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Central Virginia Small Businesses Shifting Operations Online in Response to Pandemic

Local business organizations partnering to provide support

(Charlottesville, VA) April 29, 2020- To survive the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, local businesses are reimagining 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 (CVSBDC). “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, NY roots, Elizabeth Vagnoni, answered the call when Haydock asked for their help to advise businesses for success online. Dan Fellows stated, “Covid-19 has changed the way business works.  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 (CBIC) and Community Investment Collaborative (CIC), 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

About Central Virginia Small Business Development Center (CVSBDC)

The CVSBDC assists small businesses by providing free access to subject matter experts and a wide range of assets in market research, selling online, government contracting and more. Small owners who fill out a short form at can gain access to the world-class resources provided by the SBA-affiliated office, which serves the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Louisa, Fluvanna, Orange, Greene, and Nelson.

About Charlottesville Business Innovation Council (CBIC):

As the region’s technology council, CBIC promotes innovation and entrepreneurship and supports growth and success among the Charlottesville region’s technology-focused organizations. CBIC provides a forum for ideas and a collective voice on behalf of the technology sector. Through collaborative partnerships, educational resources and strategic relationships, CBIC educates, advocates, and celebrates technology and innovation-based businesses and initiatives that strengthen economic and social vitality in our area. For more information, please visit, follow on Twitter and Instagram at @CBICouncil, and visit CBIC Connect at - a free online community resource and connection engine.

About Community Investment Collaborative (CIC):

The Community Investment Collaborative was founded in 2011. Its mission is to strengthen our community and contribute to economic development by fueling the success of under-resourced entrepreneurs through education, mentoring, financing and networking. For more information, please visit, follow on Facebook @CICville and Instagram @cic.cville.