Business Partners Newsletter
January 2019: Volume 19, No. 1
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 .
Roanoke County Boasts Some of the Most Influential Virginians   
 Two Roanoke County Business Leaders Made the List  
This is the sixth year that Virginia Business has published a list of the state's Most Influential Virginians.  They keep the list to 50 people, with new faces coming on each year and others rotating off.

Robert A. Archer, chairman and CEO, Blue Ridge Beverage Co.,  Salem
Why he is influential: Owned by the Archer family since 1959, Blue Ridge has 475 employees at locations in Salem, Abingdon, Waynesboro, Lynchburg and South Boston. Archer chairs the governing boards of the Roanoke Valley Development Corp., LewisGale Medical Center and Center for Alcohol Policy. He is treasurer of the Roanoke Higher Education Center board of trustees and also serves on the boards of Radford University and the Virginia War Memorial Foundation.

Heywood Fralin, chairman, Medical Facilities of America Inc., Roanoke
Why he is influential: Fralin is a member and past chairman of the Virginia Business Higher Education Council. He serves on the boards of the Virginia Western Community College Foundation, Taubman Museum of Art, GO Virginia and Virginia Research Investment Committee, which provides research funding to universities in the commonwealth.

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. 

International Trade Workshop 

Global Risk Mitigation & Financing
January 25, 2019
9:00 am - Noon
A free 3-hour interactive session on protecting your organization's
balance sheet, employees, and reputation during expansion
As organizations enter into new markets, global risk mitigation sometimes ignored. This session will focus on how firms can protect themselves through procedures and employee training while understanding the product and other liability laws in foreign markets, and using risk transfer tools like insurance to protect the organization's bottom line.
Items to be discussed include:
  • Liability laws and how they differ between markets
  • How to ensure the safety and health of traveling staff and/or overseas employees
  • Ways to avoid uncovered insurance claims and/or taxes related to insurance claims payments
  • Resources available to your business from VEDP
South County Library
6303 Merriman Road
For questions, call Lisa Soltis at 540.853.1694.

Get Ready for the Gauntlet!
Star Tank Returns  

Star Tank Pitch Applications Due  

January 4th Early Submissions  

January 14th Final Submissions


Survey for Entrepreneurs

Take the Online Survey
Roanoke County Libraries have the education tool your business needs

Free Learning Resource for Business! is now available through the Roanoke County Libraries to help expand your knowledge base. is an American online education company offering video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business skills. is available for patrons to use for free with their library card. To create an account visit our website, and click on virtual library. 

Roanoke County Libraries Offers Robotics, Coding, and Artificial Intelligence Programing

Workshop for Anyone Who Wants to Know How to Open a Craft Brewery

Make your Business Lean in the New Year

Save the Date


Pitch and Polish
January 9, 2019
Facts and Snacks 
 January 31

Implementing LEAN

February 26 -28 2019
Worthy Cause

Workforce Development
Dozens of students attended Student Registered Apprenticeship Showcase in December
In collaboration with sponsor businesses, Roanoke County Public Schools offers a Student Registered Apprenticeship Program to current juniors and seniors in good standing with their graduation requirements. These competitive apprenticeships are the pinnacle of work-based learning that can be offered by the schools and provide students an opportunity to work toward an industry credential, furthering their education and a possible career beyond high school.
Rising 11th and 12th graders (and their parents) from all 5 County High Schools interested in exploring Student Registered Apprenticeships for the 2019-2020 school year were invited to attend this showcase to meet with representatives from some of our partner businesses. More than 40 students and parents attended the showcase and  
met with representatives from some of our sponsors. Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, Western Virginia Workforce Development Board, the Office of Career and Technical Education and Burton Center for Arts and Technology also were represented at the Showcase.   
The school system is planning another showcase for Student Registered Apprentices on the evening of February 5.
Students, parents and companies interested in the Roanoke County Public Schools Student Registered Apprenticeships can learn about the program on the RCPS website. 
Burton Center Students Win 2018 Hot Rodders of Tomorrow National Championship for a Third Time!
The final half of the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge 2018 Dual Championship took place at the Performance Racing Industry Show in Indianapolis, IN in December.
It included 17 teams which came from coast to coast to battle to become one of the Top 4 teams to move on and compete in the Elite eight playoffs for the 2018 National Championship at the PRI Show Dec. 7th and 8th.
Each student earned scholarship opportunities ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 from Ohio Technical College, School of Automotive Machinists & Technology, and Universal Technical Institute.
 See the Story on
R-L Hot Rodders Rep Greg Parkeker; Teacher Chris Overfelt; Students Matthew Carter, Ryan Towles, Garret Carter, Tanner Pruzan, Ryan Lyles
Regional Sports Tourism Initiative a Success in 2018 
Virginia Blue Ridge Sports (VBR Sports) Overtime 

VBR Sports, a division of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge, launched in January 2018 as a regional initiative to capture more sports tourism. The regional soccer club in Virginia's Blue Ridge adopted the VBR brand as VBR Star, formerly Roanoke Star. The club operates out of the region's newest facility, Countryside Sportsplex. The inaugural Virginia's Blue Ridge Spartan Kids Race took place at Green Hill Park. Roanoke County was also host to the Virginia State Major Little League Baseball Tournament earlier this year.

Colonial Downs Off Track Betting
Rosie's Gaming Emporium



On December 17 developers of Colonial Downs Off Track Betting & Rosie's Gaming Emporium celebrated their groundbreaking for a complete renovation of their facility which will include a restaurant and bar. 

This new business is estimated to generate $500,000 in taxes annually and employ 125 people.  

Scheduled to Open in April of 2019
Rosie's Gaming Emporium
1135 Vinyard Rd in Vinton

Blue Valley Vet Ribbon Cutting 

On December 18 Doctor Emma Jeffries held a ribbon cutting for her new mobile veterinary service. She offers medical care for horses, cows, goats, sheep and pigs, as well as other animals.
Dr. Emma Jeffries
Blue Valley Vet

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.   
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)

Trade Mission to Mexico
Additional Trade Missions
March 25 - 29, 2019 Throughout the year
Registration Deadline:  January, 2019
Shake Hands with Potential Customers...In their Country!
Attention: Save the Date for 9 am to 11 am on January 25th for an International Trade Workshop - Details to Follow
Disaster Loan Program offered by SBA 
Deadline to apply is January 14, 2019
The U. S. Small Business Administration's Office of Disaster Assistance offers low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.
Disaster survivors in Virginia who were impacted by Tropical Storm Michael last month can apply online at:

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

Roanoke County Taking Bids
Deadline to Submit Bids is January 9, 2019

For more information and to bid, visit: www.Roanoke CountyVA.Gov/bids
Bid# 2019-058

Roanoke County Business Partners Show on RVTV

Welcome to Roanoke County Business Partners. On today's show, we celebrate the grand opening of Macado's in Vinton and learn what makes this Macado's unique. Next, Shari Henry, Director of Library Services for Roanoke County, tells us about a free online tool offered through the libraries and explains how it can be used by businesses large and small to train staff, develop managers and leaders, and much more. Finally, we are off to the races for a ground breaking ceremony to kick off the renovation a former off track betting facility in Vinton that will become Rosie's Gaming Emporium, and will offer satellite wagering and feature a new restaurant and bar.