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    Economic development department debuts small business aid

    In addition to several resources already available to small businesses in Loudoun, entrepreneurs and business-owners will soon have another program to help successfully navigate the waters that come with running their own business.

    Loudoun County’s Department of Economic Development will be debuting Loudoun Sourcelink at the “Grow Smarter” Expo being held at 5 p.m. Feb. 5 in the Exploration Hall Atrium on the Loudoun campus of George Washington University,  20101 Academic Way in Ashburn.

    “Sourcelink is an online tool that connects small businesses and entrepreneurs with the resources they need, when they need them,” Debi Roder, the small business and entrepreneur manager for economic development said. “One of the nice things about it is you can drill down to a high level of specifications, so it can help businesses that are start-ups as well as those that are more advanced.”

    Some of the resources that are available from the database include the Loudoun Small Business Development Center, which can help businesses in the midst of developing their business plans.

    Also available is the Northern Virginia Family Services Hispanic Entrepreneurship Program, which consists of the same information as the SBDC, but in Spanish.

    The program can be used by businesses of all spectrums, including start-ups and long standing businesses.

    “The meat and potatoes of it is it’s a database that has all the nonprofit and government resource providers in the area to assist small businesses in various capacities,” Roder said. “The small business owner can specify what stage they are at, what type of business they have and specifically what it is they are looking for. The database then generates a list of resources to assist that business.”
     
    Start-ups, small business owners and entrepreneurs are invited to the special kickoff event.

    Orbital President and CEO David Thompson is the event’s keynote speaker, and will reveal how he grew the Loudoun-based aerospace company from a grad school project to a $1.4 billion corporation.
    “We strongly encourage anyone who has launched a small business, or is thinking about starting one, to attend the event and hear the entrepreneurial success story of Orbital Sciences,” Roder said in a news release.

    Following Thompson’s presentation, attendees will be able to register for a business license and a home occupation permit on site with the assistance of Loudoun County government staff. They will also have the opportunity to meet in person with Loudoun SourceLink partners.

    Light refreshments will be served. The event is free but space is limited; attendees must sign up in advance at: growsmarter.eventbrite.com.

    For more information on Sourcelink, visit loudounsourcelink.org.

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