Economics & Economy

Earlier this month we aired a story from Sandy Hausman about AirBnB in Richmond - and how the home-sharing experience is, essentially, illegal there. Another Virginia city, however, has recently embraced the trend.

AirBnB has never exactly been ‘illegal’ in Roanoke, but when the idea of short-term rental was blooming, the City didn’t know what to make of it. River Laker was one of the first in Roanoke to register on AirBnB:

New Life for Tobacco Commission

Jul 23, 2015

In its 16 years, the Tobacco Commission has had a lengthy history of, well, slaps on the wrist. Created to distribute the state’s share of a national tobacco settlement in Southside and Southwest Virginia, members have been accused of playing a number of political and financial games under the guise of the commission’s intent. However, a few recent changes might have put the commission back on track.

While Israeli leaders have voiced their displeasure about the Iran nuclear deal amidst already strained relations with the U.S., some have wondered if that dynamic has had any impact on Virginia's business relationship with Israel. 

Virginia-Israel Advisory Board Executive Director Ralph Robbins says here, officials don't have to get too much into politics, and economic development transcends any politics at the higher levels.

Anne Marie Morgan

After facing a $439-million shortfall at the end of the last state fiscal year, the Commonwealth is poised to reap the benefits of an improving economy with a multi-million-dollar budget surplus. State employees, college faculty, teachers, and State Police troopers also stand to gain.

Finance Secretary Ric Brown said annual revenues have grown by 7.3%—ahead of the 4.7% forecast. 

“If that were to continue—that variance—through June 30th, it’s worth about $427 million dollars.”

Hunger Hotline

Jun 8, 2015

One in ten Virginians lives in households that can’t always afford enough food. However, there is a toll-free hunger hotline funded by the department of agriculture that connects callers in need with self-sufficiency services in their area, like food pantries and soup kitchens. Marianne Vargas is with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.

Virginia food banks distributed 142 million pounds of food to 1.2  million people last year.

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