Staunton to host entrepreneur workshop

The City of Staunton announces that the Office of Economic Development and the Staunton Downtown Development Association will host Entrepreneur Essentials – a day-long business fair – from 9am to 6pm on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at City Hall in downtown Staunton.

Entrepreneur Essentials is a business resource fair with workshops, exhibitors, and giveaways throughout the day. The workshop schedule will start off with a presentation about QuickBooks presented by Kris McMackin, CPA, followed by a business valuation presentation presented by Dick Halterman with Murphy Business Brokers and Appraisal.

Julie Markowitz, executive director of the Staunton Downtown Development Association and Sheryl Wagner, Staunton director of tourism, will present a workshop entitled “Strategic Media Buys” in the afternoon, just before Meghan Williamson with the Staunton Creative Community Fund discusses relationship-based marketing with special guests Erin Blanton of Pufferbellies Toys and Books and Mary Katherine Froehlich of Stone Soup Books.

The day will end with a panel discussion on the power of merchandise with topics related to effective merchandise display and product knowledge. This last workshop, facilitated by former New York City store designer James Robertson, will feature local retailers including Rebecca Watson of Turtle Lane, Kathleen Steinhart of Cranberry’s, Linda Collins of Sunspots, and Charles Walker of Post 36.

“These are action-packed, interactive workshops with local experts” stated Amanda Glover, assistant director of economic development for the city. “If you are a current business owner or are considering opening a business, you won’t want to miss this opportunity,” Glover added.

In addition to the workshops, approximately a dozen business resource providers will be exhibiting on the first floor of city hall and will be available to speak with event attendees about a variety of business needs. Event organizers say there is something for everyone and encourages every type of business owner to attend, even if just for one workshop or just to stop by the exhibit hall. A number of prizes valued at $1,000 combined will also be given away during the event.

“We’re always looking for ways to provide tools and resources for our businesses,” Markowitz said. “Small business owners in particular don’t always have the time to seek out the services they need during the course of the business day. This event combines a lot of different service providers and makes them accessible to the business community right here in Downtown Staunton.”

Glover added, “We also want to let our Staunton businesses know that the City appreciates them. A lot of businesses have been facing especially hard times during the last few years and this is our small way of giving back.”

More information and workshop registration is available online at or by calling the Department of Economic Development at 540.332.3869 or the Staunton Downtown Development Association at 540.332.3867.

There is no charge to attend and the event is open to anyone, regardless of business location.

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