Advocate for I-81!

Important action alert for the business community:

Senate Bill 971 directs the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to develop an I-81 Improvement Plan and study financing options for corridor improvements, including truck-only tolls.

The business community and individual transportation stakeholders are invited to offer feedback on SB971 on June 14 from 4 – 7 pm at Holiday Inn Valley View.

Keep in mind – transportation is economic development.

Businesses, commuters, students, and visitors depend on reliable roadways to travel and conduct business safely and efficiently. With evolving regional efforts throughout Virginia’s Blue Ridge, quality transportation infrastructure is critical to our economic growth.

Improvements to I-81 are pressing, and now is our opportunity to advocate for meaningful solutions.

Contact rgunn@roanokechamber.org if you have questions or need additional information on SB971.

Public Comments on Funding for I-81

The Roanoke Regional Chamber provided the following public comments at the May 10 VDOT hearing.

On behalf of the Roanoke Regional Chamber and the member organizations we serve, I’d like to thank Secretary Valentine and the administration for prioritizing I-81 and taking steps to advance solutions. Improving the corridor is certainly a top priority for our members, and we are glad to advocate for the business community on such a significant issue.

The safety and reliability problems we experience with I-81 are evident, and they directly result from combination of terrain and high truck volume. It has been reported that I-81 supports 42 percent of statewide truck traffic, the loss of one lane leads to 65 percent reduction in highway capacity, and incident clearance times often exceed six hours.

We were glad to see I-81 capture the attention of leaders in the administration and the General Assembly this year. We closely monitored the proposals that were introduced to generate revenue for I-81, and we will continue to advocate for dedicated funding for priority projects along the corridor.

As SB971 went through the legislative process, our primary concern was the impact of truck-only tolling on local industry, and we understand that minimizing that impact has been a key point for the administration from the beginning.

We do appreciate the amended language that will specifically assess the potential economic impacts on Virginia agriculture, manufacturing, and logistics sector companies that rely on I-81.

As the study is conducted over the next several months, the Roanoke Regional Chamber will engage in as many opportunities as possible for stakeholder meetings and public comment. We look forward to partnering with VDOT to advance meaningful solutions to such a critical component of our regional infrastructure.

Five Reasons Why You Should Attend Business Summit

In case you missed it, your Chamber is hosting its annual Business Summit next week at Virginia Western Community College. If the chance to hang out with your #ChamberSquad wasn’t a good enough reason to join us, here are my top five reasons why you should attend this half-day business conference.

1. For yourself

Come meet someone new, get inspired and have fun! Business Summit attracts attendees from many different industries, including banking, nonprofit, construction, education and government. If you leave the conference without making new connections or sharing a few laughs, you did not take full advantage of the day!

2. For your business

Speaking to people face to face who may need your products or services can be more effective than sending them an email or speaking over the phone. I encourage you to come to Business Summit ready to shake hands and tell your company’s story. Don’t forget to bring your business cards!

3. Access to expert speakers

When we plan Business Summit, we make sure our speakers are the best in their industry. For example, we have the Commonwealth’s highest ranking workforce officer and a national award-winning marketing executive coming to share their knowledge with you next week.

4. Learn something beyond your interest or field

No matter how experienced you are at your business, everyone can learn something. Whether you’re coming to Business Summit for personal or professional development, our workshops and presentations are tailored to meet your needs.

5. A chance to step away from the computer

Do you spend every day at the same desk, with the same routine and same people? You might benefit from a change of scenery. Yes, Business Summit is in Roanoke, but breaking out of the office and learning in a new location can help spark new ideas and help boost your productivity.

Still on the fence about attending Business Summit? The sixth reason you should attend is because the conference wraps up with a buffet lunch from Carrabba’s Italian Grill. You can click here to check out our speakers and schedule.

See you next Thursday!

Cally Smith
Vice President of Membership and Brand Strategy
540.983.0700 x105


Chamber News May 2018

New members, upcoming events and more! Check out your Chamber’s latest newsletter, sponsored by Virginia Western at RAMP, to see what your #ChamberSquad is up to. For more information about sponsoring this newsletter in 2018, please contact Starr Anderson at SAnderson@RoanokeChamber.org.


Thank you for your support!

Happy Chamber anniversary to these members. Thank you for your membership renewal this month.

  • Action Personnel, Inc
  • Adams Construction Co.
  • Alliance Human Services, Inc.
  • Alzheimer’s Assn. – Central & Western VA Chapter
  • American Red Cross
  • Arkay Packaging Corp.
  • B & D Lock Co., Inc.
  • Black Dog Salvage
  • Black Lantern Inn
  • Blue Apron Restaurant & Red Rooster Bar
  • Blue Ridge Surgery Center
  • Bower Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
  • Cardinal Rubber & Seal, Inc.
  • City of Salem
  • Classic City Mechanical, Inc.
  • Cobb Technologies
  • Collinsville Printing Co., Inc.
  • Coordinated Services Management
  • Davidsons
  • Dominion Air & Machinery Co.
  • Dominion Risk Advisors, LLC
  • Eades & Lower, Inc.
  • Electronic Systems, Inc.
  • Evergreen Memorial Trust
  • Eye Care & Surgery, P.C.
  • EZ Rampz/Mobility Solutions
  • Family Preservation Services
  • Farm Credit
  • Ferris & Eakin, PC
  • Foot & Ankle Associates of SW VA
  • Foot Levelers, Inc.
  • Franklin County Office of Economic Development
  • Freedom First Credit Union
  • Generation Solutions
  • Granger Macfarlane – Blue Ridge Hospitality Group
  • Hidden Valley Country Club
  • Howl’n Dog Designs
  • Integrity Windows and Doors, Inc.
  • Intercept Youth Services
  • James Buck Plumbing & Htg. Co., Inc.
  • Keltech, Inc.
  • Kincheloe Insurance Service, Inc DBA Nash-Kincheloe & Associates
  • Kirby – Cundiff Insulation
  • Moss & Rocovich, Attorneys-at-Law, P.C.
  • MW Construction Company
  • New York Life Insurance Company
  • Parker Design Group,Inc.
  • Pathfinders for Greenways, Inc.
  • Pavement Stencil Co. LLC
  • Pitman Construction
  • PowerSchool
  • Professional Network Services
  • Pumpernickel Pickle Catering Co.
  • Radford University
  • Realstar REALTORS
  • Rescue Mission of Roanoke, The
  • Rhodes, Butler & Dellinger,  PC
  • Richmond Machinery & Equipment Co, Inc.
  • Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs
  • Roanoke Stamp & Seal Co.dba Roanoke Custom Products
  • Roanoke Symphony Orchestra
  • Roanoke Valley Community Credit Union
  • Roanoke Valley Speech & Hearing
  • Salem Printing Co.
  • Saunders Dental Lab
  • Security Transport & Delivery Service, Inc.
  • Shenandoah Club
  • Skyline Door & Hardware, Inc.
  • Southeastern Skate Supply, Inc.
  • Staples – Tanglewood
  • Steidle Law Firm
  • TBS Construction, LLC
  • Tecton Products LLC
  • Thalhimer
  • The VR Center LLC
  • Tidy Services
  • Towers Shopping Center
  • Turner Long Construction, Inc.
  • Virginia Amateur Sports, nc.
  • Virginia Capital Strategies
  • Virginia Prosthetics, Inc.
  • W.S. Connelly & Co., Inc.