Roanoke County Business Partners Newsletter  
January 2020: Volume 20, No. 1
The E-newsletter of the Roanoke County Economic Development Department is designed to showcase the investments and achievements of our existing business partners. For additional information about doing business in Roanoke County, visit our  website .
State of the Town Shines Light on Vinton Growth
The Town of Vinton held its State of the Town address this month at the Vinton War Memorial, with Mayor Bradley Grose speaking to the successes of 2019 and some of the big plans to expect for 2020, like the redevelopment of the Vinton Motors building. At the event, the 2020 Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce officers and new board members were elected and recognized by the Mayor.

Watch the video below for a deeper look at the growth taking place in Vinton.  You can watch the full State of the Town address  here , courtesy of RVTV-3. 

Town of Vinton - Positioned for Redevelopment Success 2019

About Us
General Inquires
P: 540-772-2069
F: 540-772-2030
5204 Bernard Drive, SW 
Room 421 
PO Box 29800 
Roanoke, VA 24018
Jill Loope
Administrative Assistant
Mission Statement
To attract and facilitate the growth of innovative businesses, jobs and population that increase taxable investment and ensure sustainable world class community resources. 


Your CBD Store Opens in Cave Spring
This month, Roanoke County welcomed Your CBD Store Roanoke to the community at their grand opening and ribbon cutting.  Your CBD Store Roanoke  serves CBD products to people (and pets) of all ages, with tinctures, lotions, bath bombs, pet treats, and more. Your CBD Store Roanoke is located at 4204 Brambleton Avenue - owners Ryan and Laura are excellent resources for all things CBD-related and  share the goal of bringing relief from inflammatory pain to their customers. 

Get Started on Starting a Business

If you're thinking about starting a business in 2020, the Economic Development Department is here to help. Take a look at our quick guide to starting a business in Roanoke County and visit our website for more resources.

Roanoke County Meets with Governor Northam over Elbit Systems Acquisition
Earlier this year, Elbit Systems Ltd. announced that its U.S. subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America, had completed their acquisition of Harris Technologies for $350 million.

Elbit Systems President & CEO, Bezhalel Machlis, commented: "The market position and technological strength of Harris Night Vision make this acquisition significant to our long-term growth strategy, with a particular focus on the U.S. We believe that the completion of this acquisition will be beneficial both for Elbit Systems and for Harris Night Vision's customers and employees."

Roanoke County's Director of Economic Development met with Governor Northam and Elbit Systems leadership to recognize this significant acquisition.

For more information, find the press release here.

Ardagh Group Combines Business to Create Trivium Packaging
Roanoke-based Ardagh Group recently announced the completion of their combination of its business, Food & Specialty Metal Packaging, with Exal Corporation. The operation will now serve under the name Trivium Packaging.

Trivium now serves a diverse range of leading multinational, regional, and local customers operating in a wide array of end markets, including food, seafood, pet food, nutrition, beauty and personal care, household care, and premium beverages.

For more information, find the press release here.

Participate in Roanoke County's Broadband Availability Study
The Broadband Availability Study is the next step to 
Improving Communication and Data Technology in Both the Business Sector and in Residential Settings,  the first goal of Connecting Roanoke County to the World Strategic Initiative presented in the County's  2016 Community Strategic Plan .

To support this study, please complete this High-Speed Internet Survey by February 28, 2020. This survey is open to both businesses and residents and your answers will help identify areas of Roanoke County that are under-served by high-speed Internet. The survey is only 8 questions long and should take about five minutes to complete.

For more information, visit the Broadband Availability Study site or contact Bill Hunter at

Share Your Thoughts about I-81 Improvements
The Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) is seeking public input on using $625 million in public funds for Interstate 81 improvements. The public funds are the result of dedicated funding which includes a 2.1% regional motor fuels tax along the I-81 corridor.

Please complete this survey by January 16, 2020.

For more information, contact Rachel Ruhlen at

Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge 
Plan Your Next State, Regional or Mid-Atlantic Conference in Virginia's Blue Ridge

Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge has a variety of resources to help plan your meeting in Virginia's Blue Ridge. You can connect to local service providers in the region, download materials that can be distributed to planning committees and attendees, learn about possible itineraries and group activities, and much more. With the assistance of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge, you'll be able to plan a first-class meeting and all-around experience. 

Contact the sales department and  watch the new Meetings Video .

The GAUNTLET Business Program and Competition™ is BACK!
The Advancement Foundation invites entrepreneurs in Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Botetourt County, City of Salem, the Alleghany Highlands, and Rockbridge County to register for the 6th Annual GAUNTLET Business Program & Competition™!

Apply here or contact for more information.

Exciting Happenings at the Innovation Mill

Innovation Mill recently hosted A Conversation About How Hemp Can Impact Your CommunityRepresentatives from across the region heard from industry leader, Debbie Custer, and farmer, Ian Hill, about the crop, its production and industry potential. 

As part of its work, Innovation Mill offers high-growth companies assistance with proof of concept. F ill out a needs assessment and get started.
RIDE Solutions Encourages Shoppers to "Drive Small"
 90% of every dollar you spend on a gallon of gas leaves the local economy.
"The annual Shop Small movement is an excellent time to remember how our buying decisions affect our local businesses and economy," says RIDE Solutions Director Jeremy Holmes.  "Similarly, Drive Small is a reminder that the money we save by using sustainable transportation modes is money that goes right back into those same local businesses." 

According to data from the Energy Information Administration, about 90% of what consumers pay for a gallon of gas leaves the local economy.  This includes the costs for crude oil, excise taxes, and federal and state gas taxes.  What remains is the small amount of money retained by local gas stations and transportation companies.  "Spending less on gas means that not only will consumers keep more money in their pockets," says Holmes, "but will keep money from leaving central and southwest Virginia.  Those dollars can now support local businesses and the local economy."

As part of the Drive Small campaign, RIDE Solutions has partnered with Roanoke's Upcycled Gifts to encourage folks to share their Drive Small story. Shoppers who use the hashtag #drivesmall on social media to let RIDE Solutions know how they supported small businesses in the Roanoke Valley by cutting back on their driving will have a chance to win an upcycled tote bag from Upcycled Gifts.  The bag is recycled from a banner used at this year's Night Rider's Ball event celebrating National Bike Month.  Learn more.

Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport Report
October traffic was up 7.8% at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport as 2019 continues trend of strong traffic growth.

Passenger traffic at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport continues to increase, with October 2019 traffic 7.8% more than in October 2019 (69,517 vs. 64,439). The increase equals 163 more passengers flying ROA each day. Year-to-date passenger traffic is up 8.6% versus 2018 with 594,910 passengers served this year compared to 547,630 in 2018.

Strong community support, additional capacity, fare moderation and improved airline reliability all contributed to the growth, which began in September of 2016 and has now reached 25 consecutive months. At this pace, the airport is on track to have its busiest year since 2000 and serve some 700,000 passengers, 100,000 more than in 2017.

F&S Building Innovations Sponsors Development of Build Smart Institute
The  F&S Building Innovations Leadership Team has announced their newest initiative, the Build Smart Institute, a non-profit Construction Education Facility that will be licensed by the Home Builders Institute (HBI).

F&S Building Innovations has been in the process of research, development and formation of the Build Smart Institute throughout 2019 and is planning to open its doors for instruction within the first half of 2020.

Check out this PDF for more information.

Appalachian Power Offers Commercial Rebate Programs

APCO VA now offers three commercial rebate programs: the Commercial & Industrial Lighting Program, the Commercial & Industrial Standard Program, and the Small business Direct Install Program. These programs support businesses through financial incentives for prioritizing energy efficiency.

One example of upgrades eligible under the rebate program is GEM Link® Wireless' - a smart system for controlling HVAC in hotel rooms and other commercial applications made by Lodging Technology, a home-grown Roanoke County business celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

For more information, click on this brochure and visit their FAQ page.

Farm Credit of Virginias Provides Support for Rural Communities

The Farm Credit System is a nationwide network of lending cooperatives providing agricultural credit and insurance to qualified borrowers. 

Its regional arm, Farm Credit of Virginias (FCV), covers most of Southwest Virginia and West Virginia, providing loans for Operating, Young/Beginning/Small Businesses, Cattle and Equipment, Real Estate, Leases, and more, with options for short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term loans. 

FCV also helps advocate, educate, and collaborates with farmers to support and elevate the agricultural community.

Virginia International Trade Events
VEDP International Trade  
Registration is now open for VEDP - International Trade's new calendar of events! 
Face-to-face meetings are critical to international business. We help Virginia companies meet potential customers and partners through trade missions and trade shows.  
 Trade Missions 
Trade Missions are customized visits of business meetings arranged on your behalf. These meetings are pre-qualified based on your export market objective. Our schedule of upcoming Trade Missions includes:
Trade Mission to Mexico - Mar. 23 - 27, 2020 - Registration Deadline January 24, 2020
Trade Mission to Ireland - Apr. 27 - 29, 2020 - Registration Deadline February 28, 2020 
Trade Mission to Poland and Romania - May 11 - 15, 2020 - Registration Deadline March 13, 2020 
Trade Mission to Chile and Peru - May 13 - 20, 2020 - Registration Deadline March 13, 2020 
Trade Shows 
 At select international Trade Shows, Virginia's booth provides the ideal base for co-exhibiting companies, allowing you to exhibit your products and services and network with prospective customers. Our schedule of upcoming Trade Shows includes:  
InfoSecurity 2020 - June 2 - 4, 2020 - Registration Deadline April 3, 2020
Farnborough 2020- July 20 - 24, 2020 - Registration Deadline May 22, 2020
 Learn More    

Existing Worker Training Grants from Virginia Career Works - Blue Ridge
Upcoming Events 

January Workshop: Financing a Business
January 29, 2020 - 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
South County Library

Social Media for Small Businesses
January 15, 2020

Annual Meeting and Awards Breakfast
January 28, 2020
Eggs and Economic Development
February 19, 2020
Brewing Up Business Workshop
February 27, 2020

Organizational Branding Workshop
March 18, 2020

Crushing it in 2020
January 30, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Starr Hill Pilot Brewery & Side Stage
$10 ticket includes lunch

Jeff Smith of  Voltage Leadership Consulting will help you develop a blue-chip mindset: Designing your life around what is important vs. what is urgent. Do you feel like you are always just treading water? Learn how to balance your life and also meet expectations at work. 

This session will explore where you stand in many aspects of work and life and design options to regain control of your time in 2020. Gain an understanding of key principles in time management and how to operate effectively while also keeping priorities clear.

Yoga & Climbing 
February 25, 6 p.m. start 
The River Rock Climbing Gym
$15 ticket includes all gear

Join Experience Outside for an evening of yoga or climbing and post-sweat social networking (the in-person kind) with heavy snacks and cold beverages. The activity of your choosing - please note whether you plan to climb or practice yoga during registration - is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with networking afterward. (Climbers: Please plan to arrive at 5:45 p.m. to get fitted for gear.)
Everything you need to participate is included. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes (optional during yoga) and clothing.

Save the Date

The Talent Solutions Summit
March 25, 2020
Experience Conference 2020
June 4-5, 2020

Virginia Western's PMP Exam Prep Bootcamp course is designed for individuals who plan to sit for the PMP certification exam and have determined they will meet PMI's exam prerequisites, including general education requirements and experience managing projects.

Virginia Western Project Management Exam Prep
Begins February 2020

VTRC Connect
January 16, 2020

Learn More

Business of Brewing
January 27-31, 2020

Will Intelligent Machines Replace Humans?
January 23, 2020

Register by January 16.

Perfectly Pitched: Resonating with your Audience
January 30, 2020

Register by January 27.

Essentials of Craft Beer
February 22, 2020 

Exploring Blockchain Webinar
February 27, 2020

Implementing Lean: The Lean Conference
March 4-5, 2020
Data Analytics
Mar 6, 2020 to Sep 12, 2020

Roanoke County Business Partners Show on RVTV
Roanoke County Business Partners January 2020
Roanoke County Business Partners January 2020


On January's Roanoke County Business Partners, we speak with Mayor Bradley Grose of Town of Vinton after his State of the Town Address. He shares some exciting developments of 2019 and what to expect for Vinton in 2020.

We also visit with Ryan Schirmer and Laura Warren as they celebrate the ribbon cutting and grand opening of their new store, Your CBD Store Roanoke. In this segment, Ryan and Laura tell about some of the benefits of CBD, and the products available in their store.

Lastly, we hear from Debbie Custer of Coeus Research, who serves as the hemp industry expert for the Innovation Mill. Debbie shares insight into the hemp industry as a whole, as well as how the region can tap into this burgeoning industry.