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Small business retreat this Thursday at Lord Fairfax campus

By Sally Voth

The Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center's second annual small business retreat is slated for this Thursday at the Corron Community Development Center on the Lord Fairfax Community College campus.

"We're focusing this year on four tracks," SBDC program director and social media counselor Andy Gyurisin said. "Last year was our first year doing this."

The 2011 retreat had three general areas of small businesses covered in various sessions. This year's participants can attend four out of 16 sessions, Gyurisin said.

One area of focus is art as a business, and will include presentations on marketing art businesses, a website that acts as an alternative to Etsy.com and using technology to market and sell.

Doing business with the federal government is another focus, according to Gyurisin. Participants can learn about online help and how to offer services to the government.

A third track is technology based, and will focus on social media and 101 online tools, among other topics. And, the final track is labeled "Business for All Seasons," Gyurisin said, and will include sessions on why a business owner should join a chamber of commerce, and the power of networking.

"It's a little bit of a refresher option for people in business," he said of the latter track. "[The retreat] is also an opportunity through the artists' side to take what they're doing and maintain a strong business sense."

There are many artisans in the area, Gyurisin noted, and while many may have studied art, they might not have gone to school for business.

"We've been doing here at the Small Business Development Center a lot of art-based classes," Gyurisin said. "We just want to make sure they're profitable, successful and keeping good track so we don't lose our artists in the community."

He said the retreat also could be useful for people who don't currently own a business, but are considering doing so.

"We're trying to cover all the spectrums, so to speak," Gyurisin said.

The retreat's opening remarks are scheduled for 8:15 a.m., with registration opening an hour before then. McAllister's Catering is providing lunch, and the retreat is scheduled to end at 430 p.m., according to a news release from the center.

John Abrams, author of "The Company We Keep," which has been revised and expanded in "Companies We Keep," is the keynote speaker.

"He's going to talk about the value of businesses and what they mean to our communities and how to maintain those businesses that are valuable so that they remain there for a long time," Gyurisin said.

Registration was $25 through Oct. 15, and $40 after, Gyurisin said, but he said those mentioning this article would be charged the lower fee. For more information, call Gyurisin at 868-7093, visit www.LFSBDC.org, or visit its Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com

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