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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in local economy

Building The Best Sandcastle: Meet UpStart Facilitator Sheri McGuire

Sheri McGuireSheri McGuire is the executive director of Longwood Small Business Development Center. She has helped craft the curriculum for Virginia’s Growth Alliances UpStart Entrepreneur Bootcamp and also is a facilitator during group sessions.

Through the SBDC, she provides follow-up mentoring and guidance to students when the bootcamp is completed.

 

We sat down with Sheri to get her insights on entrepreneurial excellence:

How is UpStart different from other courses designed to help entrepreneurs?

In the past, the course had been taught in the traditional classroom style. The focus was on writing a business plan. There was a textbook and lectures.

I looked at all that with Nick Langlie, and he suggested incorporating the Business Model Canvas, which focuses

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From Doubtful Baker To Confident Businesswoman: UpStart Takes Maria’s Sweet Creations To The Next Level

Six months ago, former first-grade teacher and baking enthusiast Maria Hamilton wasn’t sure she wanted to be in business. Several years before, she’d left Cumberland Elementary School when she had her first child. Maria went from taking cupcakes to her children’s classrooms to baking wedding cakes. Soon, as friends started asking her to bake sweets for them, Maria’s hobby began supplementing her family’s income. She created a Facebook page and before long she had big clients, like Centra Southside Community Hospital, that used her for special events.

But, she wasn’t sure she could pull off owning her own business. “I was asking myself, ‘Am I really going to do this or should I go back to teaching?’” she says. “I wondered if I could run my own business.”

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Free social media marketing workshops start in May

Newly revamped, powerful marketing workshop series!

Each workshop will focus on a different social media topic AND a different marketing concept.

These workshops are sponsored by Virginia's Growth Alliance for businesses in our member communities (counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Greensville, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Lunenburg, & Prince Edward, and the City of Emporia).

One outstanding participant AND their VGA member community will win $750 in free design services - that's $1500 total!

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Free Seminar Planned for Downtown Business Owners

A nationally recognized expert in the retail and restaurant industries with a specialization in small towns is coming to region to meet with business owners. Marc Willson is bringing his The Small Town and Merchant Program (STAMP) to Chase City, Clarksville, Lawrenceville and South Hill.
 
Willson, a National Retail Consultant with 40 years of retail experience, has helped more than 1000 retailers, restaurants, artists and tourism-related small businesses in more than 300 towns. Willson works with Longwood University and their Small Business Development Centers to host seminars for business owners and restaurateurs. The Virginia Small Business Development Centers and Willson’s STAMP recently won the Virginia Downtown Development Association’s 2013 Award of Excellence for Organizational Development. According to Jody Keenan, state director of the Virginia SBDC, STAMP has been beneficial for the retailers and restaurateurs who have participated increasing their revenues by as much as 65 percent.

“It is Willson’s use of low-to-no cost options that we find appealing, specifically his focus on developing and expanding the electronic footprint,” said Jeff Reed, executive director of Virginia’s Growth Alliance. “We have found that fewer than 20 percent of all businesses, organizations and attractions within the VGA region have an electronic presence that they manage and maintain. This hurts us in our efforts to attract new business and industry as well as visitors.”
 
Willson has kept in touch with the changing marketplace. “Because of the Internet and the pass of the control to the consumer, a small business owner has become the brand. It’s all about the personal connection and treating your customers like VIPs, learning their names and looking out for product you know they would like.”

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Think Bigger - Business Empowerment Initiative

thinkbigger

The VGA is launching a business empowerment initiative we like to call, Think Bigger. The initiative combines a series of bootcamp-style entrepreneurial training courses with social media marketing workshops, and is designed to promote entrepreneurial thinking by providing a wealth of business and marketing resources and training to local entrepreneurs and existing small businesseses.

UpStart, (entrepreneurial training), is offered in partnership with the Longwood Small Business Development Center and Longwood University. With both face-to-face and online components, the series will be designed for students to be able to learn most of the subject matter interactively and online, prior to class time, so that the face-to-face and live experiences will focus on hands-on application with real world experts.

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Virginia Main Street Summer Toolkit

Virginia Main Street Summer ToolkitEntrepreneurship and Downtown: Supporting and fostering local entrepreneurs

July 16-17, 2014

Location:
Charley’s Waterfront Café
201 Mill Street
Farmville, Virginia

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Support small businesses to help our region grow

shop localWe hear "shop at home" often, but this Thanksgiving I'd like to ask you to really think about what that means to our region. When you shop local, your support of local businesses will come back around to help the region (and you!) by contributing jobs, sales taxes, and business property taxes. All of these help us have better schools, parks, and infrastructure. And don't forget that the people who work in those businesses will then be more able to spend their own money in our regional economy.

A couple items of interest are:

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Downloads

File Icon Amelia County
File Icon Blackstone Industrial Park
File Icon Brunswick County
File Icon Brunswick County Industrial Park off Rte. 58
File Icon Buckingham County
File Icon Charlotte County
File Icon City of Emporia
File Icon Clarksville Commerce Center
File Icon Crewe Industrial Park
File Icon Cumberland County Community Profile
File Icon Economic & Workforce Evaluation of VGA Targeted Industry Sectors by Mangum Fletcher
File Icon FASTA Site
File Icon Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) Project Fact Sheet
File Icon Greensville County
File Icon Heartland Regional Business Park
File Icon Hillcrest Business Park
File Icon I-85 Park in Alberta
File Icon Interstate Industrial Park
File Icon Joint Enterprise Zone Map - Greensville County and City of Emporia
File Icon Kinderton Technology Campus
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File Icon Map of Airports
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File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - Brunswick County
File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - Charlotte County
File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - City of Emporia
File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - Greensville County
File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - Lunenburg County
File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - Mecklenburg County
File Icon Taxes on Non-Manufacturers - Nottoway County
File Icon The Virginian, Lifestyle Magazine Fall 2016
File Icon VGA Entrepreneurship Assessment & Recommendations - Longwood University SBDC
File Icon Victoria-Lunenburg Industrial Park
File Icon Virginia's Growth Alliance