Business Partners Newsletter
December 2017: Volume 17, No. 12
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 .
The State of the Town

One after another, changes are popping up in Vinton - reshaping not only the face of the small town but its sense of what's possible, said Mayor Brad Grose. On November 16, 2017, over 100 people gathered to hear Mayor Brad Grose update the community on activities for the past year and plans for the upcoming year at the annual State of the Town Address. Over the course of the past year, Vinton has hailed the revamp of its downtown streetscape, marked the grand opening of the Roland E. Cook Lofts redevelopment and debuted the first leg of a new greenway that pulls it closer to the larger regional trail network. 

For the full State of the Town address and video,   click here .
For the State of the Town Roanoke Times article,  click here.

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  

The State of the County

Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Chairman Joseph P. McNamara delivered the annual State of the County Address held at Green Ridge Recreation Center on November 10. Roanoke County School Board Chairman Tim Greenway also presented an update about the school system. Mark Hudzik, Public Policy Council Chairman for the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, gave the welcome and introduced the chairmen.

Chairman McNamara's message focused on how Roanoke County has transformed through the years while facing a changing marketplace and the impact of technology. He spoke of the need to adapt to change for the growth and development of our local economy. He also addressed the challenges that remain such as the needs of children enrolled in Children's Services Act programs, and the mental health and opioid crises. His final thought for the audience was from American rocket pioneer Robert Goddard: "It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today - and the reality of tomorrow."

For the full State of the County and State of Roanoke County Public Schools address and video, click here.

ATTENTION: Calling All Entrepreneurs

The Advancement Foundation in partnership with the economic development offices of Alleghany Highlands, Botetourt and Roanoke Counties is  seeking entrepreneurs of  all ages and experience who want to start or expand a business. We are particularly interested in entrepreneurs who will join our efforts to create a critical mass of interconnected businesses that will maximize success through outdoors/tourism within our communities. 
Over the next 6 months we will meet with and select 75 businesses that will be eligible to participate in the GAUNTLET Business Development Program and Competition! 
Over $250,000 will be awarded in Virginia's Largest Business Competition!
ALL right here in the Alleghany Highlands, Botetourt and Roanoke Counties.  
In addition, participants have access to business training, mentors, shared resources, expertise, 0% interest loan funds, incubation programs and more! 

Events: Business Tools for Growth

Business Basics
December 12
4:00 - 7:00 PM

Business Basics is an introduction to owning your own business. Topics covered include deciding on a legal entity structure, basic accounting and tax issues, steps you need to take for permits and licensing, steps to writing a business plan and basics of marketing and market research. We cover the nine steps to market research to determine if your business idea makes sense.  Class is for individuals in business, thinking of starting a business even if it might be years in the future. The class is 3 hours long so these topics will only be briefly covered. Upon completing the class you will have the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one appointment with one of the professional business counselors in the SBDC office. 

Other Happenings


ValleyStar Credit Union opens first Roanoke Valley location

ValleyStar Credit Union held a grand opening celebration on November 14, 2017 and hosted a community event over the weekend. Based in Martinsville, they broke ground in December 2016 for their first location in the Roanoke Valley. The new branch offers a wide range of financial services.

ValleyStar Credit Union
3452 Buck Mountain Road
Roanoke, VA 24018

LewisGale opens first standalone ER in Roanoke region

LewisGale held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the LewisGale Cave Spring ER on November 30 , 2017 and hosted an open house for the community that weekend.  From treating minor illnesses and injuries to major medical concerns, Cave Spring ER offers the same advanced technologies and services you would find at a hospital's emergency room but with added convenience and speed. Cave Spring ER opens on December 5, 2017. Chairman Joe McNamara presented LewisGale President & CEO Brian Baumgartner with a Roanoke County print.
LewisGale Cave Spring ER
2706 Ogden Road
Roanoke, VA 24018

Off-Leash K9 Training opens in Vinton

A popular spot for dog training in the New River Valley is opening a Roanoke County location. Off-Leash K9 Training is in the process of opening a new facility at 2445 E. Washington Ave. in Vinton. Owner Crystal Armes, who also owns the Christiansburg Off-Leash, expects the new location to be open in early December. 

The facility is designed to teach police and military precision obedience and behavior modification to household dogs. The trainers will teach all dogs, and the company's motto is "Any Size, Any Age, Any Breed."

Workforce Development

Glenvar High School hosts Career Expo

Thirty-nine businesses and organizations participated in the Glenvar High School Career Expo on November 30th. What set this career expo apart from others was the fact that students used a scheduling app to set up times when they would visit various businesses and organizations throughout the morning. Each business or organization was given a classroom to set up in and students rotated throughout the classrooms.
Students met with engineering firms, pharmacists, writers, lawyers, marketers, healthcare professionals, construction companies, first responders, environmentalists, and financial experts to name just a few. 
In addition, Glenvar High School Student, Cameron Priest, spoke with students about his experiences as an apprentice at the Western Virginia Water Authority.  

Glenvar High School student Cameron Priest shares his experiences as an apprentice at the Western Virginia Water Authority.


Roanoke County holds press conference to introduce new brand

Officials from Roanoke County unveiled new gateway signs and fleet decals that showcase the County's new Branding Mark at a media event on December 1, 2017.

The new branding was developed earlier this year by County staff within the Public Information Office and from the Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department. The branding mark features the blues and greens that reflect our community's mountain, river and open spaces, along with the iconic profile of Roanoke County's McAfee Knob.


Erin Burcham joins Roanoke Regional Partnership team

Erin Burcham has been named director of talent solutions for the Roanoke Regional Partnership. Burcham will direct a newly-created talent-attraction program that will contribute to the skilled workforce
needs of area businesses.

As part of the Accelerate 2022 plan, the Partnership announced the creation of a dedicated talent attraction program that builds upon the region's livability and connects with local college students.

Carilion President and CEO Nancy Agee named Virginia Business Person of the Year

Nancy Agee became president and CEO in 2011. Based in Roanoke, Carilion serves Southwest Virginia's roughly 1 million people at more than 200 patient-care sites, including seven hospitals. The largest private employer in western Virginia, Carilion has 13,000 employees, including almost 700 doctors, Last year, the health system generated $1.7 billion in revenue.

In addition to providing health care, Carilion has become an economic driver under Agee, collaborating with Virginia Tech on the creation of a medical school and research institute. The facilities are the anchors of an evolving "innovation district" that is attracting highly skilled professionals to Roanoke.

Brambleton Avenue Business Association held second annual Roanoke County Christmas Parade

The Brambleton Area Business Association held its second annual Christmas parade in Roanoke County on December 2, 2017. Local businesses, non-profits, and schools participated in the event which attracted hundreds of people.

Virginia International Trade Events

Virginia has received $255,000 in grant funding to support the Commonwealth's State Trade and Expor t Promotion (STEP) Grant Program. The STEP program, funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, is designed to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and to raise the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting. This year's grant will be administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership's International Trade Division. 

The State Trade and Export Promotion Grant (STEP) is designed to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and to increase export sales for those small businesses that are currently exporting. The program is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
By providing export assistance, we help smaller businesses generate new export revenues and create new jobs for Virginia.

  • Funds may be granted for travel to international markets on trade missions, exhibiting at trade shows, or your own company's international sales trips.
  • Reimbursement: 75% of pre-approved airfare and hotel room fees up to $3,000 per company for travel to foreign markets.
  • Proof of performance (booth pictures, meeting schedules, sales meeting reports, etc.) will be required for reimbursement.
  • STEP grants are awarded to eligible small businesses that meet the U.S. SBA's definition of a small business and who self-certify their eligibility.
  • Applications are processed and awarded on a rolling basis until all funds are expended. Approved activities must be completed by September 28, 2018.
For more information, to determine eligibility or to request an application contact:
Roger Porter, International Trade Manager
Virginia Economic Development Partnership
220 Roanoke Boulevard, Salem, Virginia 24153
Tel 540-387-2562; Cell 540-588-6820

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.

United Kingdom & Ireland
March 12-16, 2018
April 16-20, 2018
Registration Deadline: January 12, 2018
Registration Deadline:  February 18, 2018
Top Opportunities:    Transportation Infrastructure, Telecommunications, Energy, and Security and Aerospace
Top Opportunities:  Medical Devices & Technologies, Construction, Renewable Energy and Green Technology, Aerospace, Convenience Foods and Snacks, and Information Technology/Cyber Security

Learn More
Roanoke County Business Partners Show on RVTV

On this mont h's show,  we attend the lighting ceremony for the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority and learn why broadband is important to the Roanoke Valley. We speak with the president of ValleyStar Credit Union at the grand opening of their first Roanoke Valley location. Finally, the president of The Advancement Foundation, Annette Patterson, tells us about the 2018 Gauntlet business plan competition and how businesses and entrepreneurs can get involved.

Consult the RVTV website for the viewing schedule or click the link above to watch the show on Youtube!