A portrait of Bobby Scruggs. Courtesy of Patrick & Henry Community College.

Here’s a round-up of business news from around Southwest and Southside. Send items for possible inclusion to news@cardinalnews.org.

Foundation endows scholarship at Patrick & Henry Community College

The Bobby Scruggs Charitable Foundation has made a $25,000 donation to endow a scholarship at Patrick & Henry Community College. This scholarship will cover $1,000 of tuition expenses for one student in P&HCC’s Racing College.

Scruggs was a NASCAR enthusiast. For nearly forty years, he worked as an official on the track. He passed away in 2005. P&H says that “Now, in his memory, the Bobby Scruggs Memorial Scholarship will help the next generation of NASCAR officials, pit crewman, technicians, and NASCAR enthusiasts graduate from P&HCC’s Racing College.”

Over the last 15 years, the Bobby Scruggs Charitable Foundation has awarded more than 120 scholarships to Martinsville City, Henry County, and Patrick County students through annual donations.

Nearly 200 students in Southwest Virginia working on cybersecurity

 As of fall 2021, nearly 200 students in Southwest Virginia were working directly on cybersecurity research or engaged in cybersecurity internships or training programs, according to Virginia Tech.

The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative was founded in 2019 to establish Virginia as a global center of excellence at the intersection of cybersecurity, autonomy, and intelligence. Fourteen four-year and two-year schools in Southwest Virginia are involved, according to Tech.

Rocky Mount, Franklin County urge shoppers to spend 20% locally

Rocky Mount and Franklin County have launched a campaign to encourage shoppers to commit 20% of their holiday spending to local businesses. The local governments say in a joint statement: “Studies from Civic Economics show that every dollar spent at a locally owned business is recirculated three times more in the community than a dollar spent at a non-locally
owned business.”

The two governments are also encouraging shoppers to take pictures and and post on social media, tagging both Franklin County and the town of Rocky Mount using “franklincountyshines/#shiftthespend/#rockymountva.”

Federal funding announced for Southwest and Southside

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $5,493,100 in funding to rural communities across Virginia. Here is the full list for Southwest and Southside, according to U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, D-Virginia. (some of the ones in Southwest were announced previously by Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem):

  • The Buchanan County Board of Supervisors in Grundy will receive a grant of $23,200 to purchase a properly equipped side-by-side utility task vehicle, cargo trailer, and four helmets to better serve the community.
  • The Town of Glen Lyn will receive a grant of $75,000 to purchase a new fully equipped patrol vehicle.
  • The Commonwealth Catholic Charities in Norton will receive a grant of $50,000 to purchase two new, properly equipped vehicles, furniture, and equipment to provide transportation and equipment needed to offer foster care services in the area.
  • The Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department will receive a grant of $97,500 to refurbish the Department’s brush truck.
  • The Town of Drakes Branch will receive a grant of $97,500 to purchase heating ventilation and air conditioning and equipment.
  • The Town of Farmville will receive a grant of $36,600 to purchase 29 mobile radios to replace all of the town’s portable radios.
  • The County of Halifax will receive a grant of $128,700 to purchase a front loader refuse truck.
  • The Healthy Harvest Food Bank, Inc. in Warsaw will receive a grant of $200,000 to purchase aquaponics equipment for the greenhouse classroom. This equipment will be used to produce vegetables, fish, and other types of seafood.
  • The County of Richmond will receive a grant of $91,700 to purchase a new medic unit ambulance.
  • The Town of Glade Spring will receive a grant of $75,000 and loan of $84,300 to purchase a new properly equipped sanitation vehicle with a packer.
  • The William King Museum of Art in Abingdon will receive a grant of $66,000 to purchase a new 250,000 kilowatt, 120/208 volt 3 stage diesel generator to provide backup electricity to ensure year-round protection of the museum’s collections.
  • The Wise County Public Service Authority in Wise will receive a grant of $50,000, another grant of $25,000, and a loan of $85,000 to purchase three new and properly equipped service trucks, which are essential to the county’s water and sewer systems.
  • The Harvest Outreach Center in Rustburg will receive a loan of $775,000 to purchase a building and equipment for a school in the area.
  • The Town of Lawrenceville will receive a loan of $215,000 to purchase a used ladder truck and new accessories.
  • The Town of Crewe will receive a loan of $68,200 to purchase two new patrol vehicles and equipment including mobile data terminals.
  • The Town of Blackstone will receive a loan of $520,000 to purchase a new ladder truck.
  • The Buckhorn Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. in South Hill will receive a loan of $400,000 to purchase a pumper fire truck.
  • People Incorporated of Southwest Virginia in Abingdon will receive a loan of $1,700,000 to purchase and renovate a building to be used as an administrative office. This project will involve moderate rehabilitation of the main building’s interior and basic exterior improvements.
  • The Town of Marion will receive a grant of $50,000 to purchase equipment for the town’s patrol vehicle fleet. The equipment includes mobile data terminals, radios, officer safety barriers, emergency lighting with controls, radar units, vehicle graphics, and flashlights.

Governor recognizes Wythe County volunteer

Gov. Ralph Northam has announced the winners of the 2021 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Awards. One of the 10 winners is from Southwest Virginia:

OUTSTANDING SENIOR VOLUNTEER | Betty L. Robinette (Wytheville)When the local homeless shelter closed its doors, Betty Robinette volunteered countless hours bringing together faith and civic leaders to serve warm meals to individuals experiencing homelessness. A long-time volunteer in the community, she expanded the effort to help create a sustainable and innovative organization – the Open Door Café. Today the successful donate-what-you-can restaurant serves food insecure individuals in downtown Wytheville. A regular volunteer at the café as well, Betty has served six hours a week since her retirement. Today the café averages 91 meals per day, with 85 percent of those meals going to food insecure individuals.