Economy and Economics

The Race Is On

Sep 18, 2015

Virginia’s capital city is gearing up for something it’s never seen before – an international bike race featuring a thousand cyclists and more than a quarter of a million fans.

If you watched the Tour de France on TV, you have some idea of what Richmond is about to experience.  Beginning Saturday, cyclists will fill the roads, warming up and competing in various categories, time trials and races.

It’s been 20 years since Virginia started subsidizing coal companies with tax credits that have cost the state more than $500 million.  As lawmakers review the governor’s budget for the next two years, some experts say it might finally be time to stop propping up King Coal in Virginia. 

MillerCoors LLC

More than 500 people in Southside Virginia and northern North Carolina will be losing their jobs next September when MillerCoors Brewing shuts down beer production in Eden, North Carolina. In an announcement the company blamed loss of sales to craft brewers among other factors.

Average compensation for jobs at the MillerCoors Brewery is around $100,000  a year. That's far above almost anything else along the Virginia/North Carolina state line. Eden mayor Wayne Tuggle says job losses won't stop there, given that other  industries in the region exist to support the brewery.

It’s said that in life, everybody has a ‘go or no go’ moment. 

That’s what moved a Wytheville businessman to write an eye-opening editorial for CNBC about problems he sees in his southwestern Virginia town.

It was part of a series on the ‘best states for business’ written by young CEOs around the country. 

“When they asked me about doing a 'Best States for Business,' I said yeah, Virginia is a tremendously well-governed state. It’s a great state for business."

Virginia's highways are dotted with small towns struggling to find new purpose and life. Like Rocky Mount in Franklin County, most have a history of agriculture or manufacturing that has left main streets boarded up.

A decade ago Rocky Mount town leaders decided they wanted to revitalize their town and music was the path to that.

Tab O'Neal visited the Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount where, in just 18 months, it is making a huge impact on the town and Franklin County.