Business appreciation receptionLaunches free business tip lunches

Representatives from more than 100 businesses gathered June 5 at Cunningham Creek Winery for a relaxed evening of good food, drink and companionship.

The whole idea was to show appreciation for business owners in the county, said Jason Smith, community and economic development director.

“Although May is recognized as small business appreciation month across the country, by the time we had finalized other events, it just worked out best for all planning partners to host this year’s event in June,” Smith said.

Realtors, insurance agents, pharmacy technicians, restaurant owners, computer technicians, website designers, lawyers and more attended.

Fluvanna’s first micro-brewery, Antioch Brewing Company, was on hand to give attendees a chance to try their beer.

County Administrator Steve Nichols welcomed the crowd and listed ways Fluvanna is trying to become more business-friendly.

Nichols said the new business equipment tax was reduced and there is a new, more streamlined process for starting a business in Fluvanna.

Smith said he compiled a packet for anyone interested in starting a business in Fluvanna that explains rules, regulations, needed permits and more. Just stop by the economic development office to pick up one.

The Economic Development Authority provided volunteers for the event as well as sponsoring it. The Fluvanna County Chamber of Commerce was another sponsor.

“Moving forward, we plan to host this event each May along with several other annual events and activities that will deliver business education resources through fun and interactive experiences,” Smith said. “The concept behind hosting more networking and business related educational events is directly related to our department’s business retention and expansion program. This program will provide businesses with the tools they need to succeed while always improving our partnerships with Fluvanna’s business community. Simply stated, our main focus is to continue to improve the business climate in our community through communication, collaboration and partnerships for continued economic growth.”

The next event will be June 29 at the library. The Chamber and the economic development department are hosting a free “Lunch and Learn” series teaching businesses how to use social media and marketing to boost the bottom line.

This is the first in a series of business basics workshops. Attendees will learn how to leverage social media to grow. After lunch, they will get a chance to put what they learned into practice.
To find out more and to sign up for this free event, go to