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Central Virginia small businesses shifting operations online during COVID-19 lockdown

covid-19 economy
(© Alexander Borisenko –

Businesses are being forced to rethink how they connect with customers. Increasingly, that means going digital – even for those businesses who haven’t consistently prioritized their web or social media efforts in the past.

“Innovation and resiliency define our impressive business community,” said Rebecca Haydock, the new director of the Central Virginia Small Business Development Center. “Our businesses are taking advantage of the tools, training, and resources offered to make those transitions more effective.”

One local firm is sharing years of expertise to help other businesses; full-service advertising and marketing firm, The Fellows Group. Owner and Charlottesville resident Dan Fellows and his partner with Madison Avenue roots, Elizabeth Vagnoni, answered the call when Haydock asked for their help to advise businesses for success online.

“COVID-19 has changed the way business works,” Fellows said. “Marketing strategy that includes face-to-face sales, event attendance, and sponsorships will have to change. We are finding many business owners are not prepared. Location, location, location is no longer just a street address, it now includes your internet address.”

Organized by CVSBDC and co-hosted with the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council and Community Investment Collaborative, Fellows and Vagnoni have been tapped as subject matter experts for two upcoming webinars. Both will feature a full range of tactics to help entrepreneurs build effective online strategies.

These one-hour webinars are free and open to anyone interested in the topic, though targeted specifically for retail and service businesses, respectively:

  • Wed, May 6, 10-11:00am: Boost Your Biz Online: Retail – targeted at retail businesses
  • Wed, May 13,, 10-11:00am: Boost Your Biz Online: Service – targeted at service businesses

Both webinars will be moderated by CVSBDC’s new online communication strategy counselor, Gregory Dorazio.

Though there is no cost to participants, pre-registration is required at