Economics & Economy

Roanoke Eatery Enjoys the Sweet Taste of Success

May 19, 2014
by Beverly Amsler

You may have heard of Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other programs where people donate money to help fund a specific project, such as a film.  Roanoke is the first Virginia city to implement a new type of grass-roots crowd sourcing for small businesses. 

Viva la Cupcake is a shop in Roanoke’s eclectic Grandin Village Community.  On a street corner across from an elementary school, it’s the perfect spot for parents and their kids to stop for a sweet treat.  Pennie Ahuero and her husband opened the shop five years ago and now they’re ready to grow.

Quality early education has been identified as a key factor for success later in life.  But many communities in Southwestern Virginia don’t have enough daycare centers spots to go around.  

Radford, Virginia is a university town full of young families, but with no place to nearby providing day care.

Agida Manizade: “In town full time infant care, 12 spots and our research shows that right now we have 96 infants in town.”

A renewable energy coalition is countering a recent Time Magazine article that's critical of biofuel use. In fact, the “Fuels America” coalition has rolled out its own report that suggests that the Commonwealth is one of several East Coast states that could capitalize on the MANY benefits that ethanol and cellulosic alternatives can provide. 

Farmers' Markets on the Rise

Apr 17, 2014

There are now  more than 240 farmers' markets statewide, an increase of about 180% since 2006.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says if every household in the state spends ten-bucks  a week on locally-grown food, it would mean a $1.6 billion dollar investment back into the economy.

You can find a list of farmers' markets across Virginia here.

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Nestled in almost every corner of Virginia is a small operation transforming something that's just edible--into a delectably palatable creation.

Some can only be found in mom and pop stores, farmer's markets, and, occasionally, the larger grocer or restaurant chains. But every two years, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services showcases these businesses and their products at the Virginia Food and Beverage Expo.