BRISTOL, Va. – Together with community partners, Virginia Community Capital and the Hard Rock Casino Bristol are pleased to announce that five winners have been selected for the Southwest Virginia Regional Bristol Casino Pitch Contest. Winners include:
- Anne Vaughan Designs – Floyd County
- Beagle Ridge Herb Farm – Wythe County
- The Orange Bandana – Montgomery County
- The Pakalachian Truck – Washington County
- Virginia Mountain Vineyards – Botetourt County
On Dec. 8, prizes were awarded in collaboration with the Virginia Small Business Administration, the Friends of Southwest Virginia, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator, and the SWVA Small Business Development Centers. The Hard Rock Casino in Bristol hosted the ceremony and reception where judges and community partners viewed the three-minute pitch videos of the applicants. The five winners received $10,000 each towards business expenses. All applicants that entered the pitch contest are under consideration to become vendors at the casino.
Marketing Director of the Friends of Southwest Virginia, Olivia Bailey, led the event and remarks were given by Allie Evangelista, President of Hard Rock Casino Bristol, and Sandy Ratliff, Vice President of Community Innovation at Virginia Community Capital. Ms. Ratliff said, “In my 30-plus years working in economic, community, and small business development in this region of Virginia, this program has meant the most to me for many reasons, but most importantly, the potential impact it will make on the region’s businesses and communities.”
As the first pitch contest of its kind organized within Virginia, the competition brought together a collaborative group of organizations working to impact the community in positive ways. All partners involved share the goals of community engagement and economic opportunity. A total of 17 applications were received from 11 counties within the region and over 1,300 members of the general public participated during a one-week online voting period.
~ Fincastle Herald staff report