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

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Eight business sites in Southwest, Southside receive funding

Gov. Ralph Northam has announced $7 million has been award for developing 11 business sites across Virginia; eight of those are in Southwest and Southside. The other two were in Staunton and Louisa County.

The Virginia Business Ready Site Program identifies, assesses, and improves the readiness of potential industrial sites, which must contain a minimum of 100 contiguous, developable acres.

A recent state report faulted Virginia for not doing as much as neighboring states to develop sites and singled out Southwest Virginia, in particular, for not having enough ready-to-go industrial sites. Here’s the list of sites that received funding:

List of sites receiving funding. Courtesy of governor’s office.

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Companies in Roanoke County and Tazewell graduate from export program

Two companies from Roanoke County and Tazewell County were among 15 that have graduated from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Leaders in Export Trade program. VALET, which now has more than 300 graduated companies, assists Virginia exporters that have firmly established domestic operations and are committed to international exporting as a growth strategy.

The two companies are:

Coal Fillers Inc., Tazewell County

P1 Technologies Inc., Roanoke County

DASCOM Americas SBI LLC of Augusta County was also on the list. The other 12 were all from the urban crescent, according to an announcement from Gov. Ralph Northam.

VALET is a two-year international business acceleration program that provides participating companies with international sales plan development services, assistance from a team of experienced international service providers, international business meetings with potential partners, educational events, and customized market research. There are currently 48 companies participating in the VALET program and 393 Virginia companies have been accepted to participate in the program since its inception in 2002.

Virginia exports over $35 billion in goods and services annually. VEDP says exports support 257,000 jobs in the state.

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Bluefield University extends remote learning

Bluefield University will extend its remote learning for one additional  week as it continues to test campus community members.  

BU began the 2022 spring semester through remote learning on Monday, January 10,  with plans to return to in-person instruction on January 18. However, due to rising  COVID-19 cases at the local and national level, BU will continue remote learning for an  additional week with in-person instruction resuming on Monday, January 24, 2022. This  will allow University staff to continue testing all campus community members before a  full return to in-person learning and campus activities.  

“It is a similar process to boarding a flight,” said Dr. Joshua Arnold, Vice President for  Student Development in a statement. “We are onboarding identified groups of students at specific  times running tests on everyone.”  

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