Business Partners Newsletter
May 2018: Volume 18, No. 5
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 .

May is Business Appreciation Month in Virginia and Roanoke County Economic Development wants to thank all of the Roanoke Region's businesses both large and small for playing a major role in helping to make our community a great place to live, work, and play.

We consider ourselves fortunate to have such an outstanding community of well-established businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs.

Thank you for making the Roanoke Region such a great place to prosper!

One-on-One Business 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
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.


Grant Available to Grow Your International Business

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.
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

Reimagine Hollins and Oak Grove

You told us how Oak Grove could become a new destination to EAT. SHOP. ENTERTAIN. CONNECT. all within a short, comfortable walk, and that Hollins could become an even better place to LEARN. WORK. DINE. PLAY.

See where these ideas could lead at Design Open Houses for the Oak Grove and the Hollins Center studies this month! We will present the full results of the survey (595 completed for Oak Grove and 393 completed for Hollins) and our public input exercises.. You'll get a chance to weigh in on more specific future possibilities for the area regarding transportation, community spaces, design and aesthetics.

The meetings are family friendly and will include fun activities for the kids to learn about planning their community! CORTRAN and STAR service will be available.

Share your ideas to shape the future of your community!

Hollins Center meetings (pick one):
  • Thursday, May 10 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Hollins Library, 6624 Peters Creek Rd, Roanoke, VA 24019
  • Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Hollins Library, 6624 Peters Creek Rd, Roanoke, VA 24019
Oak Grove Center meetings (pick one):
  • Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    at Oak Grove Church of the Brethren, 2138 McVitty Road SW, Roanoke, VA 24018
  • Thursday, May 24 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 
    at Oak Grove Church of the Brethren, 2138 McVitty Road SW, Roanoke, VA 24018

Want to keep in touch?
Click the buttons under each study to sign up for email updates!

Events: Business Tools for Growth

Virginia Tech Roanoke Center
Facts & Snacks Series

Grow Your Exports, Brands, and Business Globally
May 3
Montgomery County Government Center
Business Growth Conference
May 5
Vinton War Memorial
Join VEDP - International Trade and IBT Online to learn more about manging your global online presence.
From strategic planning, to delivery and implementation of localized websites and online marketing management, you need to tailor your online presence to meet your international business objectives.
Ready for AWESOME marketing presentations by a Google national trainer? Ready for some SERIOUS networking? Ready to encounter industry experts and SOAK-UP their knowledge? Ready to learn SIMPLE strategies to SCALE your business? Business and marketing professionals please don't miss out! 
Register Here Register Here

Entrepreneurial Mindset: Gig Economy Course
June 13 

Google: Build a Local Search Presence

Business Smart Start

Google Tips for Measuring Success
May 2

May 8

May 15

OSHA 501 Trainer Course
May 7-10

Other Happenings

CPR & AED Educational Event
May 12
Green Ridge Recreation Center
Gallop for the Greenways
May 12
River's Edge Sports Complex
 Want to learn how to COMPRESS & SHOCK...and save a life? Come out to the Green Ridge Recreation Center  on May 12 for a one-hour training session on CPR & AED education. The class is hosted by the Compress & Shock Foundation and taught by our own Operation Medical Director Dr. Saccocci and a number of our paramedics.
Gallop for the Greenways is an annual fundraising event to support our growing network of pedestrian and bicycle trails. Stick around after the races for post-race festivities including music, food and a fine selection of beverages proper for adults and children. Mark your calendars today and join us in supporting one of the most important quality of life assets in the Roanoke Valley!
Learn More Learn More

Virginia Values Veterans (V3)
Employer Training Event
May 15
Virginia Western Community College
Vinton Grapes & Grains Festival
May 19
Vinton War Memorial
During this free event, employers will learn why hiring Veterans will be the best business decision their organization can make, as well as gaining access to valuable resources to connecting directly with this population. This event is tailored to all employers needs and challenges.
We would like to introduce our Vinton Grapes & Grains Festival -formerly known as the Vinton Wine & food Festival -  returning to the Vinton War Memorial lawn. Craft and food vendors, breweries and of course, WINE!! 
 Learn More Learn More

Virginia Lifescience Workforce Summit
June 21
Richmond, VA
Don't miss the premier Virginia Life Science Workforce Summit. It is a statewide gathering of life science industry employers, higher education institutions, economic development authorities, HR professionals, and policymakers.
Learn More


Roanoke County and City celebrate new blueway access point at Jae Valley Park

Roanok e County and the City of Roanoke held a ribbon cutting to open a new  blueway access point and passive recreation park  on April
 20, 2018. Jae Valley Park is a new 10 acre facility located at 3963 Jae Valley Road near Mount Pleasant in Roanoke County. This park will provide canoe and kayak access to Back Creek, fulfilling a key connection within the Roanoke River Blueway system. Located approximately five miles upstream from Explore Park, paddlers will be able to enjoy spectacular scenery and geological formations along this stretch of water whenever seasonal conditions allow. Hiking trails within the park will allow visitors to enjoy the outdoors year round.

Jae Valley Park
3963 Jae Valley Road
Roanoke, VA 24014

Vinton's first Zagster Bikeshare station opens

The Town of Vinton and Ride Solutions celebrated the first Zagster Bikeshare station to open outside of the City of Roanoke on April 23, 2018 with a ribbon cutting. The station at the Vinton Farmer's Market is the  15th station in the network which now has 84 bikes that users can check out across the Roanoke area. For more information on the program, click here.

Zagster Bikeshare Station
Vinton Farmer's Market
204 W. Lee Avenue
Vinton, VA 24179

Governor Northam visits for the opening of the inaugural Virginia Career Works center 

Governor Northam visited Roanoke on April 24, 2018 to celebrate the grand opening of the inaugural Virginia Career Works center, located in the City of Roanoke. The new career center will offer comprehensive workforce development services to jobseekers and employers in the Roanoke Valley. 

Virginia Career Works - Roanoke Center
3601 Thirlane Road
Roanoke, VA 24019

Kelly Cafe opens in The Shoppes at West Village 

Kelly Cafe held a ribbon cutting and grand opening  on April 27, 2018  with the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce. Kelly Cafe is a family owned business  specializing in sweet treats such as gelato, tiramisu, macarons, cookies and other pastries. It also offers a variety of specialty teas and coffees. 

3565 Electric Road
Roanoke, VA 24018

Workforce Development

Roanoke County Economic Development Authority Members Tour Burton Center 
On April 18, 2018, members of Roanoke County's EDA toured the Burton Center for Arts and Technology.
They visited with students and teachers to learn about the mechatronics, cybersecurity, IT, construction technology, crime investigation, emergency medical technician, cosmetology and other programs offered at the center.
They also learned about the partnership between Roanoke County and Carilion that is creating the first in the region nursing certification program for high school students.

Click here  to learn more about the 
Burton Center

Burton Center Students create prosthetic leg for puppy

Juniors at Arnold Burton Technology Center are working with Dr. Mark Wadstrom, owner of Animal Care Center of Salem to make a prosthetic leg for Spartacus the puppy.  

They are using a 3-D printer to create the leg for Spartacus who was born with a malformed foot.

"We're going to try to make a prosthesis, so it keeps his leg straight and helps him with his growing in both legs," said Dr. Wadstrom.

Click here  to see the entire story on WSLS.


Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge claims 8th consecutive year of record tourism growth in 2017

Investments from the Cities of Roanoke and Salem and the Counties of Botetourt, Roanoke and Franklin as well as support from over 1,400 private industry partners, generated record impacts for tourism in 2017 for Virginia's Blue Ridge. Virginia's Blue Ridge (VBR) annual visitor spending is over $813 million and employs nearly 8,000 full-time jobs. Visit VBR experienced record sales in hosting meetings and sporting events. Social media followers and website traffic to reached record views.

Click here to view the 2017 Progress Report!

VBR Annual Meeting on May 17th

You are invited to attend Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge Annual Dinner Meeting.
Keynote Presenter - Andrew Davis, World-Renowned Speaker and Author of Town, Inc. (Grow Your Business. Save Your Town. Leave Your Legacy. Stake Your Claim)
May 17, 2018 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center

Click here  to watch a video invitation from Andrew Davis
Click here  to register

Roanoke Regional Airport Commission continues Art in the Airport program

The Roanoke Regional Airport Commission is pleased to announce the fourth installment of the Art in the Airport program. The program features local artists and provides them exposure to the over 1,000,000 annual visitors to the airport.  This quarter we are excited to feature local artist Joli Ayn Wood.

"This art initiative is a great way to feature the exceptional talents of our local artists. These works allow the airport to partner with the community and expose the many visitors to the airport and region the talents of our artists," said Timothy T. Bradshaw, A.A.E., executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission.

Passenger traffic continues to grow at ROA in March

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport continues to see 2018 traffic increase with March traffic up 2.4% on a year over year basis. Compared to March 2016 passenger traffic is up over 7.0%. March 2018 saw 52,095 passengers fly via ROA compared to 50,855 in March of 2017 an increase of 1,240 passengers.

Strong community support, additional capacity, and improved airline operational reliability have all played roles in the continuation of sustained passenger growth, which began in September of 2016. March 2018 saw 2.4% passenger growth over March 2017.  Year to date 2018 traffic is up 3.7% versus 2017. At this pace the airport is on track to have its busiest year since 2011.

Virginia International Trade Events

 2018-2019 Trade Event Schedule
Trade Mission or Event
Registration Deadline
USAFRICOM Africa Endeavor
July 30 - August 3, 2018
June 29, 2018
SMM 2018 (Germany)
September 4 - 7, 2018
July 6, 2018
Trade Mission to Colombia 2018
October 1 - 5, 2018
August 2, 2018
AUSA 2018
October 8 - 10, 2018
August 10, 2018
Trade Mission to South Africa & Morocco
October 24 - 30, 2018
August 24, 2018
Trade Mission to Saudi Arabia
Oct. 28 - Nov. 1, 2018
August 31, 2018
Trade Mission to Southeast Asia
November 7 - 13, 2018
September 7, 2018
Trade Mission to Romania & Czech Republic
November 12 - 16, 2018
September 14, 2018
Arab Health 2019 (UAE)
January 28 - 31, 2019
November 30, 2018
Winter Germany 2019
February 2019
January 5, 2019
Trade Mission to the United Arab Emirates
February 24 - 28, 2019
December 28, 2018
Trade Mission to Mexico
March 25 - 29, 2018
January 26, 2019
LAAD Brazil 2019
April 2 - 5, 2019
February 7, 2019
Trade Mission to Germany & the Netherlands
April 29 - May 3, 2019
March 1 , 2019
Trade Mission to Brazil
May 20 - 24, 2019
March 22, 2019

Roanoke County Business Partners Show on RVTV

On this mont h's show, we attend the ribbon cutting of the first Zagster Bikeshare station in Vinton and discuss how companies can get involved in this new program. We get an update from one of the student apprentices at the Western Virginia Water Authority and hear from his father why it's been beneficial for his son to participate in the program. Finally, Pete Eschelman with Roanoke Outside talks to us about what the opening of Gander Outdoors means for the region's outdoor brand.