Free social media marketing workshops start in May

Free social media marketing workshops start in May

Newly revamped, powerful marketing workshop series!

Each workshop will focus on a different social media topic AND a different marketing concept.

These workshops are sponsored by Virginia's Growth Alliance for businesses in our member communities (counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Greensville, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Lunenburg, & Prince Edward, and the City of Emporia).

One outstanding participant AND their VGA member community will win $750 in free design services - that's $1500 total!

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New free marketing workshop series kicking off next week

Grow Social marketing workshop seriesVGA is kicking off a new free marketing workshop series, GrowSocial, in South Hill on Thursday, September 18 at 6:30pm. The same workshop will be presented in Farmville on Thursday, September 25 at 6:30pm.

This first workshop of the GrowSocial marketing workshop series will be an overview of the major social media outlets, explaining what each is, how they differ from each other, what they're used for, and how they can be used together in a coordinated way. We will also give an overview of Longwood SBDC's new UpStart entrepreneur bootcamp. Along with these topics, an overview of other new entrepreneur initatives of VGA will be presented with a discussion on how to get your small business involved.

Topics covered in the series will include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and other social channels; using blogging and newsletters in coordination with social media; and how to utilize the VGA’s new Shop Local website to sell online.

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Research and Development Grant Program Information Sessions

b2ap3_thumbnail_VA_TIC_Logo.pngPresented By the Virginia Tobacco Commission
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 | 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM  &  1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Overview: A one hour information and question & answer session on the grant program guidelines, funding priorities, evaluation criteria, and application process for the Virginia Tobacco Commission’s Research & Development Grant Program.

Targeted sectors for R&D grant awards include chemicals and materials (i.e. nano-materials and biopolymers), information technology services (i.e. health IT, cyber security), biomedical and health care (i.e. point-of care diagnostics, computational technologies), energy, and clean energy & environment.

Grants ranging from $250,000 up to $2 million are available for final stage of research or prototyping of new products or services that are expected to lead to commercialization. Projects must provide for at least a 1:1 match. Activities proposed for funding and the resulting commercialization must occur within Virginia's Tobacco Region footprint in order to be eligible. The next R&D grant application deadline is October 17, 2014.
Who Should Attend:  Private companies, entrepreneurs, and prospective project sponsors and project team members.  
10:00 - 11:00 AM: Session #1 on R&D grant program
12:00 - 1:00 PM: Break for Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 PM: Session #2 on R&D grant program
*2:00 to 4:00 PM - Time slots (30 minutes) are available on assignment for individual project team meetings for those planning to submit R&D applications.
Location: “The Mill Room” within Virginia Heartland’s Commonwealth Regional Council building at One Mill Street, Farmville, VA 23901.
RSVP to Ben Dawson, or 434-432-3042, by the close of business on Friday, September 5, 2014. Space is limited.

This information session is offered by the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission in partnership with Virginia’s Growth Alliance, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Corporation, and Genedge Alliance.  


Virginia Main Street Summer Toolkit

Virginia Main Street Summer ToolkitEntrepreneurship and Downtown: Supporting and fostering local entrepreneurs

July 16-17, 2014

Charley’s Waterfront Café
201 Mill Street
Farmville, Virginia

At the core of any downtown revitalization effort is understanding the need for unique and local shopping and dining opportunities, which are owned by local entrepreneurs. Often times, these business owners and potential business owners need encouragement, support and assistance to make their dreams a reality.

Virginia Main StreetHow can Main Street organizations really support these entrepreneurs and small businesses? Entrepreneurship and Downtown: Supporting and fostering local entrepreneurs, the 2014 Virginia Main Street Toolkit, is designed to help communities focus the Main Street Four Point Approach ® on exactly that question.

Join the state’s engaged network of downtown revitalization professionals and volunteers for this fast-paced, interactive event.

A full conference overview is available here. To register, visit


“Building the Foundation for Your New Business” - Small Business Seminar

open-your-businessEntrepreneurship is the American Dream. Unfortunately, of the 1 million businesses started each year, most of them eventually fail. The one common theme may be a lack of planning. If you are considering the possibility of starting a business, this free seminar will provide information that may help your business be among the 20 percent that survive and thrive.

Prepare to start a successful business by evaluating your entrepreneurial abilities, marketing strategies, financial resources, legal form of organization, and receive tips to prepare and present your business plan.

Thursday, March 27, 2014 9:00am — 12:00noon

Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center 118 E. Danville Street, South Hill, VA

Sponsored by Longwood Small Business Development Center & Mecklenburg County Office of Economic Development

Registration is required by calling (434) 738-6191 Ext. 4261 or email

sponsor-smbiz-workshopFunded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.


CONTRACTING 101 – Doing Business with the Federal Government - FREE

The Federal government spends over $500B dollars a year on supplies and services with over $100B in contracts being awarded to small business. This seminar will give an overview of the Federal small business goals and small business programs that give advantages to small business who want to contract with the Federal government. We will also provide instruction on how to register to do business with the Federal government and the processes involved in certifying your company to participate in the various small business programs to include the 8(a) program, HUBZone program, Woman Owned Small Business program and the Veterans/Service Disabled Veteran Owned small business program.

The one on one sessions will be one hour (longer if necessary) appointments with companies who want hands on assistance with their Federal registrations and certifications to include SAM registration, CCR and ORCA registrations, HUBZone applications, 8(a) applications, Woman Owned Small Business certification and Veteran/Service Disabled Veteran Owned certification.

Instructor: Joanne Tompkins, Director, Crater Procurement Assistance Center

Pre-registration for non-credit classes is required by calling Angela McClintock at 434-949-1026 or

Thursday, February 6th (Seminar) and Thursday, February 20th ( One on One)
John H. Daniel Campus – Keysville, VA
Cost: FREE
Workshop times: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Southside Virginia Community College is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institute.


FREE Seminar: Growing Aquaculture - Is it for You?

free-seminarDate: Tuesday, February 18th
Time: 7:00 PM
Southside VA Workforce Development Center
SVCC Campus
200 Daniel Road, Keysville, VA

Find out the "How-To" of raising Catfish, Shrimp, Hybrid Striped Bass, and Rainbow Trout on your local farm.

New Opportunities at Southside Virginia's Heartland Food Center (Aquaculture processing and value-adding facility)
Tony Banks
Tony Banks, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation


Dr. Lynn Blackwood Chairman, VA Aquafarmers Network Blackwood Farms
Dr. David Kuhn, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, VA Tech

Chris Moore, Growing Virginia LLC
Dr. Brian Nerrie, College of Agriculture, VA State University

For additional Information:
Susan Adams, Charlotte County, 434-542-5117
OR Your Local Extension Agent

Virginia Cooperative Extension


Welcome to Virginia's Growth Alliance!

As Executive Director of VGA, I'd like to welcome you to our website and our region!

We’re setting a course here in Southern Virginia.  Over the past two years, regional organizations, local leaders, economic development specialists and the community have investigated new approaches to creating jobs and strengthening the identity of our region. There’s a lot here to capitalize on, and we’re just getting started.

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