Mia and Bear Simpson, Jairus Montgomery and William Grubbs (not pictured) for adding this vibrant, health focused business to the City of Roanoke!
Roanoke Grocery Market
3805 Melrose Avenue, NW
Council Member Stephanie Moon Reynolds (center) addresses attendees at the May 19 Grand Opening and Ribbon-Cutting at Roanoke Grocery Market with Owner Mr. Hisham Alammuri and Virginia Delegate Sam Rasoul, Vice-Mayor Trish White-Boyd, and Council Members Vivian Sanchez-Jones and Joseph Cobb.
Roanoke Grocery Market, a new grocery to the City of Roanoke and unlike any ever seen in the city, celebrated with a Grand Opening & Ribbon-Cutting on Wednesday, May 19. The owner, Mr. Hisham Alammuri, after purchasing the building, completed a beautiful build out and has recently opened. Shoppers will find items here usually only found in larger cities, along with a fine array of full meals and baked goods made daily on-site, as well as a stocked butcher shop. The Mediterranean focused grocery store encourages the finest in nutrition with the owner giving a portion of profits back to autism efforts in Roanoke.

Congratulations to Mr. Alammuri and his stellar staff on this new grocery store!
Spotlight on Business
Augusta Capital
Watt Dixon grew up in Roanoke and has worked in the financial services arena for over 25 years. Following in his late father’s footsteps, Watt has recently opened Augusta Capital in the City of Roanoke. Named to honor his dad’s family roots in Augusta County (Staunton), Virginia, the new firm offers a boutique approach to wealth advisory services, as well as estate planning to ensure the seamless transfer of assets for high-net worth families and foundations.

In 1981, Watt’s father, Walter Dixon, Jr. started his own Investment Advisory firm to serve clients wanting a personalized experience different than that offered by large banks or brokerage firms. Watt joined his dad’s firm in 1994 and began learning the investment business from the ground up, eventually becoming an equity partner in the firm. In 2002 he entered the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) program, a rigorous 3-year training program offering the highest level of training within the field of technical analysis of security markets. Over the past 25+ years, Watt has put this valuable training to work in all facets of money management from portfolio construction and management to equity and bond selection and trading.

“The stock market has been quite a ride over the past 25 years with both the dot-com bubble and the 2008 financial crisis serving as valuable lessons in portfolio management, says Watt. This experience reinforced how well my Portfolio Management System weathered bear market downturns.”

The investment philosophy at Augusta Capital revolves around a stable, long-term approach to investing. Of utmost importance is the asset allocation between stocks, bonds and cash. Risk is minimized by concentrating investments in high financial strength assets purchased at reasonable prices. They pay attention to what is actually happening in the market while filtering “white noise” from mainstream media, a practice critical to making sound investment decisions.
Virginia Tech launches ‘next generation’ human brain imaging lab
Read Montague (left), professor and director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC Center for Human Neuroscience Research, and Stephen LaConte (right), associate professor at the institute, work with research assistant Chris Huck to demonstrate the new optically pumped magnetometry technology. (Clayton Metz/Virginia Tech)
Researchers at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC have received a $2.4 million grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, part of the National Institutes of Health, to measure the brain’s subtle magnetic signals in two research volunteers simultaneously during face-to-face social interactions, capturing the rich complexity of the brain’s signaling in real-time.
Mast General Store Hosts Land Trust Day on June 5
On Saturday, June 5, the Mast Store in Roanoke will welcome the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy (BRLC) to the store in celebration of Land Trust Day. Volunteers will answer questions about BRLC and will offer information about the benefits of protecting land. Mast will donate 20% of the day’s sales to support BRLC’s conservation efforts.  The store will also support BRLC through a round-up effort that will encourage customers to round-up their purchases to benefit BRLC during June 1 – 6. 
The Blue Ridge Land Conservancy was formed to help protect local lands important to the quality of life in their core service area of western Virginia, which includes Bedford, Botetourt, Catawba, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, and Montgomery counties, the Roanoke Valley, and Smith Mountain Lake. Maintaining the environmental health of the region is a critical piece in balancing community development with local landscape, and BRLC works to ensure that healthy balance. To date, the BRLC has conservation agreements to protect more than 30,150 acres of land and more than 150 miles of rivers and streams. 
Land Trust Day is an important day at Mast General Store. Employees believe in the mission of BRLC and are proud to support land conservancy, clean water, and scenic beauty.  
Lisa Cooper, president of Mast General Store, appreciates the important work the agency does in our local community. “Last year during the pandemic, we rediscovered local trails and open spaces that we may not have had time to enjoy before. Many of these locations that helped sustain our mental and physical health were the end result of partnerships formed by land trusts. We hope that Land Trust Day helps our customers understand and appreciate how these organizations impact our lives every single day.” 
A land trust can help individuals, families, businesses, and communities take steps to ensure that the land is there for us, our children, and our children’s children. The impact of their work can help family farms remain productive and stay in the family or ensure that the habitat for a rare species of plant will remain intact.  
Stop by the Mast Store in Roanoke on June 5 to learn more about what the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy is doing in the local area and how you can get involved. For more information about Land Trust Day, visit www.MastGeneralStore.com or about the Conservancy, www.blueridgelandconservancy.org
Ride Solutions Offers Self-Guided Bike Tours
Plan your next biking adventure in Virginia’s Blue Ridge! Bike routes have been organized by subject and interest. These routes were specially built in the Ride With GPS system, a free tool that can be downloaded for iOS or Android. This GPS platform provides audible turn-by-turn directions, images and videos noting key places of interest, and the ability to share your route with others. 
Passenger Traffic Continues to Rebound at ROA
April 2021 traffic increased 21% versus March 2021
The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport saw a 21% increase in April 2021 traffic versus March 2021. April 2021 saw 32,398 passengers fly via ROA compared to 26,599 in March 2021, an increase of 5,799 passengers or 193 more passengers flying each day.

Leisure travel continues to rebound, and vaccination rates are growing, which drives traffic up. The airport saw an increase in April 2021 traffic of 1677% on a year-over-year basis; however, when compared to April 2019, traffic decreased 46%.
Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission Releases Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy For Public Review
The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) document will be under a 30-day public review period until June 13, 2021. Persons wishing to review the plan may access it by clicking the link below.

The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission (RVARC) serves as the coordinator of the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) designated Economic Development District (EDD) and maintains the regional CEDS.
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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 

Big Lick Comics
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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