What's Happening in Tazewell County

News  Release

Tazewell County Economic Development partnered with the Virginia Department of Small  Business and Supplier Diversity to hold an Entrepreneur Workshop in Tazewell on Tuesday, May 3.   The workshop was attended by fourteen individuals who are interested in starting or expanding a small business in Tazewell County.  Topics covered include Doing Business in Virginia, Technology and Resources for Businesses, Marketing Strategies and Planning, Financing Businesses and Local Resources and Opportunities.

The workshop was organized by Mike Thompson (Tazewell County Economic Development Director) and Sandy Ratliff ( Business Services Manager for SBSD).  "Entrepreneur development is an important part of our economic development program in Tazewell County.  Making sure individuals have the resources available to them to start a business is one of our top priorities."  said Thompson.  "Economic Development is something we can all be involved in, whether as a consumer or a developer, and that is the message we want Tazewell County to understand. "

Technology is ever changing for small business development.  According to Sandy Ratliff, "Using technology in business is no longer optional.  I want to give entrepreneurs some ideas how they can better use technology in their businesses.  Technology will not fix a broken business, but good technology use can help move a business forward."

The workshop was part of a series that is focusing on growing small businesses in Tazewell County.  It included Margie Douglas  from the Small Business Development Center, Sandy Ratliff from the Small Business and Supplier Diversity, Michelle Workman from Virginia Tourism Corporation, Andrea Smith from People Incorporated and Mike Thompson from Tazewell County.  More information on future workshops can be obtained at

February 8, 2016

Best Online Colleges – Southwest Virginia Community College (ASO), a leading resource for online learning and college accreditation information, has released its annual rankings for the 2015-2016 Best Online Colleges in the nation. Southwest Virginia Community College was listed among this distinguished list of exemplary colleges.

According to a recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics, twelve and a half percent of students, nationwide, are enrolled exclusively in distance education courses.

Ranked schools meet a number of criteria and metrics, including: Must offer an Associate’s degree or higher; Must be a public or private, not-for-profit institution; Must offer at least one fully-online degree program

“We wanted to highlight schools, like Southwest Virginia, that have made it a point to ensure academic quality standards through accreditation” said Doug Jones, CEO and Founder of Accredited Schools Online. “These schools are not only offering exceptional programs, but they have expanded their program’s excellence to the much-desired online environment.”

Accredited Schools Online has distinguished its ranking scale by the use of Peer-Based Value, or PBV. The PBV score compares the cost of each program to the cost of similar programs with the same qualitative score.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dominic Martin at 775.432.2007 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Pat Bussard, M.S.

Public Relations Coordinator

Southwest Virginia Community College



Date: December 10. 2015

Recently, Niche released their “best of” rankings for 2015, including the best towns in Virginia for raising a family. Niche is an online community data source focused specifically on helping students, families, and professionals make major life decisions. To determine the best places in Virginia, they looked at factors like crime, education, access to libraries and grocery stores and much more. To see the full article and rating methodology, click here.