Business Partners Newsletter
April 2019: Volume 19, No. 4
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 .
New Summer Internship Program
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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. 

Free Sales Summit!
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Take Your Business to the Next Level 
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Governor Northam Announces Over $6.7 Million in GO Virginia Grants     

Funding to support regional entrepreneurship, workforce and talent-development initiatives

The Advancement Foundation (TAF) is starting a new program for Region 2 designed to increase the number of high-growth companies by aligning regional assets, accelerating proof of concept, offering comprehensive technical support, and growing a culture of innovation by actively engaging industry experts, STEM practitioners, and student investors. Region 2 consists of Alleghany, Botetourt, and Roanoke counties, and the towns of Bedford and Vinton.
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Valleys Innovation Council Capital Ecosystem Report

Capital Ecosystem Development Report 

In order to create and sustain a vibrant start-up community in Region 2 and across Virginia, access to risk capital to support research, development, and commercialization of innovative technologies is necessary.  With funding from the GO Virginia Region 2 Council and match partners from within the region, Valleys Innovation Council began a regional capital ecosystem development project beginning in 2018.
As part of this project, VIC has created a regional capital landscape study and accompanying interactive data dashboards to examine the availability of, ease of access to and recent historic activity levels of funding within Region 2, as defined by GO Virginia.
See the Landscape Report, Ecosystem Dashboard, and Survey Instrument Here!  
Capital Ecosystem Development Project 
Go Virginia Region 2 
Virginia Western to Launch New Agriculture Program for Fall 2019 Virginia Western Community College announces a new Associates Degree in Agriculture that will be available beginning in Fall 2019. The program is designed to be flexible and tailored to individual student needs.

The Agriculture Program is transferable to a four-year college, where students can pursue career paths such as extension work, agricultural education, agribusiness and veterinary medicine, for example. Alternatively, if students are not interested in transfer they can modify the program to include technical skills, such as welding, which can help them in their home agribusinesses. Currently there are approximately 330 different careers available in the agricultural industry.    

"The Roanoke Region has a robust agricultural history and we are excited to be offering this truly outstanding program to students," said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. "Helping individuals develop the skills they need to succeed in an 21st Century farming and agricultural landscape, we believe we will have a lasting positive economic impact on our region."

Specialized classes such as animal science,  plant science and forestry will provide students the basic skills needed to maintain livestock, land and forests. Other classes in the program, such as agribusiness and welding can provide skills needed to handle farm finances and farm maintenance or provide an avenue of additional income.

"Agriculture is interwoven into the history of our region, which is home to more than 4,000 farms," Austin said. "Virginia Western's Ag program will ensure that farming remains one of our cornerstone industries for decades to come."

In addition to launching the Agriculture Program, Virginia Western will also announce a new guaranteed transfer agreement between the program and Ferrum College's Agricultural Sciences major. Students completing the Virginia Western Agriculture Program will be able to begin as a junior at Ferrum and focus on the emphasis areas of Animal Science, Agribusiness, Agronomy, Horticulture and Equine Studies.  

Stem Center On the day prior to the kick off, VWCC faculty will be participating in the Virginia-North Carolina AgBio Conference in Danville. This meeting will convene policy makers, farmers, thought leaders, educators, public health officials and industry partners to bring innovative bioscience and technology to the farms. 

Click here for more details about the Agriculture Program or call the School of STEM at 540-857-7273.
Tourism Growth in Virginia's Blue Ridge on the Rise

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Regional tourism generated $850 million in direct travel expenditures and nearly 8,000 jobs.  Efforts by Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge are focused on attracting more visitors and increasing visitor spending while generating more jobs and tax revenues.  It is a collaborative effort with our participating localities including the Cities of Roanoke and Salem, and the Counties of Roanoke, Botetourt and Franklin as well as over 1,475 business partners.  By working together, we have achieved nine consecutive years of RECORD growth!  Click here to view the 2018 Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge Progress Report.

Additionally, the 2019 Virginia's Blue Ridge Visitor's Guide is printed and ready for distribution.  Feel free to share and view the Visitor's Guide by clicking here.
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Workforce Development 
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Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport Report  

Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

Passenger Traffic Growth Continues at ROA in February

February traffic was up 9.0% year over year at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional
Airport as 2019 continues with strong traffic growth

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport has started 2019 off with strong growth as February traffic was up 9.0% on a year over year basis. Compared to February 2018 passenger traffic grew at 9.0% or 3,853 passengers. In February of 2019, 46,508 passengers flew via ROA compared to 42,655 in February of 2018. Year to date, air traffic is up 10.3%.

For the full year of 2018, 660,836 passengers flew via ROA compared to 616,365 in 2018 and 608,288 in 2016. 2018 was the busiest year at ROA since 2007.

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is the primary airport for Virginia's Blue Ridge and the New River Valley.  ROA serves over 650,000 passengers per year via 4 airlines (American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and Allegiant Air) with nonstop service to 6 (Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, New York LaGuardia, Philadelphia, and Washington Dulles) hub cities as well as weekly flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. To learn more, please visit
Upcoming Events 

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Clean Valley Day is Saturday, April 6

We're calling all volunteers to be a part of the Clean Valley Council's effort to beautify our natural spaces.

River Cleanup

Help us keep Explore Park looking its best, and enjoy a free lunch as our way of saying thanks. Meet at the Journey's End parking area within Explore Park, and don't forget to dress appropriately for the weather with sturdy footwear. We'll provide bags and gloves. The cleanup effort will take place from 9am to 12pm, followed by lunch.

Free Lunch & Afternoon Activities

Stick around after the cleanup for a well deserved meal  including hot dogs, chips and drinks catered by our staff. Please reserve space for your group online to ensure we have enough supplies and food. Afterward the Clean Valley Councill will provide activity stations and kids activities including wearable trash bag art project, groundwater model demos and a 'Rigby' puppet show. 


Saturday, April 6, 2019
9am to 12pm - Park clean up
12pm to 1pm - Lunch Break
1pm to 3pm - Activity Stations
Meet at the Journey's End Parking Area

Clean Valley Day

Questions? Call Charlie at (540) 777-6340

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Virginia Values Veterans

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The Catawba Valley Farmers Market will reopen on May 9 The Catawba Valley Farmers Market will reopen on May 9, beginning the 10th year of providing locally-grown meats, fruits and vegetables, home-baked goods and handmade arts and crafts. Sales at this Market provide additional income for local vendors while making fresh, high-quality foods available to the consumers. Several special events and activities are planned for the 2019 season - details will be shared in the coming months.

Interested in becoming a vendor? Contact Ann G. Harrell, Market Manager, at (540) 864-5913 or email to
More information is also available at and on Facebook.

The Catawba Valley Farmers Market is a collaborative project of the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center, the County of Roanoke, the Catawba Ruritan Club and members of the Catawba Community.

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Virginia International Trade Events
VEDP International Trade  
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.   
If you are interested in participating in a VEDP Trade Mission, please contact Roger Porter as there may be resources available to offset some of the associated costs. (Contact information above)
USAFRICOM Africa Endeavor 2019 - July 2019 - Registration opens April 1st
Trade Mission to Australia - Oct. 7 - 11, 2019 - Registration opens April 1st
  Pacific 2019 (Australia) - Oct. 8 - 10, 2019 - Registration opens April 1st
AUSA 2019 - Oct. 14 - 16, 2019 - Registration opens April 1st
Trade Mission to Sweden and Denmark - Oct. 21 - 25, 2019 - Registration opens April 1st
Trade Mission to Qatar - Nov. 10 - 13, 2019 - Registration opens April 1st
  Expodefensa 2019 (Colombia) - Dec. 2 - 4, 2019 - Registration opens April 1st
  Trade Mission to Colombia - Dec. 2 - 6, 2019 - Registration opens April 1st
Additional Trade Missions
Throughout the year
Shake Hands with Potential Customers...In their Country!
Let us help you find new avenues to grow your business! 
Free One-On-One Assistance From the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity 
The Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), in partnership with Roanoke County Economic Development Department, will be conducting free one-on-one counseling sessions on how to access business development resources, State financing programs (VSBFA), including technical assistance for conducting business with State agencies through SWaM Certification and eVA (Virginia's Online Procurement Portal).
These 1-hour sessions are by appointment only.
No fee, but appointment is REQUIRED   to schedule an appointment

   Twin Creeks Brewing Wins Gold   
New York International Beer Competition
Twin Creeks Brewing Co.
We just received the results from the 2019 New York International Beer Competition. Out of over 600 entries from 14+ countries, Twin Creek' s Brewing Company won a gold medal for our Cross the Tracks Munich Dunkel and a bronze medal for our Angry Ole Brit English ESB! Thank you to the judges, we are honored!
 Burton Center Students Earn 35 Medals in SkillsUSA   
BCAT students earned a total of 35 medals - 18 Gold, 9 Silver and 8 Bronze. A total of 31 students are eligible to compete in the the state competition in April. Pictured here are the top three finishers in Related Technical Math. 
  Burton Center for Arts and Technology
Save the Date
A Toolkit for 21st Century Leaders
August 23, 2019

Common Costly Mistakes to
Avoid in your Retirement Planning
August 23, 2019
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FastForward is a grant that will pay tuition to earn industry-recognized credentials in a variety of fields

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Upcoming Open Houses
May 21, 2019 
July 16, 2019 
 Nov 19, 2019  

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Business of Brewing
January 27-31, 2020
Roanoke County Business Partners Show on RVTV
Roanoke County Business Partners April 2019
Roanoke County Economic Development

See how business is thriving throughout Roanoke County!