News

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.

Northside business rocks the world

To thousands of guitar aficionados, Richmond is known as the return address for one of the finest craftsmen in the world. That’s because Lindy Fralin has built a rabid following for his Richmond-made guitar pickups, magnetic and copper wire apparatuses that translates the vibration of metal (the strings) into sound and send it to the amplifier. Fralin’s story is a refreshing lesson for budding entrepreneurs — if you can be the best at whatever it is you enjoy, you can build a thriving business.

Dominion Resources gives $1 million to free clinics

Dominion Resources gave more than $1 million to local free health clinics at a ceremony at Fan Free Clinic Tuesday. And the timing is right — patient volume at the free clinics in Richmond is up 25 percent compared to last year, on account of the economy.