Economy and Economics

Maybe you’ve seen that television show Shark Tank?  …Where would-be entrepreneurs pitch their ideas for new businesses? Well, Floyd County is doing something sort of like that as a way to spark economic development there.  

VA Lawmakers Weigh In on US/Cuba Relations

Mar 9, 2015
Creative Commons,

With more than $40 million in sales, Virginia is the third largest exporter of agricultural goods to Cuba - after Georgia and Louisiana. Some lawmakers hope to normalize trade relations - but some feel it’s best to maintain our distance.  

After recently venturing down to Cuba, Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner describes how the embargo hurts Virginia farmers. 

Creative Commons

Virginia’s two big electric companies will escape state regulation of their base rates for up to eight years under a bill which caught opponents by surprise – a measure just approved by the Virginia House.   Its sponsor promised a rate freeze for consumers, but your bill could still be going up.

Creative Commons,

Faced with a budget shortfall, state legislators are eyeing a very large piggy bank - the unclaimed cash of Virginia residents being held by the Treasury. About $1.7 billion dollars - that’s billion with a B - is awaiting a call from the rightful owners. 

Benjamin Jarvela looks nothing like Santa Claus, but he hopes to give Virginians lots of presents this year.  As spokesman for the state’s treasury, he says one in four people has a forgotten utility deposit or some other money in Richmond, waiting to be claimed. 

Piedmont Court Appointed Special Advocates

Sixteen percent of children in Virginia live in poverty, and one in four families is considered working poor.  They’re in contact with teachers and principals, social workers and psychologists, and in some cases, police and judges, but those professionals may not understand what it means to be poor.

Families with two kids who earn less than $24,000 a year fall below the poverty line, and with that comes some unique challenges.  Alicia Lenahan is president of Piedmont CASA, a group that advocates for abused and neglected children in court.