Here’s a round-up of business (and other) briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send items for possible inclusion to

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Virginia Tech ranks No. 25 for entrepreneurship

Virginia Tech has been ranked No. 25 for undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in Princeton Review’s rankings for 2022, marking the second straight year the university has received such recognition.

The rankings, which were released on Nov. 16, echo the 2021 rankings, which marked the first time Virginia Tech had received a national ranking for entrepreneurship programs. Entrepreneur magazine, which partners with Princeton Review to help publicize the entrepreneurship rankings, ranked the university No. 4 in the Southeast region for undergraduate entrepreneurship programs. This is the first year that the magazine has broken the rankings down via region.

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The 32 Emory & Henry students who graduated with master’s of occupational therapy degrees.

32 students graduate with master’s of occupational therapy degrees from Emory & Henry’s School of Health Sciences

Emory & Henry College graduated 32 students from its master’s of occupational therapy program.

The 32 students hail from 11 different states including Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, South Carolina, West Virginia, California and Utah and plan to practice in various areas of the country. The ceremony took place at the Lincoln Theatre in Marion.

Emory & Henry College’s Health Sciences campus was launched in 2014. For more information, visit

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Kristen McGreggor and Shelley Richards opened their mobile fashion boutique earlier this year with assistance from a VCEDA seed capital matching grant. Courtesy of VCEDA.

VCEDA approves seed capital grant for mobile fashion boutique in Coeburn

The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority has approved a $6,500 seed capital grant for a mobile fashion boutique based out of Coeburn in Wise County.

“We’ve seen entrepreneurs apply a mobile concept to their new businesses before, but this is the first time we’ve seen a clothing retail shop apply for funds to operate in a mobile setting,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “The seed capital grant program was established to encourage entrepreneurship and innovative thinking when it comes to creating jobs and this certainly meets that bill. The company projects three full-time and four part-time jobs within four years.”

Co-owners Kristen McGreggor and Shelley Richards launched the venture earlier this year as an e-commerce business and then decided to incorporate pop-up on location sale events. The events are held in customers’ homes and in public locations.

The seed capital grant, McGreggor said was helpful in getting Ruby Bea’s mobile trailer wrapped, a point of sale system and a shipping label printer purchased.

McGreggor and Richards worked with the Small Business Development Center at Mountain Empire Community College in the development of their application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Wise County Industrial Development Authority.

About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell and Wise counties and the city of Norton.

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Christmas show from Emory & Henry to be broadcast live on radio Wednesday

WEHC 90.7 FM, a public radio station run by Emory & Henry College, will launch will host a live Christmas show on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre in the McGlothlin Center for the Arts on the campus of Emory & Henry College. The show is free and open to the public.

“The Christmas Sampler” will feature an appearance by Santa before a live studio
audience. Children are encouraged to send or bring in a letter, and be prepared to talk to
Santa. Wise Man Ed Davis and Tippy the Elf will entertain and introduce performances
by the Upper Emory Carolers and singer Chandler Foster.

The show is free and open to the public. Reservations are encouraged, however, and can
be made by calling 276-944-6333 or sending an email to Masks and proof
of vaccination or a recent COVID test (within three days) are required.

Additionally, the station is asking for letters from kids to Santa. Santa will be in the studios of
WEHC 90.7 on Dec. 21, 22, and 23 from 3-4 p.m. answering calls and
reading letters. Letters may be emailed to or to Santa in care of WEHC P.O. Box 947 Emory, VA 24327 and the Santa hotline is 276-944-6933.