It's Raining in the City
Focused Radio and the Focus Magazine were established to showcase and spotlight Small Businesses, Non-Profit Organizations, Independent Artists, and Entrepreneurs in the valley. What we have learned is that there are a lot of Stars in the Star City already making moves and changing the economy.
Who knew that Facebook Live could be so informational? I know I didn’t. I was used to seeing people using it to go around with their cell phones posting various activities of their day, what they had ate, and an occasional rant about how people just don’t get all the conspiracies that are plaguing our land. When the idea to take the interviews we do on the TommyP in the Morning Show #TPNDMS, to this platform to engage the community, I was very skeptical. Low and behold, ever-since we started doing this a few months ago, I’ve learned that there are a lot of people turning their once passions into businesses that are making a change in the economy of the small town of Roanoke.
Of course we knew money was coming. Carillion Healthcare Systems are occupying a lot of buildings once left dormant because business was leaving the area, as well as building new facilities all over the place. Not everyone has a hospital behind them providing financial backing for their venture. A big portion of the almost 100,000 folks of the city has either had to work manufacturing type jobs, the railroad, or be an employee of Carillion to earn a decent living. However by interviewing the many people that has stopped by our studios, show that entrepreneurship is on the rise and adding more opportunities to take control of one’s own destiny and gain financial freedom at the same damn time.
We had many guests come through, however I got to talk about a few that stuck out to me most. Charity Bryant of “Fancy This Fancy That” not only was a hit among viewers (over 2k views for that interview) she encouraged others to not give up on their dreams simply because it’s not common to go into business for yourself around here. Her store in the Wilmont area has established a loyal client base and she has been able to sustain a life she desires simply by chasing her dream.
Mike Hamlar, a well-known businessman in the valley, was appointed a few years ago to a special committee introduced by the governor to bring economic relief to Southwest Virginia. All I can say is he took that thing and ran with it. A guest on our show for #MoneyMakinMonday, he not only gave us encouragement of how to be successful as an entrepreneur, but he also gave us access to the SWaM (Small, Women and Minority business) program that makes sure contracts from major State and Government projects are allocated for these types of businesses.
Of course we can’t forget about the entertainers. Local rappers, producers, and dj’s that have made good money from their art has also sat down and chopped it up with us and our Facebook audience. Poe Mack, a local artist who has been in the music game for a while came on with his new music and gave us the dates of his upcoming tour. That’s right, I said tour. Something artists from the Roanoke area have been unable to do in years past. He showed us that with the Internet and digital sales, if you really want to make money with your music it is possible you just have to be willing to grind it out to make it happen.
We’ve had personal credit repair advisors, Della Watkins (Executive Director of the Taubman Museum of Art), Southeast Rural Community Assistance Program, Jim Thomas of Food Prep Services Roanoke, Dj C. Milli, and even Roanoke natives that has went on to major things in other cities such as Dj Ros all come in and talk to us and our viewing audience.
I may be a little biased, but I always enjoy sitting down with businesses that have partnered with us such as Brandon Crafter of #TheYounivercity. Standing at a towering 6’10”, this gentle giant has not only taken his business to the next level, but now putting other businesses in the game. Providing custom apparel to brands and businesses, TheYounivercity is a major force and only getting stronger. It’s hard to go too far in the city and not see someone wearing something that his company created. The “Forever44” t-shirt was so much of a hit, our own Vice Mayor, Anita Price stopped him after an interview and made sure he knew how bad she needed one for her own collection.
Many people are afraid to take the step into entrepreneurship. Understandably so, it’s no guarantees that you will make money with your business you create yourself. On the other hand, it’s no guarantee here in Roanoke that you will be able to keep a job from a business someone else started either. What I can say is that, there are way more success stories forming around here I never knew about and it has been great to have those stories get the proper credit they deserve by coming and being on our show!