Economics & Economy

Hands-On Micro-Financing
4:00 am
Wed August 14, 2013

The Money Game

Assistant Professor Akshay Sharma, at center, works with women participating in a micro lending collective, which pays for basic entrepreneurial ventures.

As the saying goes, it takes money to make money.  But where does that leave the four billion people around the world who live below the poverty line? 

A Virginia Tech Professor is tackling that problem from a new perspective.  

Most people have heard the term ‘micro finance.’  Cooperatives lend small amounts of money to entrepreneurs and small businesses. The concept began in developing nations to help women start their own businesses. Experts say poor people who receive these loans repay them at the astounding rate 99.7%.

Read more
Straight from the Corner Store Garden
10:29 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Get Fresh!

Clay Street Market, Richmond VA
Credit Tricycle Gardens

A food desert is a neighborhood with no supermarkets – a place where you can’t buy fresh fruits or vegetables.  The small corner stores carry canned and dried food that keeps well on the shelf but is less nutritious than fresh produce, often high in fat and sugar. 

For a city of its size, Richmond, Virginia is the worst food desert in the nation, but an effort is underway to fix that problem.

Read more
Defense Industry Hardest Hit in Virginia
4:38 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Economic Fallout of Sequestration

An air crewman aboard VAW-125.
Credit U.S. Navy

A renowned economist is relaxing her predictions somewhat about the effects of federal sequestration on Virginia and now sees a reason for some optimism.  Chris Chmura says although the impact of the cuts will still hurt the Commonwealth more than most states, she expects there will  be some modest job growth.

Read more
Fighting Hunger
4:00 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Keeping VA's Food Banks Stocked for Summer

Hunger pangs may be a sign to raid the refrigerator, order carryout, heat up some leftovers, or head to your favorite restaurant. 

But thousands of Virginia children don't have that option.  In fact—and it’s a little-known fact—area food banks throughout the Commonwealth are in greater need of supplies over the summer than over the holidays, when most food drives take place.

Since 2006, there's been a 56-percent increase in the need for serving the hungry. And as Governor McDonnell explains, it's harder to restock food banks during this time of year than any other.

Read more
Economics & Economy
4:27 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Smithfield Foods to be Acquired by Chinese Company

Credit LM Otero/AP via NPR

Smithfield Foods is being sold to China’ s largest pork producer. 

Saying it’s a great day for American farmers, Smithfield Foods President and CEO Larry Pope has announced his company is being sold to Shuanghui International Holdings Limited, China’s largest meat processing enterprise and largest meat trading company.  It’s believed to be the largest takeover of an American company by a Chinese one.  The purchase price is $4.7 billion.

Read more

Pages