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Business Matters strives to explore that subject from a variety of viewpoints and scenarios - the big players, the up-and-coming, the look ahead; featuring interviews with the people helping to grow jobs, the economy, and the Blue Ridge region.  Series host Gene Marrano is an award-winning radio and print journalist, and the editor of Valley Business FRONT magazine.

Contact us at BusinessMatters@BlueRidgePBS.org

Watch episodes online!

Coming Up:

May 7 - We focus on local economic development news – ranging from big box stores to small businesses. Guests are Jill Loope, Director of Economic Development for Roanoke County; Marc Nelson, Economic Development Manager for the City of Roanoke; Ben Tripp, City Planner for the City of Salem; and Angie Chewning, Executive Director for the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce.

May 14 - Why is broadband expansion so important as an economic driver, and what shortcomings did 2020 expose in the regional broadband network? Guests are Frank Smith, President and CEO of the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority; Gary Larrowe, Administrator for Botetourt County; Dr. Steve Midkiff, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Virginia Tech; and Ray LaMura, President of VCTA and the Broadband Association of Virginia.

May 21 -  Innovation, and what it means for economic development in Southwest Virginia.

May 28 - How local partnerships are growing the economy, and local businesses.

MORE TO COME!

Watch episodes online:

Episode 106 - May 7, 2021

We focus on local economic development news – ranging from big box stores to small businesses. Guests are Jill Loope, Director of Economic Development for Roanoke County; Marc Nelson, Economic Development Manager for the City of Roanoke; Ben Tripp, City Planner for the City of Salem; and Angie Chewning, Executive Director for the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Episode 105 - April 30, 2021

 A look at how local small businesses have adapted, and pivoted, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Guests are Beth Bell, Executive Director of the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce; Jamie Clark, Marketing and Communications Manager for Downtown Roanoke Incorporated; and Kat Pascal, co-owner of FarmBurguesa restaurants.

Episode 104 - April 23, 2021

An important conversation with several area working mothers, on the challenges they’ve faced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Guests are Shannon Dominguez with the Advancement Foundation; Abby Hamilton, President and CEO of United Way of Roanoke Valley; Kim Whiter, CEO of Elder Care Solutions; Karen Pillis, Director of Mental Health Services with Family Service of Roanoke Valley; and Shanna Ferguson, insurance agent with Holley Insurance.

Episode 103 - April 16, 2021

Guests are Mary Miller with RAMP, John Phillips with Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, and Glenn Feit, with QuickTech Medical. This episode focuses on local mentoring programs for high-tech startups to launch, and grow, their business enterprises. 

Episode 102 - April 9, 2021

Guests Brian Ball, Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Joyce Waugh share insights on the state government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. How did the state economy respond, and is economic growth still on track?

Episode 101 - April 2, 2021

Guests are Landon Howard and Catherine Fox of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, and Pete Eshelman and Julia Boas with Roanoke Outside, and the Roanoke Regional Partnership. The discussion focuses on how to bring tourists, and the locals, back to the outdoor amenities, cultural attractions, shops, and eateries, during Covid-19 restrictions.  

Thank you to our program sponsor:

Lionberger Construction