Business Partners Newsletter
January 2018: Volume 18, 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 .
ATTENTION: Calling All Entrepreneurs
The GAUNTLET is Back! Calling all new and existing entrepreneurs in Roanoke County, Botetourt County, and the Alleghany Highlands!

Virginia's largest business program and competition is back! Register now at for The Gauntlet Business Program and Competition starting in February 2018.

During the Gauntlet entrepreneurs will participate in 10 weeks of business classes including:
  • Business Plan Development
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing/Advertising
  • Budgeting/Bookkeeping
  • Networking
  • And much more!
At the end of the program, compete for a total prize pool of $250,000 in cash and in-kind prizes! If You're Waiting For A Sign...This Is It!!!

For more information checkout - contact - or call (540) 283-7062! Gear Up!

Get Involved in the New Year

Start off the New Year as a Partner with Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge

Roanoke County tourism related businesses are invited to become a partner with Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge (VBR) free of charge. There has never been a more important time to take advantage of this opportunity than right now in the seventh year of consecutive record growth .  Relying on our marketing tools will help you successfully connect your business with visitors.

Visit VBR is the official destination marketing organization for this region with proven marketing programs.   Click here to learn how you can become a partner and gain increased marketing exposure as a Visit VBR Partner.
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 Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority Needs Your Input

RVBA is assessing business needs with a new survey

The Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority has recently completed a 25-mile extension of their carrier-grade open access network into Roanoke County. They are now serving businesses, nonprofits, and government facilities across the county. As they look to expand services and address the short and long-term needs of local business owners they are asking for community feedback. Please take 15 minutes to complete the business owner/executive survey at .

If you are interested in getting a quote for RVBA service to your Roanoke County business facility you may also email

Talent Attraction Initiative Focuses on What's New in the Valley

Show off What's New in the Roanoke Valley

We heard a lot from locals about how they spent Thanksgiving weekend. For many it was a whirlwind of showing off the many places to get outside, be entertained, or just kick back with a cold one. That got our talent attraction staff at the Roanoke Regional Partnership thinking about making it easier for you to show your adult children, friends, and other relatives that what they think about the Roanoke Region might not still be true.
"Boomerangs" are the adult children who moved away to Charlotte, Northern Virginia, Richmond, or wherever and now's the time for them to think more about coming back to the new Roanoke. Use our handy Home for the Holidays guide to show your "boomerangs" this a great place to live and more opportunity is here than ever before.

Events: Business Tools for Growth

WHAT : SCORE Roanoke and The Advancement Foundation  a re hosting a workshop with Google! This workshop will help business owners and entrepreneurs learn how to grow their businesses online. Led by Pamela Starr, one of Google 's professional national trainers, this is a can't miss workshop for every small business owner in the Roanoke area! RSVP and $15.00 fee is required.

: Tuesday, January 30th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm

WHERE : The Vinton War Memorial, 814 East Washington Avenue, Vinton, VA 24179

Visit Pamela's  LinkedIN here .

If you want to participate in The GAUNTLET and attend this workshop, then your GAUNTLET application fee of $20.00 will be waived. The GAUNTLET is Virginia's largest business program and competition.

Questions? Contact either SCORE Roanoke or The Advancement Foundation. or (540) 857-2834

Gig Economy Exposed: Here's What You REALLY Need to Know
By:  Samantha Steidle, RAMP Innovation Officer

You've probably heard a lot about the gig economy. Some of it's probably true, and some of it probably isn't. In this article, we're going to give you the bottom line on exactly what you need to know about the gig economy.
By 2020, more than 40% of our workforce will participate in the gig economy. That means there will be more consultants, temp agency workers, on-call workers, and contract workers. This "collaborative economy" is already leaving an impact felt virtually everywhere. 

Interested in Learning More? 
Here are some opportunities to plug into the gig movement:

Gig Economy Speaker:    Diane Mulcahy

March 5 
5:30-7:30 PM

March 13
5:30 PM
VWCC in Whitman


Business Smart Start

The Power of Negotiation

Facebook Ads in Ads Manager & Power Editor
January 16

January 24

January 30

Save the Date

Spring will be a busy time with many events on the schedule so stay tuned for more 
information on these events in the coming months.

Selling to the Government

Entrepreneur Express

Career & Lifestyle Fair
February 27

March 20

May 1

Other Happenings


Champloo Desserts opens in Tanglewood Mall

Champloo desserts held a ribbon cutting ceremony at their new location in Tanglewood Mall across from Applebee's on December 4 , 2017. The company still maintains their original store in Salem, making this their second location.  
Champloo Desserts
4344 Electric Road
Roanoke, VA 24018

Famous Toastery opens first Roanoke location

A new restaurant for breakfast lovers, Famous Toastery, opened in Keagy Village on December 8, 2017. It's a chain eatery based in North Carolina with about 25 locations; the restaurant at Keagy Village is the first in the Roanoke Valley. The restaurant caters to the brunch crowd with entire menu available all day.

Famous Toastery
5010 Keagy Road, Ste E200
Roanoke, VA 24018

Workforce Development
VWCC Workforce Manufacturing courses are available for Spring 2018!

Click here to learn more about Machining and Industrial Maintenance course.

Reduce costs!  Please note that the cost of our Workforce courses can be reduced significantly with current grants.
  • For individuals, please contact our Workforce Student Services team for criteria and screening. They can be reached at (540) 857-6076 or by email at
  • For employers, funding may be available to reduce the cost of training, in some cases as much as a 90% reduction in costs. For more information, contact Morgan Romeo with the Virginia's Blue Ridge Works at (540) 562-8442 or

Note that grant funding requires some information sharing and takes some time to work through. Please get started as soon as possible!


If you have questions about the program itself, feel free to give me a call. For reduced costs, please contact Workforce Student Services or Morgan Romeo listed above. 


Appalachian Power announces EDGE Grant recipients

Organizations in communities affected by a downturn in the coal industry are among the nonprofits and localities that will receive an economic development grant from Appalachian Power. The awards are part of ongoing efforts to promote economic growth in the company's service territory.

The Roanoke County Economic Development Department received $15,000 to support its website update. The updated site will be interactive and mobile friendly, and include the latest demographic, building and community-related information.

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
Property Spotlight: LSC Building

Unique investment opportunity

Located in an upscale business park with
quick access to I-81 in Roanoke, County, VA
$8,400,000 / $29.90 Per SF
280,899 +/- sf on 134 acres

12,000+/- sf of windowed office space
Pad-ready for more than 500,000 sf expansion
Zoned Industrial   

This modern manufacturing building was originally constructed in 1997 by R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company as a book printing manufacturing facility. The building has 12,000+/- square feet of windowed office space along with several break areas and a cafeteria. The manufacturing facility has 18' -21' foot ceilings, 11 dock high doors with two drive up ramps for a total of 280,899 +/- square feet. The building is situated on 134 acres and provides pad-ready facility expansion to more than 500,000 square feet. This is a fantastic building priced well below new construction cost and ready for immediate occupancy.
Roanoke County Business Partners Show on RVTV

On this mont h's show, Roanoke County's Director of Economic Development, Jill Loope, gives us a snapshot of what happened in the county in 2017. We speak with the Pete Peters in the Town of Vinton to learn about what has been going on in the town and what is to come in 2018. Finally, we attend the grand opening of the LewisGale Cave Spring ER, a standalone ER which is the first of its kind in the Roanoke Valley.