No help from the Federal Government

As the financial system imploded in late 2008, two local companies begged federal authorities for loans. BizSense has obtained a copy of the letter that LandAmerica’s CEO sent to then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.

Discount mortgages encouraging buyers

Just when it seemed mortgage rates couldn’t get any lower, First Market Bank dipped below 4 percent on mortgages for homes sold by homebuilders they lent to. Other banks followed suit, and the program is helping sell houses.

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.