Chamber to host free ‘Starting a New Business’ seminar

After a break of approximately 10 years, the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce will host its “Starting a New Business” seminar from 8:30 a.m.-noon Thursday. There is no fee to attend.

The intention, said the chamber’s Executive Director Sharon Baroncelli, is to impart a comprehensive base understanding of starting a business, and then to equip potential company owners with an arsenal of resources.

“This one will be a little bit of everything: how to open (a small business), the plan, the action, your checklist, as well as resources,” Baroncelli said. “(The seminar) touches on the financial, accounting, bookkeeping, regulations.”

The last seminar, which took place sometime in the late 2000s, had 14-16 attendees. As of Monday, this year’s seminar has nine potential business owners registered, and registration remains open until Thursday.

Baroncelli said the seminar will not be targeted to a specific industry or type of business. Rather, the program will give those interested an overview of how to buy a property, possible sources of funding, and how to “maneuver” around county and town regulations to start a small business.

Speakers will include commercial loan officers, insurance agents, economic development experts and an accountant. The program’s description states the event will explore “myths versus realities of owning a business.”

Baroncelli said the event is free because it serves a crucial need for the area.

“This is important to our community, and the county. If we can help new businesses get started, that is what we’re here to do,” Baroncelli said.

She added that the event is open to potential business owners who already have their permits and those who are just considering the possibility alike.

The seminar is jointly hosted by the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce, Lord Fairfax Community College, a host of towns throughout the county and iHeartRadio.

The program will be held Thursday morning in the board room of the Shenandoah County Government Center, at 600 N. Main St. in Woodstock. Those interested in attending can register online at