News

Do I hear $3,500 for the Jag?

The repo men have been busy in Richmond. And that means more cars for sale at the Richmond Auto Auction, which every Friday sells vehicles to the public. The company is seeing more and more high-end cars, the result of banks that have taken back the keys. And for the banks, some are so new to the process they must call and ask how it’s done.

Eight Richmond branches now M&T Bank

Eight local bank branches previously operated by Maryland-based Provident Bank are under new ownership, and the new owner has a reputation for being SBA-friendly.

Biotech company expands in China

Stock in Chesterfield-based Commonwealth Biotechnologies nearly doubled on news that the company is planning to acquire GL Biochem in Shanghai. CBI researches drugs for companies that develop them.

Google it ain’t

Bing, schming. If you need to search the Web, Google is still your best bet. It’s still the easiest to use and handles the dozens of searches most of us perform better than Bing, which Microsoft launched May 28. And for business owners, why mess with a good thing?

Solar firm turns to local farms to grow business

A federal incentive program could forever change the face of Virginia’s agriculture industry by encouraging more farms to install solar energy systems. That’s the hope of Blue Crump, owner of Fan-based Cityspace Construction and Cityspace Solar.

Monday Q&A: Summer tourism outlook

Last summer, the tourism industry faced high gas prices; this year, the economy is bearing down on residents’ vacations. But Alisa Bailey, president and chief executive of the Virginia Tourism Corporation said that doesn’t mean people are staying home. They just aren’t straying as far from it, she said.

Ponzi trial with a twist

As far as alleged Ponzi schemers go, Darrell and Cynthia Underwood were almost monastic in their spending. Under the name Walkwood Properties, which had offices in Midlothian, the Underwoods promised investors 50 percent returns within 60 to 120 days, according to the indictment. In one of many strange twists, dozens of “investors” cashed out with large gains.

Local builder files for bankruptcy protection

Prospect Homes, a local homebuilder for more than 25 years, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday. The company owes more than $50 million to hundreds of creditors. Many businesses listed as creditors were not surprised by the news, as checks had been late in arriving for at least six months. But several local business owners said they kept working with Prospect after Audi met with them, in part because they wanted future work and had known the company for decades.