The Roanoke region is booming and small business owners are saying it's a good pick for budding entrepreneurs.
Small business owners Your Hometown News Leader spoke to are hoping their new ventures will bring them not only success, but fill a void in the city.
Dustin Eshelman and her partner Ann-Marie call Sweet Donkey Coffee, housed in this converted home, the office these days. The location, was a huge selling point.
"We've got the mountains, we've got the outdoors, and there's a lot here. "
But it wasn't just the valley's natural beauty that persuaded them to open shop here.
"Roanoke is a small city so it's not overrun with all kinds of businesses competing with one another," Eshelman said. "The cost of us doing business is good, it was very manageable."
The city's Director of Economic Development , Wayne Bowers, told WDBJ7, "We're 10 percent below the cost of living-wise and certainly that's an advantage to any business."
And that's why Ben Bristoll opened the Compact Cinema. Tucked inside, the 16 West building, it offers something different,
"I've lived in a small city with a vibrant, independent movie theater and it was a hub of cultural life and I felt like that was missing here," Bristoll said.
And he's filling the void for a fraction of the price.
"Most of those big cities are a lot more expensive. It's just a lot harder to start a business there."
City officials are seeing the boom as well. The desire to set up shop in the region is growing; which means good news for the area and economy as a whole.
"All the growth creates jobs and in economic development, that's what you're looking for," said Bowers.