Business Partners Newsletter
February 2017: Volume 17, No. 2
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 .
Deadline Extended! Gauntlet Business Plan Competition
The  Gauntlet:
Bigger & Better This Year
What are you expecting to happen within the New Year?
Do you have a new idea?
What about starting a new business and becoming your own boss?

The Advancement Foundation is a non-profit that creates opportunities for dynamic community development by facilitating opportunities that empower citizens. We are gearing up for the regions largest business competition called The Gauntlet that will be held in early May. 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's competition was held within Vinton and did so well, that we are now expanding our reach into both Roanoke and Botetourt County. The Advancement Foundation is working with partners in economic development, local governments, the Small Business Development Center and many business partners to create a collaborative community. This year, we will be awarding the entrepreneurs with $200,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.

Currently accepting applications - sign up today!

Application deadline is February 10, 2017!

Keep posted via Facebook, Twitter, newsletters and various media outlets!

 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  





Roanoke County Business Partners On RVTV

In the Roanoke County Business Partners February show,  we learn about the engineered silk created by Precision Fabrics Group for the healthcare industry. We visit the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport to explore the role of the airport in our regional economy. Finally, we visit PogoTec, where we will give you an inside look at the latest in electronic wearable device technology.

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.
Save the Date: Reimagine 419 Plan Reveal - March 9

In January, nearly 60 people attended the Transportation Community Meeting and commented on design scenarios for Route 419. Back at the Kick-off Meeting in September, we asked you about the study area's strengths and weaknesses. As a reminder, here's how transportation scored:

Number of transportation challenges: 5
- Unsafe for pedestrians and bikers
- Not able to walk/bike through corridor; no sidewalks and bike trails
- Lack of public transportation options
- Dangerous Intersections/Crossing
- Too much congestion/traffic

This conclusion wasn't news to the planning team, but it did help to guide the study's proposals for the future design of Route 419 near Tanglewood.

The draft Reimagine 419 Town Center Plan will be available for review and comment in a month or so. A Community Meeting for the Plan Reveal will follow in early March.

Reimagine 419 Plan Reveal & Community Meeting
March 9, 2017
6:30 p.m.
Holiday Inn Tanglewood

Get Recognized

Have a business anniversary this year?

Virginia Business wants to know! In March, Virginia Business will be listing companies celebrating major anniversaries. So if your business is at least 20 years old this year and has a milestone anniversary (ending in a 0 or a 5), please email  Robert Powell.

Two great chances to be a winning business, one entry process!

SCORE and Sam's Club  are  celebrating the best small businesses in the USA through the American Small Business Championship and the SCORE Awards. Share your unique story to win $25,000 or other amazing prizes.

Click here to apply by February 13th.

Events: Business Tools for Success

We want to help you prosper in 2017 so make learning a priority this year. There are a variety of workshops and events  designed to provide you with the knowledge  to take  your business and/or career to the next level.

Salem-Roanoke County Chamber Business Technology Showcase
February 7
Salem Civic Center
Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council - Cyber Security Forum
February 9
Virginia Western Community College
Business Basics
February 14
Roanoke Small Business 
Development Center

First Aid, CPR and AED  Certification 
February 15
Roanoke Regional Home 
Builders Association
Marketing Basics
February 21
Roanoke Small Business Development Center
Facebook Advanced
February 28
Roanoke Small Business Development Center

Roanoke County Sponsors LEAN Conference

Learn More and Register:
Other Happenings
LEAP Farmer Listening Sessions  
February 21, 27 & March 6
Multiple Locations

Roanoke Valley Area Food Producers: Come, Speak, Share.
What ideas, concerns, needs, challenges do you have about farming? Input will be shared with stakeholders and will guide efforts to support local farmers.

eXperience Young  Professionals Summit
March 10, 2017
Roanoke College, Colket Center

We are stronger together - collectively we can build a region of which we are proud. The 2017 eXperience will provide paths for YOU to become more informed and engaged in the Roanoke and New River Valleys.

Burton Center Engineering Students Showcase Projects

The Burton Center for Arts and Technology recently hosted its Senior Engineering Showcase. Four projects have been developed that showcase real-world solutions to specific challenges, demonstrating the integration of STEM in education.

Engineering students submitted entries for the Virginia Department of Education Student-Led-Ideation Challenge (SLIC) and displayed these projects during the showcase in January. Students have been selected to participate in the Regional competition to be held at Virginia Tech on March 7, 2017.
Welcome: New Faces around the County
Jill Sluss - Salem Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce

The executive board of the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce has named Jill Sluss the new executive director.  Sluss succeeds Caroline Goode, who recently relocated out of town.

Celebrate: Good News 
Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport: New Flight

The Roanoke Regional Airport Commission announced that American Airlines will add a second non-stop daily departure to New York City's La Guardia airport from Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional airport effective January 9, 2017.  The additional flight will increase service to twice daily Monday - Friday and once daily on Saturday and Sunday.

Roland E. Cook Elementary Lofts: Now Leasing

Roanoke County is glad to see that the Roland E. Cook Lofts project is moving quickly - they are now leasing! 
This is an exciting redevelopment project for Roanoke County and the Town of Vinton! 

Roanoke Regional Chamber Hall of Fame: Hollins University

Roanoke County is pleased to congratulate Hollins University on initiation into the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame in honor of their 100 years of chamber membership.

Award-Winning Hollins University Professor: Caren Diefenderfer 

Caren Diefenderfer, Hollins University professor of mathematics, was named a winner of the 2017 Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award by the Mathematical Association of America.

2017 Best of the Blue Ridge Winner: Fleet Feet Sports

Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke is the 2017 Best of the Blue Ridge winner in the running store category. The winners were revealed in th January 2017 edition of   Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine

Roanoke County Police and Sheriff Personnel Recognized

The Brambleton Area Business Association (BABA) recognized the Roanoke County Police Department and Sheriff's Department for their assistance and participation in making the first Brambleton Avenue Christmas Parade a success. Police Chief Hall and Deputy Sheriff Beheler were presented a certificate of appreciation at the January BABA meeting.

Roanoke County: Data Center Ready

Roanoke County Featured in Expansion Solutions Magazine

Roanoke County's latest marketing effort features a spot in  Expansion Solutions Magazine , focused primarily on the Center for Research and Technology (CRT). The feature was produced in partnership with Appalachian Power to highlight the data center capabilities of CRT while also providing additional exposure for the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority. This marketing effort contributes to the effective positioning of the Roanoke region for new technology investment.

Click here for the online magazine
Virginia Trade Missions and Shows - Chile, Israel, Mexico, UK
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 meetings set up on your behalf, with your input, to save you time and maximize your results.

United Kingdom Poland & Czech Republic
April 3-7, 2017
May 22-26, 2017
Registration Deadline:  February 3, 2017
Registration Deadline: March 24, 2017
Top Opportunities:   Aerospace,  C onstruction, Medical Device & Technologies, Renewable Energies, Snacks & Convenience Foods, and Information Technology/Cyber Security
Top Opportunities:  Advanced technologies, Automotive, Chemicals, Construction, Defense and Military, Electronics, Energy Efficiency and Green Technologies, Food and Beverage, Healthcare, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Manufacturing, Medical Equipment, and Security
Learn More
Trade Shows

Join Virginia's booth to exhibit your company's products and services at one of these international trade shows.

FAMEX: Aerospace Show
April 26-29, 2017
Zumpango, Mexico
Exponor: International Mining Show
May 15-19, 2017
Antofagasta, Chile
ISDEF: Defense & Security Show
June 6-8, 2017
Tel Aviv, Israel
Register by  February 24, 2017
Register by March 17, 2017 Register by April 7, 2017

Save the Date
Spring 2017 Workshops

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.

Violence in the Workplace April 2017-June 2017
Creative iPad April 25, 2017
Career and Lifestyle Fair May 9, 2017
iMarketing June 20, 2017

Did You Know?
Roanoke Region Wins Big in 2017 Best of the Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine announced its 2017 Best of the Blue Ridge award winners in its January 2017 issue and the Roanoke Valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge is well represented.

Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge: Promoting Tourism has Many Benefits

Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge focuses on promoting the region by building brand awareness and showcasing stories/experiences, images and video through content marketing. Four videos have been produced highlighting the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Outdoor Recreation, Family Fun and Arts & Culture plus Entertainment in Virginia's Blue Ridge. The goal is to entice potential businesses and visitors to the region's official destination website ultimately driving increased economic impact.  These videos can be viewed at this link