Free training program by retail and restaurant consultant to be offered in Elkins

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Big box and online suppliers have changed the shopping landscape, but small businesses don’t have to surrender the field. The West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WV SBDC) and Main Street West Virginia have joined forces to bring retail expert Marc Willson and the Retail Revival program to the Mountain State.

The Retail Revival workshop being offered, called “Make It Happen All Year Long,” provides training and guidance businesses can use to compete effectively and succeed in today’s retail environment.

“The reality is that retail has been disrupted in a number of ways over the past few years so it’s no longer business as usual,” said Debra Martin, WV SBDC state director. “The SBDC is partnering with Main Street to help downtown businesses recognize and understand the new landscape while also empowering them to successfully navigate and thrive in it.”

Willson will present the Retail Revival training program in Morgantown, Monday, April 22; Elkins, Wednesday, April 24; and Beckley, Thursday, April 25. The program is free, but seating is limited. Participants can register in advance through the training calendar on WV SBDC website

Training topics include traditional versus new social media platforms, practical strategies to get customers into your store, and building on local events.

Willson is a retail and restaurant strategist with more than 35 years of retail experience. He has visited more than 2,000 communities in 36 states to help independent retailers and restaurants outmaneuver the competition.

The workshop in each location will be followed by a one-on-one visit with downtown businesses. Willson will conduct an assessment and provide feedback on the business’ strengths and drawbacks.

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