Business Partners Newsletter
July 2017: Volume 17, 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 .
Tourism is Economic Development

Destination promotion can raise a community's profile, opening the door to enhanced opportunities for traditional business relocation, expansion, and new start-ups to occur. Destination promotion also can contribute substantially to highlighting the quality of life needs critical to a business' relocation decision as well as resident's attitude about where they live.  Travel and tourism is an important engine to drive job creation and economic growth for the region.

Tourism initiatives in Roanoke County -
  • Hotel growth and the announcement of the new Tru by Hotel, bringing an additional 82 rooms and a fresh new brand to the Roanoke market resulting in more than 1,247 total hotel rooms in Roanoke County
  • The implementation of Explore Park's Master Plan with ongoing destination business attraction on the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • McAfee Knob and the Appalachian Trail (AT) -  Roanoke County recently launched its new logo incorporating the most photographed spot on the AT in Virginia and continued promotion of the region's outdoor brand   
  • A growing beer culture with the growth of Twin Creeks Brewery and Barrel Chest Wine & Beer, as well as redevelopment strategies underway for the creative reuse of underutilized properties
  • The Reimagine 419 plan to revitalize significant commercial corridors and develop a town center destination experience for visitors
  • Expansion of Blueways and Greenways, with the opening of the new Glade Creek Greenway and the Blue Blaze trail connecting the Appalachian Trail to the Catawba Sustainability Center
Roanoke County continues to grow the destination experience for Virginia's Blue Ridge through investment in community assets and promotion of business development strategies throughout the County.

 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
To design and implement innovative economic development programs and services that leverage community assets, create wealth and prosperity, and embrace the region's  

Unique Redevelopment Opportunity Available - Former Dairy Barn in Vinton

Roanoke County is accepting proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of a former dairy barn and site located within the Vinton Business Center. The 6,618 sq. ft. barn, located at 2351 Hardy Road, Vinton, VA, was built in 1938 and is situated on approximately 8.10 acres. The barn site is zoned PTD (Planned Technology District) and offers a unique opportunity to be re-purposed for a variety of commercial or industrial uses. This property is jointly owned by the County of Roanoke and the Town of Vinton.

Property Summary:
  • Close proximity to downtown Vinton  and adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway, with convenient access to recreational and commercial amenities
  • Located in the Vinton Business Center, a planned mixed use business park. The Vinton Business Center is situated along Hardy Hardy Road, a major travel route to Smith Mountain Lake.
  • Virginia and National Historic Landmark potential designation and historic tax credit eligibility (A developer could be eligible to receive up to 45% of construction costs back through the use of Tax Credits)
  • County of Roanoke zoning designation: PTD (Planned Technology District)

Written proposals should be submitted no later than 
3:00 PM, July 31, 2017 to: 
Jill Loope,  Director
Roanoke County Economic Development 
P.O. Box 29800 
5204 Bernard Drive
Roanoke, Va.  24018 
For more information or to schedule a facility tour contact:
Jill Loope at 540-772-2124 or

Resources: Business Tools for Success

Make a Request for FREE Business Counseling!

The Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center offers no-cost, confidential, one-on-one business counseling to entrepreneur hopefuls and established small business owners.

They provide no-cost one-on-one business counseling in the  following areas:
  • Development of business plans
  • Marketing plans & strategy
  • Strategic planning
  • Record keeping and taxes
  • Understanding financial management
  • Government procurement
  • Business start-up and procedures
  • Regulation & licensing
  • Finding capital
  • SBA loan guarantee programs

Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center 
210 S. Jefferson St.
Roanoke, VA 24011-1702

Get Paid to be Green - All Businesses Qualify!

The Appalachian Power Commercial and Industrial Program helps non-residential customers implement energy-efficiency projects through financial incentives to offset project costs.

Energy-efficiency projects including lighting and variable frequency drives are eligible for the rebates.

What items are eligible for the Commercial and Industrial Program? A few eligible items include T5 upgades, LED upgrades, and occupancy sensors

For more program details visit there pages:

Appalachian Power Company's C&I Programs
Todd Ewald, Outreach Specialist II

Get Recognized

Roanoke County Unveils its new Contractor Appreciation Program - "Stormwater Clean Award"

Land development in Roanoke County presents difficult challenges in the minimization and control of erosion and sedimentation and in the management of stormwater runoff due to the steep slopes and highly erodible soils in the region.

Because of these challenges, Roanoke County has created the "Contractor Appreciation Program" to recognize land-disturbing contractors who conduct exemplary work within the County relative to the protection of its natural water resources through the proper use of onsite erosion and sediment controls, implementation of effective stormwater pollution prevention and good housekeeping measures, proper upkeep and use of the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), if applicable, and the proper construction and use of stormwater management best practices.

Which Projects are Eligible?
All land-disturbing projects that comply with the selection criteria will be eligible to receive recognition.

How Will Projects be Selected?
Roanoke County inspectors will submit candidate projects to the County Selection Panel, which will meet monthly to evaluate candidate projects for recognition and to review previously-selected projects to ensure continued compliance with the selection criteria.

R ecognition Method
  • Permanent Sign posted at selected Project Site (see below)
  • "Certificate of Appreciation" presented at a formal County meeting
  • Recognition in It's Just Dirt newsletter
  • Recognition on County's Stormwater website
  • Recognition at County-sponsored Erosion & Sediment Control Training events
  • Press Release

S elected projects for the County's new Contractor Appreciation Program will sport a sizeable, colorful sign, placed in a prominent location on the project site for easy viewing by the traveling public. The sign will be entitled: "Stormwater Clean Award," and it will remain in place for the duration of the construction project, provided the project remains in compliance with the selection criteria. A conceptual design is shown below. More information can be found on the County's website or in the first issue of  It's Just Dirt: A Newsletter for Contractors.

Events: Business Tools for Growth

Entrepreneur Express
CoLab Roanoke

Regional Connect Event for Vendors/ Suppliers -  Get Connected to State Buyers
July 6

July 25

Business Basics

Wix BYOS - Build Your Own Site

SEO and Google Analytics
July 11 

July 18

August 1

Cybersecurity Overview: What Your Management Needs to Know

Where to Get Help with Cybersecurity

Tips on What to Do Now to Increase Your Security Posture

Risk Management Approach to Cyber Insecurity
July 12

July 26

August 9

August 23

Hospitality Training Workshops
August 17 

September 14

A Toolkit for 21st Century Leaders

Project Management Certification Course
Aug 17 - Mar 29

Aug 22 - Nov 7

OSHA Standards for General Industry Sept 25 - 28

Other Happenings


Vendors have beef & pork products, eggs, vegetables, jellies, granola, baked goods including breads, cookies, cakes, muffins & scones. Fried pies are made on site. Many handmade arts & crafts, bath & beauty products, potted flowers, flower & vegetable bedding plants & hanging baskets.  

Market welcomes SNAP/EBT clients!

SNAP customers may purchase tokens to use for fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, breads, baked goods, dairy, honey, processed foods such as jams and pickles, and plants to grow consumable foods.

Each dollar spent through the program, up to $30, is doubled for purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables. 
Stop by the Manager's table to purchase tokens and for more information on this great program.

July Entertainment and Features at the Farmers Market
July 6
Celebration of Independence Day & National Hot Dog Month with a free hot dog for each visitor, plus other freebies
July 13
Music on hammered dulcimer by Jim Robinson of Salem
July 20
National Lollipop Day - free lollipops for all.
Bruce Ingram will return to sign copies of his book  Living the Locavore Lifestyle and his other outdoor books.
July 27
Music by members of local chapter of Guitars4Vets.
Educational displays by Mountain Castles Soil & Water Conservation District & Farm Service Agency

Kegs and Barrels 
Wine & Craft Beer Festival
August 5
Green Hill Park
2501 Parkside Drive
Salem, VA 24153
Artisan Saturdays at Explore Park
August 12
November 4
Explore Park
56 Roanoke River Pkwy 
Roanoke, VA 24014

Welcome: New Faces

Morgan Romeo, Virginia's Blue Ridge Works

Morgan Romeo has joined the Western Virginia Workforce Development Board as the new Business & Outreach Coordinator. A native of Vinton, VA, Morgan has returned to the area to assist in marketing and promoting the workforce development services available to the region's businesses. These services 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. If you're interested in talking about the services available to you, contact Morgan by email at or by phone at 540-562-8442.

Shari Henry, Roanoke County Libraries

Roanoke County Administrator Thomas Gates announced the appointment of Shari Henry as Director of Library Services who assumed her position in June. Shari brings 10 years of experience in all aspects of Library Services. She previously served as Division Chief of Materials Management for Arlington Public Library in Arlington, VA and has held positions in Appomattox and Chesterfield. 

Diana Lyons, Virginia Registered Apprenticeship Program

In June of 2017, Diana Lyons joined the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, Registered Apprenticeship Division, and will be serving as the Apprenticeship Consultant for Virginia's Southwest Region.

Diana knows that a single approach is not the right answer for every business and understands that apprenticeship is not a program, but a workforce strategy. That's why she is excited to serve as a conduit in helping local businesses create a smart work process and address the needs of the business, which will help build a stronger, more productive and thriving workforce.

To learn more about Registered Apprenticeships, visit

Celebrate: Business Announcements

Tru by Hilton breaks ground on $8 million project

Construction began on a new hotel development located near the Gander Mountain in Hollins at the beginning of June. Billed as a revolutionary new brand in the Hilton portfolio, the new Tru by Hilton project makes its entry into the Roanoke market as the first hotel in the region for this corporate brand. The 4 story hotel is expected to bring 82 new rooms to the County with an $8 million investment and more than 30 new jobs.

LewisGale Med ical Center invests $12M in freestanding ER

LewisGale Medical Center held a "Sign-the-Beam" ceremony on June 27, 2017 to  celebrate its freestanding emergency room under construction on Electric Road. Participants were able to sign a metal beam that will be incorporated into the new facility. The project represents over $12M in capital investment for the first facility of its kind in the Roanoke region. 


Guaranteed Rate - Jason Bialek opens new mortgage office

Jason Bialek of Guaranteed Rate held a ribbon cutting and open house on June 29, 2017 to celebrate his new mortgage office. Guaranteed Rate is the 8th largest mortgage company in the US and this is the first location in the Roanoke Valley. 

Guaranteed Rate
3565 Electric Road, Ste. B
Roanoke, VA 24018

Noteworthy: Local News 

William Byrd High School listed on the National Register of Historic Places

In June, the William Byrd High School property received final approval and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places with the National Park Service. The listing paves the way for the new owner of the property to be eligible for state and federal tax credits as they redevelop the property into residential units.

At the Virginia Department of Historic Resources March meeting, the William Byrd High School nomination was approved, placing the property on the Virginia Landmarks Register. 

RBTC Announces Selection of First Cohort for RAMP Business Accelerator

Six high-potential startups have been selected to serve in the inaugural cohort at RAMP (Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program), a business accelerator program that represents a partnership between the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, Virginia Western Community College, and the City of Roanoke. Flex Metric by SoftSolutions will be anchor tenant in the newly renovated Gill Memorial Building in downtown Roanoke. The six companies were chosen for their ability to expand and create jobs within the STEM-H field. 

Virginia Trade Missions
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.

South Korea
October 2-6 2017
October 16-20, 2017
Registration Deadline:  August 4, 2017
Registration Deadline:  August 18, 2017
Top Opportunities:  Defense & Security, Major Infrastructure & Construction, Transportation, Healthcare & Medical Technology, Biotechnology, Mining & Minerals, Energy & Environmental Technologies, Professional Services, Agribusiness, Food & Beverage Manufacturing
Top Opportunities:  Defense Equipment, Medical Devices, Processed Food, Education, ICT, Display, Mobile Handset, Electrics & Electronics, Automotive, Semiconductor, Health Care, Bio-Pharma, Petrochemicals, General Machinery, Construction, Shipbuilding

Southern Africa
Southeast Asia
October 23-27, 2017
November 6-10, 2017
Registration Deadline:  August 25, 2017
Registration Deadline:  September 8, 2017
Top Opportunities:  Aviation, Automotive Components, Electricity Power Generation Systems, Franchising, Information Technology, Mining Equipment, Medical Equipment and Healthcare Services, Renewable Energy, Pollution Control Equipment, Telecommunications, Transportation, Infrastructure and Civil Construction
Top Opportunities: Medical Products & Services, Defense Equipment, Advanced Manufacturing, ICT, Hardwoods, Environmental Products & Services
Trade Shows

Join Virginia's booth to exhibit your company's products and services at one of these international trade shows.
Defense & Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2017
Mining Expo 2017
AUSA 2017
Annual Meeting & Exposition
September 12-15
September 18-22 October 9-11
Registration Deadline:   July 14
Registration Deadline: July 21
Registration Deadline:  August 11
Learn More Learn More
Roanoke County Business on RVTV

On this month's show,  we learn about the resources available to local businesses through the Western Virginia Workforce Development Board. We visit the site of Lewis Gale Medical Center's new freestanding center, which is the first redevelopment project in the 419 study area. Finally, we show you what makes the Catawba Valley Farmers Market unique.
Consult the RVTV website for the viewing schedule or click the link above to watch the show on Youtube!