Business Partners Newsletter
December 2016: Volume 16, 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 County - It's All Connected

"It's All Connected."
This was the theme of the 2016 State of the County address presented by Jason Peters, Chairman of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors. Chairman Peters spoke of the successes of many different organizations and how they continue to strengthen the valley's reputation as a competitive business location and an exceptional place to live and work. The 419 Town Center Study, Explore Park, Broadband, and our Airport - "It's All Connected." 

Mike Wray, Chairman of the Roanoke County School Board, carried the theme of connections into the State of Roanoke County Public Schools address. Chairman Wray highlighted the accomplishments of the school system and the connections that have been made with the community and with businesses. "We want to make connections with you... we want to partner with your organization," said Wray.

It's All Connected.

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

Roanoke County Links
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 Town - Vinton

On November 17, 2016, over 100 people gathered to hear Mayor Brad Grose update the community on activities for the past year and plans for the upcoming year.
Vinton is in a better position than many small towns in Virginia and across the country. This year has brought redevelopment projects like the Roland E. Cook School, the sale of the former Vinton Library, and the town's first brewery.

Burton Center Students Get Involved in 419 Planning Study

Roanoke County and Stantec's Urban Places Group teamed up with the Burton Center for Arts and Technology for the November meeting of the 419 Town Center Study. Stantec associates presented the 419 Town Center Study information to the Burton Center's engineering students. 
Sixty students in grades 9-12 then completed the same mapping exercise as study participants from the prior evening's workshop. Students identified amenities they use now, stores, restaurants, recreation and outdoor amenities they would like in the planning area, and transportation improvements needed, such as sidewalks and bike paths.

This collaboration allowed the students to see first-hand how engineering plays a role in urban planning and development and to learn what goes into planning studies like the 419 Town Center Study.

The opportunity to get student input was unique for 419 Town Center Study planning process because the students represent a demographic to which planners don't usually have access. The insights gained from this project will help better plan with future generations in mind.

Save the date: January 4, 2017
The next planning night is January 4th.  Updates will be posted on the  Reimagine 419 website  and on  Facebook .

Roanoke County Business Partners On RVTV

The Roanoke County Business Partners December show covers the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center's  new business tool, "GrowthWheel,"  progress of  the 419 Town Center Planning Study, and new developments at Ballyhack Golf Club.

The show is now no more than 15 minutes and there is a new show each month. Consult the RVTV website for the viewing schedule.
Brambleton Avenue Christmas Parade - Dec. 10th
Please Note: Traffic on Brambleton Avenue  between Harris Street and Garst Mill Road  will be restricted to one travel lane in each direction from 9:30 AM until 12:00 PM on December 10, 2016.

For Additional Information,  Visit the Website

Welcome: New Faces Around the County

Adam Taylor - VT Catawba Sustainability Center Manager

Adam H. Taylor has been appointed as the new manager of the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center. Adam joined the Outreach and International Affairs' team on November 1, 2016. 

Pareena Lawrence - Hollins University's 12th President 

Pareena Lawrence has been appointed as the next president of Hollins University. Lawrence will succeed retiring President Nancy Oliver Gray in July, becoming the university's 12th president. 

Celebrate: New Business in Roanoke County

Roanoke County welcomes the newest members of our business community. 
Edward Jones

Edward Jones Financial Advisor, Tommy Bryant, celebrated his new location with a "Coffee Club" event featuring American Funds and a ribbon cutting on November 1, 2016.

Edward Jones - Financial Advisor: Tommy Bryant
 2754 Electric Rd, Suite B
Roanoke, Virginia 24018
Twin Creeks Brewing Company

A ribbon cutting for Twin Creeks Brewing Company was held on Friday, December 2, 2016. Jason Peters, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and Vinton District representative, presented Twin Creeks Brewing Co. with a Roanoke County tapestry.

Twin Creeks Brewing Company is the County and Town's first brewery and has gained a lot of attention since its soft opening in November. The founders, Jason Bishop, Andy Bishop, and Barry Richardson received a $12,000 grant last spring through the GAUNTLET Business Plan Competition held by The Advancement Foundation to help fund their new business.

Twin Creek Brewing Company
111 South Pollard Street
Vinton, Virginia 24179

Lopez Wealth Management

Lopez Wealth Management held a ribbon cutting held December 5, 2016 at their new Roanoke County office on Starkey Road. Tyler Caveness, president, was presented  with a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors.

Lopez Wealth Management
5604 Starkey Road 
Roanoke, VA 24018

Two Roanoke County Properties Benefit from AEP Grants

The Roanoke County Center for Research and Technology and the Woodhaven site received grants totalling $30,000 through Appalachian Power's Economic Development Growth Enhancement (EDGE) program. 

The Center for Research and Technology will benefit from a $10,000 grant to develop a virtual study and grading package for a 57 acre site.

The Woodhaven site received $20,000 in grant funding for site planning and environmental assessments through the Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority.

Roanoke County Center for Research and Technology
Woodhaven Properties

Cave Spring High School Career Expo is a Huge Success!
Over 70 Businesses Partnered with Cave Spring High School
Roanoke County Economic Development congratulates Cave Spring High School for organizing an extremely successful career expo. Well over 70 businesses and organizations participated in the expo which was aimed at helping students to understand all of the career options available to them.
Western Virginia Water Authority:  Ready to Work with Students
Students learn about various high Tech monitoring systems that the Virginia Department of Transportation uses to keep our roads safe.
Students learn about all of the technolgy involved in the utilization and development sports equipment at Virginia Tech.
Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department display gear for students
Students learn about Roanoke County Community Development and how they can take part in planning for our future.
Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department display gear for students
Announcing the Gauntlet Business Plan Competition 2017
The Gauntlet: Bigger & Better This Year
Are you interested in starting your business in or expanding to Roanoke or Botetourt County? Join The Gauntlet Business Plan Competition!

The Gauntlet is a small business enterprise development event being held in late April. Leading up to the event, we have business classes which will help our entrepreneurs and community advocates hone their business ideas and concepts. 

Last year, there were over 20 participants with over $100,000 in prizes awarded to growing businesses. This year, it's getting bigger! The Gauntlet will offer upwards of $200,000 in cash and in kind services to this year's participants. 

In previous years, the Gauntlet was limited to businesses in Vinton. Thanks to partnerships between Roanoke County, The Town of Vinton, Botetourt County, and The Advancement Foundation, the contest is a regional effort. 

Application deadline is January 27, 2017!

January 27, 2017
Business Applications Deadline
February 7, 2017 Business Classes Begin
April 7, 2017 Final Business Plans Due
May 13, 2017 Gauntlet Awards Ceremony

We'll keep you posted via Facebook, Twitter, newsletters and various media outlets!
Roanoke County Helps Launch GrowthWheel
Take your Business to the Next Level!

Entrepreneurs and business owners, are you challenged to keep up with the daily routines in your business, knowing you need to do more to focus on growth, but uncertain what to do?

GrowthWheel is a hands-on,multi-session,action-oriented program designed to help entrepreneurs at all stages overcome their barriers to growth. GrowthWheel is a checklist that gives a 360 ° view on your business. This toolbox will help you make decisions and take action to move your business forward.

Attend the information session to learn more about GrowthWheel and how it can help your business.

January 11, 2017, 9:00 AM
Roanoke Regional SBDC
210 S. Jefferson Street
Roanoke, Virginia 24011

For more information about the program,  click here to watch the December Roanoke County Business Partners GrowthWheel segment with Tom Tanner of the Roanoke SBDC.

Click here for additional information:

December Events

December 8: Brambleton Business Association Meeting
December 10: Roanoke County Brambleton Christmas Parade
December 14:  Roanoke-Blacksburg Tech Council Holiday Social
Business Workshops Not to Miss
Upcoming Workshops: Roanoke Regional 
Small Business Development Center

Roanoke Regional SBDC
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Roanoke Regional SBDC
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Are you considering starting a new business? Not sure what you need to do and what steps to take? Then this is the class for you!  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.

This course describes the fundamentals of the most important aspect of any small business: marketing. At the end of this course, you will be able to create a comprehensive marketing plan for your small business that encompasses a creative plan, a positioning plan, and a media marketing calendar--the essentials of any good marketing strategy.
Roanoke County Parks Honored with Four PR Awards

Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism was presented with four 2016 Summit Awards from the Public Relations Society of America, Blue Ridge Chapter, honoring outstanding work in western Virginia. Awards received are as follows:

Mobile/Tablet Application:
Gold Summit Award for the Roanoke County Parks App
Print Publication (single page):
Gold Summit Award for Explore Park Adventure Plan Brochure
Marketing Products & Services:
Silver Summit Award for the Splash Valley July 2016 Campaign
Public Relations Campaign (Government/Education):
Silver Summit Award for the Explore Park Adventure Plan Unveiling

Is your business ready to ScaleUp?
Available For Roanoke County Businesses

The ScaleUp Roanoke Valley application process is currently open to small business owners in the Roanoke Valley. 

The ScaleUp program aims to assist small business owners in achieving their growth goals. The program consists of ten guided peer-to-peer roundtable sessions and at least five hours of individual consulting time. ScaleUp also works to provide paths to financing for participants searching for capital. 

One-on-one consulting is ongoing and can start anytime. Look for information in our upcoming newsletter on the next cohort which is anticipated to start between the end of February and mid March.

Explore Park is Open For Business!
Business Opportunities Available 
Roanoke County is soliciting responses for destination and adventure-based recreation business to locate Explore Park. 

Interested businesses can click here to learn more and respond.

Last Chance to Register: Virginia Trade Missions to India and UAE
Be part of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership's Trade Missions to India and the United Arab Emirates and enjoy private, one-on-one meetings with prospective customers and partners. These well-planned visits are business meetings set up on your behalf, with your input, to save you time and maximize your results.
India 2017

When:  February 6-10, 2017

Registration Cutoff Friday, December 9, 2016

Registration Fee:  $2,500* (per company)
*Does not include airfare, lodging, and meals.

For more information, please contact:  Jordan Watkins, International Trade Manager, at  or  (757) 314-2129

Visit the Website                Event Flyer
United Arab Emirates 2017

When:  February 12-16, 2017

Registration Cutoff Friday, December 16, 2016

Registration Fee:  $2,500* (per company)
*Does not include airfare, lodging, and meals.

For more information, please contact: Diane Thomas, International Trade Manager, at  or (276) 623-1536

Visit the Website                 Event Flyer

Regional Accelerator Launching in Spring 2017

Propelling high-potential startups to expand and create jobs is the goal of RAMP ( Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program),  a new technology business accelerator program set to launch in early 2017 in downtown Roanoke. 

Entrepreneurs seeking to speed up the growth of their companies through education, mentoring, and access to capital should apply to participate in RAMP.


Roanoke County Featured in Expansion Solutions Magazine

Businesses of all sizes and all stages look for locations that meet their current business needs and provide them a strong foundation for future growth. Virginia was recognized as being such a location in the September/October edition of Expansion Solutions Magazine.

To capitalize on this recognition at the state level, Roanoke County placed an  advertisement for the Qualified Data Center Sites at the Roanoke County Center for Research and Technology. As an Appalachian Power Qualified Data Center Site, the Center for Research and Technology has been certified to have the infrastructure required by mission critical facilities - strong fiber and power supply, competitive electric power rates, low disaster risk and business friendly climates.
To learn more about Virginia as a home for business and to see the advertisement,  read the E-Magazine .

Did You Know?
Roanoke County Fire & Rescue and Northwest Hardware Team Up

Northwest Hardware a longtime Roanoke Valley business with locations in Roanoke County has partnered with Roanoke County Fire and Rescue to help provide smoke alarms to residents of the county who may be in need. Roanoke County Professional Firefighters Local 3149 provided a monetary donation to allow for the purchase of the alarms and Northwest Hardware provided a discount to allow the purchase of as many alarms as possible with the Union's donation. 

Virginia: A Top 10 Forbes' "Best States for Business"

Virginia has moved up in Forbes' "Best States for Business" ranking.
The commonwealth ranks No. 6 on the 2016 list, up from No. 7 last year. Virginia is ranked 2nd in terms of Labor Supply and 3rd for the Regulatory Environment.

New Water Tower Features VBR  Brand

The Virginia's Blue Ridge brand can now be seen on the water tower off I-581 in Roanoke County near Green Ridge Recreation Center.