The temporary Bristol Casino (seen here in a photo taken in late June) opened Friday in the former Belk store, around the back of the old mall property. The Hard Rock name won't be attached to the property until the full resort opens in 2024. Photo by Megan Schnabel.

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

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Pitch contest announced for Bristol Casino vendors

Virginia Community Capital and the Virginia Small Business Administration are hosting a pitch contest for minority- and women-owned businesses to become vendors for the Bristol Casino.

Five winners each will receive a $10,000 business investment grant.

Among the eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must have a for-profit business that’s at least 2 years old.
  • The business must be in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Southwest Virginia area, which includes the following localities: Alleghany, Bath, Bland, Botetourt, Buchanan, Carroll, Craig, Dickenson, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Henry, Highland, Lee, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, Rockbridge, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and Wythe counties, and the cities of Bristol, Buena Vista, Galax, Lexington, Norton and Radford.
  • The business must have more than 51% minority/women ownership.

The casino is looking for vendors in a wide range of categories including specialty foods, janitorial, entertainment, catering and transportation.

Workshops will be held across the region next week for interested applicants. The deadline to apply for the contest is Oct. 21. For more information, including detailed eligibility requirements and a contest timeline, visit

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Carilion hosts virtual town hall on toll of gun-related violence

Carilion Clinic’s Center for Grief and Healing is hosting a virtual town hall for parents addressing the toll that gun-related violence takes on parents and children. 

The event will be held from noon to 1:15 p.m. Sept. 20. A panel of Carilion and community experts will discuss how to respond to children and meet their needs. They’ll also talk about community safety and how acts of violence can affect mental health. 

To learn more about the event or to register, go here. Questions for the panelists can be submitted in advance through the registration link.

Disclosure: Carilion is one of our donors but donors have no say in news decisions; see our policy.

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