Monday Q&A: Revving a hobby into a retail business

Eric Engler started Velocity Motorcycles mostly as a place to store and repair his personal motorcycle collection. Now the store has three full-time mechanics and some of the most unusual bikes around. This week, BizSense talks retail and how sometimes even a business owner gets a little too attached to the merchandise.

Local developers take a swing at Lynchburg golf course

East West Partners of Midlothian has entered into a purchase agreement with the owners of the Oakwood Country Club to buy the club’s 75-acre golf course tract and develop a residential neighborhood.

Guest Opinion: Did Ukrops bungle the media storm?

The Ukrops had an obligation to quickly explain the matter to the two main groups that supported it for 52 years – employees and customers. Instead, the company has declined comment to the media and been disingenuous with employees, whom they expect to continue to show up each day with a good attitude until they’re told not to.

Do I hear $10 million for firedog?

The rest of Circuit City’s intellectual property, including the firedog brand and a database of 30 million customer contacts, is going on the auction block Aug. 18. And it may reap more than the $14 million that the Circuit City name fetched at auction earlier this year.

MeadWestvaco repackaging business model

Richmond-based MeadWestvaco, which will soon move into its shinny new headquarters downtown, is moving away from growing trees and making paper and into the packaging business. And profits were higher this quarter than last year, a pleasant surprise and encouraging sign for a region that has lost several major employers.

Golf clubs scramble for members

It used to be you had to wait months and months to join a country club. Now clubs are hunting for members and using discounts to entice them. Chesterfield County’s six private clubs offer a case study of the changing face of the golf and lifestyle industry.

Troubled awning firm files for bankruptcy

An awning company that’s been around for more than 100 years and recently took deposits for work it never finished has filed for bankruptcy. Some clients and vendors will have to watch the process to see whether they will get their money back.

LandAmerica creditors miffed by new Fed hire

The former general counsel at LandAmerica has taken a job as a vice president and general counsel at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, upsetting some of the creditors owed money by her bankrupt former employer. A group of creditors says she knew the company could not return money, alleging what amounted to a Ponzi scheme.

Downtown plan poses hurdle for Echo Harbour

On Monday, the Richmond City Council unanimously approved final amendments to the downtown master plan, with language that works against the developers of a $160 million proposed mixed-use project on the riverfront.

Is Richmond really one of the hardest places to start a business?

Sometimes there is a shred of truth to an urban legend, or at least the ring of plausibility. And there’s one urban legend that courses through the local business community, and especially in the small business and start-up world: Richmond is one of the hardest places to start a business. Perhaps you’ve heard another iteration: If you can make a business work in Richmond, it can work anywhere.