Business Partners Newsletter
July 2018: Volume 18, No. 7
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 .
Magnets USA Announces $1.5 Million Expansion

Governor Ralph Northam announced that Magnets USA, a manufacturer of primarily magnetic and paper promotional products, will invest $1.5 million in its operation in Roanoke County. The company has already purchased state-of-the-art equipment to increase capacity, including a digital press, laser engraver, and a customized enterprise resource planning system that will replace all of its current processes. Other additions are slated for this year. The company's 70 employees will be retrained to operate the new machinery and systems with support from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP).

"Magnets USA is an impressive entrepreneurial success story for Virginia, and I am pleased to see the company reinvesting in its Roanoke County operation," said Governor Northam. "To stay competitive in a 21st-century economy, growing companies must upgrade processes and technologies, and ensure its employees are equipped with the most in-demand skills. We are proud to support Magnets USA, and look forward to many more years of success in the Commonwealth."

Founded in 1990 in an old hatchback, Magnets USA began with very little money and a whole lot of passion. Founder Dale Turner traveled from Roanoke to Phoenix, stopping in almost every town along the way to pitch his magnetic business card. Today, Magnets USA serves about 35,000 customers. Each year, the company produces millions of magnetized marketing products-including calendars, sports schedules, notepads, and car magnets-for a client base that stems largely from the real estate industry.

"Magn ets USA has been a valuable contributor to the Roanoke region's economy for over 25 years, and Virginia is proud to partner with the company in its next chapter of growth,"  said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball . "From its beginning as a one-person operation to 70 employees, Magnets USA is a strong example of what entrepreneurs can accomplish in the Commonwealth."

"Roanoke County is a beautiful place that provides all the resources required for our business, including a stable and talented workforce, support services, and a business-friendly government," said Magnets USA Founder Dale Turner. "We love being a part of this vibrant and progressive region where we can make a positive difference and be appreciated as well. We will continue to invest in our equipment, software, and employees to increase our productivity and efficiency so we can continue to compete on a national level."

About Us
General Inquires
P: 540-772-2069
F: 540-772-2030
Economic Development 
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.


The Roanoke Regional Partnership Needs Your Input

Since starting the talent program, the Roanoke Regional Partnership has received many requests for a guide that employers like you can use to complement their employment package and recruit top talent. Tell them what you want to see in such a guide by taking this quick survey. 

Events: Business Tools for Growth


Business Smart Start
July 10

A Toolkit for 21st Century Leaders
August 2018 - March 2019 Learn More

Other Happenings

July Events at the Market
July 5
Hot Dog Day - Market vendors will sell hot dogs for $1.00 each
July 19 Music by "Simple Gifts of the Blue Ridge" - mostly traditional folk music from the Appalachian and Celtic cultures. Instruments include hammered dulcimer, guitar, flute, bass
July 19
Artisans & Crafters Day - additional vendors will be present for a Christmas in July event
July 26 "Woodsong" will be providing music on the hammered dulcimer, guitar and banjo

Check out the new website for updates on what is happening at the Market!

Keith Hartman named Director of the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center
Keith Hartman has joined the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center (RRSBDC) as its Director. In his role, Keith counsels new and existing small businesses, offers training to small business owners and develops long-term relationships with local funding partners, and works with stakeholders and community leaders in fulfilling the mission of the Small Business Development Center.

A Juniata College graduate with a degree in public administration, Keith was most recently a regional executive for Vistage Worldwide, where his responsibilities included business development, member services, facilitator coaching, community relations and enhancing market visibility. Keith is an accomplished leader with more than 30 years of entrepreneurial and corporate experience in business development, sales management and general management.

Staples at Tanglewood completes major remodel

Staples at Tanglewood Mall held a grand re-opening event on June 22, 2018 with the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce.  The remodel was done to create a better shopping experience for customers and to allow more room for products never before found at this location.

4210 Electric Road
Roanoke, VA 24018

Total You Health brings new therapy option to Roanoke

2018 Gauntlet Business Program participant and graduate, Linda Bailey, celebrated the grand opening of her business Total You Health with a fundraiser for New Freedom Farm on June 27 , 2018 Total You Health is the first to bring the NovoThor body pod to Virginia.
Linda Bailey, Owner and Director of Total You Health, LLC was driven to find a solution for her daughter's traumatic brain injury which resulted in chronic migraines and other related issues. She discovered Photobiomodulation therapy. According to Linda, this therapy reduces oxidative stress and oxidative stress is the source of most all disease. Linda's goal is to allow clients reduce signs of illness, aging and improved sport performance through this treatment.

Total You Health
3959 Electric Road, Suite 230
Roanoke, Virginia 24018

J & J Fashions celebrates expansion

J & J Fashions held a grand re-opening event for their  recently expanded and remodeled store on Starkey Road in The Forum Shopping Center  on June 29, 2018 with the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce.  J & J Fashions has been in business for 50 years and specializes in women's apparel and accessories. 

J & J Fashions
4710 Starkey Road
Roanoke, VA 24018

Workforce Development

Morgan Romeo named Director of Virginia's Blue Ridge Works

Morgan Romeo joined the Western Virginia Workforce Development Board last summer as the new business and outreach coordinator and has now been promoted to director. A native of Vinton, Morgan served as the assistant director for Piedmont Workforce Network in Charlottesville, VA.  As director she will market and promote workforce development services, which include recruitment and pre-screening, training and hiring incentives, Registered Apprenticeship opportunities, layoff aversion and rapid response for transitioning employees, as well as current and projected labor market information.

One of her top priorities will be to fill her former position as the business and outreach coordinator at Virginia's Blue Ridge Works.
If you're interested in applying for the business and outreach coordinator position, see details here.


County employees graduate from Leadership Roanoke Valley

Leadership Roanoke Valley (LRV) was established in 1983 to encourage community leadership in the region. The interactive, 10-month program helps participants better understand issues facing the Roanoke region. Creative ideas and approaches help build leadership skills and show participants how to make a difference in business and the community.

The LRV Class of 2018 graduated from the program on June 6, 2018. Among the graduates were three Roanoke County employees: Sgt. Daniel Bruch, Roanoke County Police; Jessica Fintel, Roanoke County Economic Development; and Brian Hughes, Roanoke County Community Development.

Overnight camping now available at Explore Park

Roanoke County is pleased to announce the introduction of overnight camping at Explore Park beginning Friday, June 15. Guests can choose to rent primitive sites, group sites, canvas tents and tipis year round, with convenient access to the Blue Ridge Parkway. These facilities will be operated by Blue Mountain Adventures, one of several vendor partners developing new recreation amenities at Explore Park.

Blue Mountain Adventures will continue adding additional campsites throughout the park including raised platform canopy camping areas. In October another local company, Don's Cab-Inns, will be opening several pod cabins and yurts at Explore Park. Roanoke County is currently developing plans for a bathhouse to serve all overnight guests at the park, with scheduled completion this fall.

2018 trends at ROA show strong traffic growth

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport continues to see 2018 traffic increase with May traffic up 13.9% on a year over year basis. May 2018 saw 61,261 passengers fly via ROA compared to 53,772 in May of 2017 an increase of 7,489 passengers.

Strong community support and improved airline operational reliability have all played roles in the continuation of sustained passenger growth, which began in September of 2016. May 2018 saw 13.9% passenger growth over May 2017, the last time monthly year over year growth was larger than last month was in January 2007 driven by the arrival of Allegiant Air in Roanoke. Year to date 2018 traffic is up 7.5% versus 2017. May 2018 was busier than October 2017, October typically being the busiest month at ROA. At this pace the airport is on track to have its busiest year since 2011.

The Advancement Foundation has part-time and full-time Americorps Service opportunities

Part-time and Full-time Americorps Service Opportunity for college graduates, folks ready to enter the workforce, and retirees. Duties will include working for organizations serving the community involving economic development and education. Potential candidates will be passionate about helping others, proficient with Microsoft Office, and have excellent written and oral communication skills. Please contact Judy Wood of The Advancement Foundation for more information and first round interview. 

Virginia International Trade Events

Trade Missions

Be part of one of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership's Trade Missions and enjoy private, one-on-one meetings with prospective customers and partners. These well-planned visits are business me etings set up on your behalf, with your input, to save you time and maximize your results.

Columbia Morocco & South Africa
October 1-5, 2018 October 24-30, 2018
Registration Deadline: August 2, 2018
Registration Deadline:   August 24, 2018
Learn More 

Learn More
Roanoke County Business Partners Show on RVTV

On this mont h's show,  we meet with Donnie Martin of Magnets USA to learn about their participation in the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade Program and the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. We also speak with Pete Peters,  Assistant Town Manager and Director of Economic Development for the Town of Vinton, to learn about efforts to redevelop the former Gish Mill property. Finally, we will attend the Grand Opening of Total You Health, which is a business that participated in the Gauntlet Business Plan Competition, so we can learn about their health care service that is a first of its kind in the Roanoke Valley.