Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Valley Business FRONT is excited about our new collaboration with WSLS, the local NBC affiliate.  We are taking stories from the pages of the FRONT, adding dimension and personality. In Behind the Business Scene, Katie Love, WSLS features reporter, visits the businesses featured in our stories and talks to the business owners.  

Joe's Trees - Photo by Mike Wilson

For the first story Katie visited Joe's Trees, a business we featured in our August cover story about agritourism.  Check out the broadcast piece here: Joe's Trees 

Treat time at City Dogs - Photo by Jeanne Chitty

Katie's next story was straight from our September issue... Downtown Roanoke doggie day care.  We covered City Dogs, a downtown business with a growing enrollment of urban canines.  Check out Katie's report here:  City Dogs

If you missed the August story, which profiled several great agritourism sites in our area, or the September story about City Dogs, or any of our terrific issues, just go to Click on "issues" to read all the stories in all the issues!

There are more features to keep up with the FRONT and WSLS! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What's not open during the shutdown

It might surprise you to know that the "partial shutdown" impacts our area in more ways than you think.  If you have the perception that furloughed employees all work in Washington, DC, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Only about 20% of federal government employees work in the nation's capital.  Most are spread out throughout the country and many of them are right here in southwestern Virginia.

Many people in our area are going without pay.  At sites operated by private companies, like The Peaks of Otter lodge and restaurant, employees have been furloughed and reservations for rooms and dining cancelled. The same goes for the concessionaires at Mabry's Mill.  The Blue Ridge Music Center is closed and performances and special events cancelled.

Though the Blue Ridge Parkway is open, the attractions, campgrounds, and even picnic sites are closed.  The impact on the local economy will take a long time to be determined, and if the shutdown goes on for long, it will take a long time to recover from the loss of revenue.

Here's a list of where you needn't bother visiting until this impasse is resolved:

Blacksburg Shooting Range
Blue Ridge Music Center
Boley Camping Field
Photo from The Peaks of Otter Lodge website
Booker T. Washington National Monument            
Caldwell Camping Fields
Cascades Day Use Area
Craig Creek Recreation Area
Dragon's Tooth
Fenwick Mines Day Use Area
Flat Top Trailhead
Glen Alton Day Use Area
Interior Whistle Stop Picnic Area
Mabry's Mill
Pandapas Pond Day Use Area
Peaks of Otter Lodge and Restaurant
Potts Shooting Range
Roaring Run Day Use Area
Steel Bridge Campground
Pines Campground
Walnut Flats Campground
White Cedar Horse Camp
White Rocks Campground
Wolf Creek Day Use Area

Want to contact your US Senator or Representative?  You'll have to write them. Until the shutdown is over, their Washington offices are closed.  Here's how:

9th Congressional District
Congressman Bob Goodlatte
Washington,DC Office
2309 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC  20515
(202) 225-5431

6th Congressional District
Congressman Morgan Griffith
Washington, DC Office
1108 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3861

5th Congressional District
Congressman Robert Hurt
Washington, DC Office
125 Cannon
Washington, DC  20515
(202) 225-4711


Senator Tim Kaine
388 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC  20510
(202) 224-4024

Senator Mark Warner
475 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC  20510

FRONT favorites

Volume V of the Valley Business Front is complete (October 2012-September 2013).

You can vote for your favorite cover or your top choice contributor, or both.

You can pick up to three for each category.  Email your picks to 

Results will be published in our FRONTlist in the November issue.

View the covers and the contributors list below or see it in our on-line edition or in the printed October issue of the FRONT.

Click on image to enlarge