Roanoke Region Lowers Cost of Living

The cost of living was actually lower in the Roanoke Region in 2013 compared to 2012 in figures issued by the Council for Community and Economic Research.  The 2013 annual Cost of Living Index (COLI) shows that Roanoke has overall costs 8.9 percent lower than the national average and lower than more than 74 percent of metro regions across the nation.  The 2013 index is 91.1 compared to 91.4 in 2012.

The region’s cost of living is lower than many southern competing metro areas including Asheville, NC, Greenville, SC, Charlotte, NC, and Chattanooga TN.  The competitive advantages are mainly in lower housing and food costs. Transportation costs are also considerably lower than the national average.  

Use the Roanoke Region’s cost of living calculator to see how far your dollar will go in the Roanoke Region.

 
 cost of living index

Roanoke Has Best Auto Insurance Rates in Virginia

From ValuePenguin.com

A study showing that Roanoke’s auto insurance rates are the lowest in Virginia was just released by ValuePenguin.com.  Combined with a cost of living that is 8 percent below the national average and a cost of doing business that is 15 percent below the national average individuals and businesses stand to save on their bottom lines by moving to Roanoke.

From Chesapeake Bay and the Hampton Roads on its eastern coast to the Shenandoah Valley, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Heart of Appalachia on its westernmost reaches, Virginia measures more than 42,700 square miles in size. Crisscrossing the Old Dominion are 58,000 miles of interstate highways, local connector, and county roads, as well as some 17,000 miles of urban streets and local roads. Driving here is a both a way of life and a means of transportation, as the state’s 5.7 million licensed drivers know.

ValuePenguin.com analyzed sample car insurance premiums in the state to give consumers an idea of the best auto insurance rates in Virginia. We studied car insurance rates by company, city, and profile, and found the overall average to be $2,737 for a standard liability protection. While this was the mean blended premium, we found that rates could vary quite widely. In fact, for the same driver profile, we saw the difference between the minimum and maximum car insurance costs to be as much as 7x. We’ve compiled tables below to rank cities and insurers in the state by premiums to guide Virginia residents in their search for the best car insurance rates.
 
The areas sampled in the study represent a blend of the state capital, large cities, and smaller rural areas. In general, across cities, there was not much variation in the cost of insurance across the 25 underwriters and three driver profiles in the study. Roanoke, with a population of 97,000 was the cheapest place to insure a car at $2,364 a year. Alexandria, the most expensive city in the sample, was 23% more expensive.
 
  Single Female, 20 Single Male, 20 Married Adult, 40 Average
Alexandria $3,106 $4,152 $1,492 $2,917
Richmond $2,947 $3,920 $1,429 $2,765
Virginia Beach $2,801 $3,714 $1,358 $2,624
Norfolk $3,060 $4,064 $1,493 $2,872
Roanoke $2,514 $3,353 $1,226 $2,364
Average $2,909 $4,077 $1,531 $2,879

See ValuePenguin.com for more.  

Region Wins Again: Roanoke Best Trail Town

BRO Best Trail TownThe award winning Roanoke Region.  Has a nice ring.  And it’s never been a more apt description of this beautiful area.

Following up on last year’s Best Mountain Town honors, the Roanoke Region was named Best Trail Town 2013 by Blue Ridge Outdoors (Best Trail Town of the Blue Ridge).  The accolade was the result of on-line voting promoted by the Roanoke Regional Partnership through its many social media channels.  The message was picked up by other stakeholders who promoted it via their channels as well.

As last year, the support from the community voting shows that Roanoke Region residents and business believe in the outdoors as a valuable commodity. (And the region came in third in Best Beer Town out of 20 other sudsy places).

Look what the magazine had to say:

Roanoke, Franklin Named Top Digital Counties Again

Two Roanoke Region localities have been recognized as nationwide technology leaders. Roanoke County and Franklin County each placed in the top 10 of the Annual Digital Counties Survey for communities with a population of less than 150,000.

Roanoke County was ranked fifth and Franklin County was eighth.

The ranking comes from the e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities program, in partnership with the National Association of Counties. The award recognizes counties who have the best electronic practices nationwide.

2013 Top 10 winners (Less Than 150,000 Population)

  1. Charles County, Md.
  2. Allegan County, Mich.
  3. Nevada County, Calif.
  4. Albemarle County, Va.
  5. Roanoke County, Va.
  6. Napa County, Calif.
  7. Martin County, Fla.
  8. Franklin County, Va.
  9. Gloucester County, Va.
  10. Moore County, N.C.

Four Virginia counties made the top 10 in this category.

Survey questions were asked in a variety of areas such as computing, networking, applications, data and cybersecurity, open government, mobile services, and much more. The survey results reflect work done during the 2012 year.

Besides identifying the nation’s most tech-savvy county governments, the survey also points to some big-picture trends that are occurring across the country. For instance, 84 percent of counties that submitted the survey said they are consolidating data centers, applications and staff – a 13 percent increase over the past two years. Meanwhile, 80 percent are pursuing joint service delivery – a 10 percent increase compared to two years ago. In addition, 49 percent said they were implementing business intelligence and/or advanced analytics at the enterprise level – up 18 percent from last year.

“This year counties are focused on saving money where they can by simplifying their information technology infrastructure and sharing systems with other governments,” said Todd Sander, the Center for Digital Government’s executive director. “Many of them have found ways to provide better information security, transparency and citizen engagement with innovative uses of social media and advanced decision support tools.”

The national ranking is issued by the e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities program, in partnership with the National Association of Counties who identify best electronic practices among counties nationwide.