Business Partners Newsletter
September 2018: Volume 18, No. 9
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 .

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Visits

Catawba Farmers Market



Returning to home region, agriculture secretary celebrates National Farmers Market Week in Catawba 

Bettina Ring chats with Kristy Sowers (left) of Flower Haven Farm in Roanoke County   and Laura Bower of Hillside Plants and Produce in Botetourt County on Thursday at Catawba. STEPHANIE KLEIN-DAVIS | The Roanoke Times
By Amy Friedenberger    981-3356  
Bettina Ring has passed by the farmers market in Catawba numerous times, but it wasn't until Thursday that she made her first visit to browse the heirloom tomatoes, scones and grass-fed beef......

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. 

Deadline to Nominate Your Company for Economic Gardening Program is September  28 

Nominate Your Company For the Virginia Economic Gardening Program!
Has your for-profit, privately held company been in business a minimum of five years?
Do you have between 10 and 100 employees?

Are your annual revenues between $1M and $50M?

Is most of your revenue derived from outside of the region and/or Virginia?

Can your company demonstrate growth in employment and/or revenue during two of the past five years?
If your answer to all of the above questions is "YES" then your business may qualify for The Virginia Economic Gardening Program.

This Economic Gardening Program is specifically geared towards companies that have survived the initial start-up years of operation and have also grown during that time. Even though they are growing, these second-stage companies often face unique challenges, or have distinct needs that must be met in order to continue their growth. These needs typically include enhanced industry intelligence, expansion of sector-based networks, and identification of new markets and competitors. Thus, the Economic Gardening program is designed to address these issues, as is further explained in the accompanying documents.

This program is about leveraging research using sophisticated business intelligence tools and databases that growth companies either aren't aware of or cannot afford. Research specialists typically assist in four key areas: strategic market research, geographic information systems, search engine optimization and social media marketing. Examples of how specialists help companies include:
  • Identify market trends, potential competitors and unknown resources
  • Map geographic areas for targeted marketing
  • Raise visibility in search engine results and increased web traffic
  • Track websites, blogs and online communities to better understand competitors and current and potential customers
  • Make informed decisions on core strategies and the business model
This program utilizes a virtual model, using trained specialists and team leaders, enables time-crunched CEOs to participate in an Economic Gardening network without ever leaving their offices.

The programs are hosted by Entrepreneur Support Organizations on a local, regional or statewide level and are licensed through the NCEG, operated by the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Nomination Deadline is September 28
Jay Brenchick

Additional Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Nomination Form

One-on-One Counseling Now Available!  
Are you looking for new avenues to grow your business?
Learn how you can provide your services and products to the State of Virginia
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

Events: Business Tools for Growth
To register visit 

For more information visit


To reserve a seat contact

  Register at

or email Carla Jackson a t

Business Smart Start

Google: Sharing your story through video

September 11

September 13

Sharpen Your Negotiation Skills
September 19
Cyber Security: VPNs and Connected Vehicles
September 20

Tech on Tap: Sinkland Farms with ABS Technology
September 27

2018 Regional Career Fair
October 1

Second Annual RAMP Demo Day
October 3

From Bah Humbug to Booming Holiday Sales
October 17
Save the date

The Business of Brewing Workshop

January 28- February 1, 2019
Other Happenings

2018 Catawba Valley Holiday Market will be November 17, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Vendor Applications are due October 10
Get more details and Vendor Application Here

September Events at the Market
September 13
Simple Gifts of the Blue Ridge will perform traditional folk music from the Appalachian and Celtic cultures. Instruments include hammered dulcimer, guitar, flute, bass. 
September 20
Artisans & Crafters Day with local crafts including copper kettles, jewelry, pottery, paintings, wreaths, goat-milk soaps, quilts and more
Music by Woodsong, with hammered dulcimer, guitar and banjo.
September 27
Educational displays by Farm Service Agency and Mountain Castles Soil & Water Conservation District. Bill Keith with National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide information on high tunnel hoop houses, including the financial and technical assistance available thru NRCS.

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

Brambleton Computer expands to new larger location
Brambleton Computer held a grand opening and ribbon cutting event   on August 1, 2018  with the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce. Brambleton Computer moved just down the street to gain more space and be more accessible, allowing the retailer to serve more customers and provide additional services. 
Brambleton Computer
3634 Brambleton Avenue
Roanoke, VA 24018

Blue Ridge Beverage breaks ground on expansion
Founded in 1938, Blue Ridge Beverage Company is one of the largest wholesale beverage distributors in Virginia, distributing hundreds of the finest malt beverages, fine wines and soft drinks made in the United States and around the world.  Blue Ridge Beverage is a legacy company that has maintained business operations in the Roanoke region for 80 years.  The company has been under continuous ownership of the Archer family for 59 years and   is currently undergoing a 40,000 sq. ft. expansion in Roanoke County to accommodate the changing needs of their customers and allow for additional office space for their team.

Workforce Development
Secure a spot today:

For more information visit


Watch the entire story on WSLS News


                                                                See entire story on WSLS


Virginia's Blue Ridge Cheers Trail and Passport launched
Vi sit Virginia's Blue Ridge (VBR) is pleased to announce the VBR Cheers Trail and Passport guiding visitors and locals through the regional craft beverage scene. The Cheers Trail will lure visitors to the region and entice them to dine, explore and stay overnight. The Passport is an added incentive offering a variety of discounts specific to 25 craft beverage partners. It's a win for the traveler and a win for the destination. "This is great news for VBR's booming craft beverage businesses and for the economy as a whole," said Landon Howard, President of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge. "We are now more focused than ever on experience-based travel and ways to connect visitors with our travel and tourism partners."

The Cheers Trail Passport can be found at and is free. Once you click on the link and access the web app, you simply register, follow the instructions and present the Passport to participating locations along the trail to redeem exclusive offers. A validation code will be provided by the merchant to redeem these exclusive offer(s). 

Virginia's Blue Ridge: Increase Your Online Visibility
Visit VBR is dedicated to increasing our online presence year-over-year...and the numbers speak for themselves.
Since January, They've received 672,958 unique visitors to their website, with over 1.6 million page views. That's an 11% increase from last year!

Get your business in front of potential visitors through cooperative advertising.
For more Details Contact: 

Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions: Zag This Week emails
Since its launch in May of 2017, the Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions program has continued to expand throughout the city, creating a network of 17 stations connecting downtown Roanoke to nearby neighborhoods, activity, and commercial centers.
This summer, RIDE Solutions created the weekly "Zag This Week" email newsletter highlighting businesses and events near bikeshare stations. This is a great opportunity to show all the great things Roanoke has to offer while emphasizing how easy it is to get to them on a Zagster.

Each newsletter highlights between four and six events taking place near a Zagster station. The newsletter has a goal of promoting a wide variety of events reflecting the wide variety of interests and activities taking place in Roanoke - from rooftop yoga, to concerts, to beer launches, to community service opportunities.
We are always looking for things to share with our over 3,000 members. If you or your business have an event or a promotion going on that you would like for us to highlight in our weekly newsletter, contact Tim Pohlad-Thomas, for more information. 

Overnight camping is available at Explore Park
Overnight camping has finally arrived at Explore Park
Throughout the season, we'll be opening dozens of new campground sites all over the park. Primitive sites are now available with cabins expected to be available in October. Why Explore Park? We're located directly adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway, but only 15 minutes from downtown Roanoke's shopping and dining scene. Plus take advantage of amenities like 14 miles of hiking trails and one of Virginia's top ranked disc golf courses.

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. 
Contact Judy Wood 

Virginia International Trade Events


Don't miss the 70th Virginia Conference on World Trade. Meet, develop and cultivate international partnerships with a network from around the world.  This is a must-attend event for Virginia business leaders interested in developing and cultivating international partnerships.

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.

Southeast Asia
Czech Republic & Romania
November 7-13, 2018 November 12-16, 2018
Registration Deadline:  September 7, 2018
Registration Deadline:   September 14, 2018
Roanoke County Business Partners Show on RVTV

Welcome to Roanoke County Business Partners. On today's show, we hear from Dina Lyons, Registered Apprenticeship Consultant, to learn how employers and employees can participate in the Registered Apprenticeship Program. Next, we visit Garret Farms in Glenvar to learn the history of the farm, what they are doing today on the farm, and their future plans. Then, we get an overview of Economic Development projects in the Town of Vinton that Roanoke County and the Town of Vinton have been working on for the last few years.