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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. Add a comment


Aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses in Fluvanna County have an ally in the local branch of the Central Virginia Small Business Development Center (CVSBDC).

Funded by the Small Business Administration and a network of public and private partners, the CVSBDC offers free, confidential counseling and a host of free and low-cost training and development resources. 

“You’re their counselor, you’re their cheerleader, and sometimes, you’re their mother,” said local business counselor Diane Arnold.

Arnold retired to Lake Monticello last year after a 10-year stint as director of the Longwood Small Business Development Center in Danville and a long career in teaching, marketing, and government procurement. Not long after her arrival, she was asked by CVSBDC Director Betty Hoge to help out. 

Now she provides one-on-one counseling and advice around the Center’s five-county service area. In Fluvanna, she holds counseling sessions on the second Tuesday of each month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce on Main Street. She currently works with three to four Fluvanna businesses owners per month.

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Rhon Williams, Frost BitesIn two weeks, local business owner Rhon Williams will either pack up the contents of Frost Bites, Fluvanna’s frozen yogurt shop, or sport a pair of swim trunks and sit in a pool of frozen yogurt so hometown heroes can turn him into a human sundae.

Williams says he will wear his “sundae best” if he can raise $50,000 through an independent fundraiser set up to spare Frost Bites from having to close. “I see this as the opportunity to say, ‘Yes, we appreciate businesses that are in our community and we are going to step in and do what it takes to keep them,’” he said.

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Sue LibermanAfter spending most of her life in health and human services, Lake Monticello resident Sue Liberman is putting her considerable experience to work by helping local seniors age safely in place.

Senior Solutions, Liberman’s business, focuses on helping older folks – and their families, who are often far away – feel confident that their homes are safe and they have the resources they need close at hand.

“There’s a significant population of grossly underserved older folks not just in Fluvanna but in Louisa and Orange too,” Liberman said. “My goal is to make sure they get care and services, have their needs met, and help the families of these wonderful people make healthy decisions.”

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Santa and child at ToyliftOne big clue that Christmas is nearing takes place on the first Friday of December when Fluvanna folks team up with other Charlottesville-centric counties to make sure the season is a happy one for all local kids.

This year was no different thanks to the efforts of business owners Ed and Denise Lauterbach who, time and again, have filled the corner of the Food Lion parking lot with lots of reasons to celebrate.

Together with the help of everyday people, the Lauterbachs provide sweet treats and entertainment as an open invitation for the public to donate toys.

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