Small Town and Merchant Program brings relevant resources to downtown merchants

Virginia Main Street continues the partnership with Virginia Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), bringing the Small Town & Merchant Program to traditional commercial districts.

In the workshop, “Staying Relevant to a Changed Customer,” retail expert Marc Willson positions the consumer in the recovering economy and provides real resources and information to help merchants retain existing customers and capture new ones.  He then provides one-on-one retail and restaurant check-ups, tailoring strategies for specific businesses.

Marc Willson brings  35 years of experienceto participating communities.  In 1975, Marc started his retail career as co-owner of the largest distributor of Earth Shoes in the U.S.  Since then he has held executive positions with retailers such as Britches of Georgetowne, Crown Books, Circuit City, The Bicycle Exchange, and Storetrax, Inc.  Most recently, he traveled to Dallas, Texas to open the world’s first energy efficiency store for Current Energy, LLC, a company funded by Ross Perot, Jr. Marc joined the SBDC in 2009 as a Retail Industry Consultant.

For more information on the program, designated Main Street communities should contact Virginia Main Street.  Other communities should work through the local SBDC.