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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
May 15, 2 020
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Thank You for Your Support | Rock Strong T-Shirt Fundraiser
Re-opening Small Business: What Customers Want | Harrisonburg-Rockingham, Virginia
Member News: Staunton Innovation Hub Welcomes New Business Development Manager
College for Kids - ONLINE Spring Camp (5/18 - 5/28)
Webinar: Best Practices and Decision Points for Re-Opening Your Business (5/19)
Project Operations Webinar (5/19)
Online Marketing 101 Series: Online Ad Campaigns (5/19)
Have a Virtual Tech Event? We'll Promote it in our Newsletter & Calendar!
COVID-19 Business Resources, Local Open/Closed Businesses, & Other Information
COVID-19 Resources Provided by the Shenandoah Valley Partnership
Welcome back Individual Level Member: Scott F. Robohn
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Thank You for Your Support!
Rock Strong T-Shirt Fundraiser

Harrisonburg and Rockingham County say THANK YOU! Thanks to orders from from across Virginia, even New Jersey, and as far away as Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. , we raised $5,700 for the city/county Business Resilience Grant Fund.  This money will be spent to support our local, small businesses. The community spirit in the city and county is amazing and inspiring!

(Sales have closed; and t-shirts will be delivered as indicated during ordering.)


Re-opening Small Business: What Customers Want 
Harrisonburg-Rockingham, Virginia
From April 23 to May 3, 2020, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham COVID-19 Business Assistance Taskforce distributed a "Customer Feedback Survey on Businesses Reopening" in advance of restrictions on small businesses and mass gatherings lifting in a phased approach in Virginia. This survey intended to learn how area customers feel about a variety of topics related to public health and what influences the decisions they make about the places they go.

The anonymous survey was shared with residents in the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County by the COVID-19 Business Assistance Taskforce members. The team received feedback from 1,677 survey respondents. The results are being shared with Harrisonburg City and Rockingham County small businesses in order to prepare them for welcoming customers back this spring in a way that promotes public health and safety,

"It is clear from the survey responses that people very much want to feel like businesses are making the health of their employees and customers a priority and will continuing following multiple sanitary protocols for quite some time," says Andrea Dono, executive director of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance. "Regardless of when restrictions will be lifted, customers made it known that they will still have concerns about protecting themselves and trusting that a space is safe. The success of businesses will hinge on their ability to respond to those concerns and build their confidence in coming back."

COVID-19 Business Assistance Taskforce Harrisonburg-Rockingham Business Support Taskforce members include representatives from the City of Harrisonburg Economic Development; Rockingham Department of Economic Development and Tourism; the Shenandoah Valley Partnership; the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SVSBDC); Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance; the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce; the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council; and JMU's Professional and Continuing Education.

See Survey Results and Takeaways at


Member News: Staunton Innovation Hub Welcomes
New Business Development Manager   
Staunton Innovation Hub  
May 13, 2020 (Staunton, VA)

The Staunton Innovation Hub is excited to announce the addition of Hannah Cooper, Business Development Manager, to their growing team. Hannah will be responsible for sales and marketing, event planning, public relations, and general operations. 

Hannah comes to the Staunton Innovation Hub with over 10 years of business development and event planning experience. Most recently she worked with The Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce in Fishersville Va, where she served as the Membership Engagement Director. During her successful tenure at the Chamber she directed membership and sponsorship development, planned and executed over 200 events, and assisted with the overall strength and vitality of the Chamber. Prior to her time at the Chamber she held a management position at CrossKeys Vineyards where she led teams to successfully execute an abundance of large weddings and events. 

Peter Denbigh, Co-founder of the Staunton Innovation Hub said "Hannah is a force to be reckoned with, and we are incredibly honored and excited to have her join the project! She brings a powerful combination of energy, ideas, experience, and follow-through. As part of her efforts, our community will see more fantastic events and capital campaigns, both of which are crucial to our mission of reducing barriers to innovation. As a Shenandoah Valley native, she will also work to reinforce our perspective of "one valley", and how all of our communities can collaborate to bolster our collective success." 

With our Phase 2 renovation nearly complete and our resources and calendar of events growing every day, we look forward to reducing our members' barriers to innovation and helping them achieve their innovative and entrepreneurial goals. 

Follow Staunton Innovation Hub on Facebook and Instagram, and join our newsletter at


College for Kids -  ONLINE Spring Camp 
(5/18 - 5/28)

May 18-28, 2020
(Mon.-Thurs. Each Week)
Morning Sessions (10:00-11:30 am)
Afternoon Sessions (1:30-3:00 pm)

College for Kids   provides an enriching, educational, and fun experience  for children in grades K-8. Students work with JMU faculty and graduate students, as well as experts from the community, to explore and discover talents they never knew they had! All sessions will be held online. $80 for 8 sessions.


Webinar: Best Practices and Decision Points for
Re-Opening Your Business (5/19)

May 19, 2020 at 10:00 am
Join the Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC), the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board, and CowanPerry PC next  Tuesday, May 19  at 10 a.m. for a free webinar for manufacturers on the  unique issues they face when re-opening  their businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This webinar will cover:
  • Employee Safety
  • Recalling Employees
  • PPP Loans
  • Employment Laws


Project Operations Webinar  (5/19)

May 19, 2020 | 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

May 5, 12 & 19, 10:30-Noon EST  each session, from the Center for Innovative Technology, presented by John Davis, General Manager and Chief Technical Officer of JADE Research Corporation:  Best Practices for Effective Project Management -- A Three Part Webinar Series.

  • May 5, Session 1 Project Culture (passed)
  • May 12, Session 2 Project Planning
  • May 19, Session 3 Project Operations
  • Three part series: $35 for Virginia based companies, $100 for all others
  • Individual sessions: $20 each for Virginia based companies, $50 each for all others

Online Marketing 101 Series: Online Ad Campaigns (5/19)

May 19, 2020 | 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Learn how to use your advertising dollars most effectively online, including how to structure your campaigns, target them to the ideal audiences, and track meaningful metrics on the success of your campaigns. Find out how to take advantage of modern AI targeting methods to reach your audiences for the lowest cost possible and optimize your campaigns to convert to real sales or leads.

Visit Immerge's page for the full list of events and to register for the Livestream events:

Have a Virtual Tech Event?
We'll Promote it in our Newsletter & Calendar!
Are you a local tech meetup/user-group or organization hosting
a virtual event within the Shenandoah Valley?

With the recent impacts of COVID-19, we're looking to help promote all of the Valley's techn ology community events that have now gone digital by adding them to our  newsletter  and  calendar  (our publicity).


COVID-19 Resources & Local Open/Closed Businesses
During this uncertain time, we feel the need to share information that will help our readers monitor the current situation. Below we have linked several resources. 

We also recommend you take a look at the following article providing additional COVID-19 resources for economic development planning and recovery

Resources to monitor COVID-19 updates:
Open/closed businesses (& altered hours of operations) in the Shenandoah Valley:
Broadband Resources
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Virginian's ability to work, access healthcare and education, and has magnified the digital divide more than ever before. The Commonwealth Connect team has launched a webpage to provide information about what both the federal government and Virginia's ISPs are doing in response to the crisis. Please see:

Business Resources
  • SBA's Disaster Loan is a program designed to help small businesses and non-profit organizations meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot otherwise be met as a direct result of COVID-19. The SV SBDC provides information and assistance in the loan preparation documents. To learn how to apply for the SBA EIDL: For assistance from the SVSBDC to apply see here:
  • Status of Building Officials' offices across the Commonwealth on VBCOA website
  • Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational RegulationCOVID-19 Update Page outlines regulated non-essential businesses that most close 
  • FEMA has a page on HOW TO HELP that gives contact information producing COVID-19 related products.  *Contact the SBDC office if you want more detail on the challenges of creating/manufacturing personal protective products, and we'll put you in touch with our International Trade Manager and other subject matter experts.
  • Virginia Rapid Response COVID-19 Business Support Initiative: The Shen Valley Workforce Development Board has received funding to assist employers eligible to remain open during emergency. Funds are reserved for small businesses. More information and application process at

COVID-19 Resources
Provided by the Shenandoah Valley Partnership
The Shenandoah Valley Partnership has provided an incredible list of helpful resources for our region. We have included a few of these links from their website, but we encourage you to take a look on their page, as they will be updating it routinely with additional resources. Please visit to view the entire list. 

Business Resources
Emergency Loan Programs

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Local Resources
Questions regarding finances? Reach out to your financial institution. Payment deferral programs exist at many banks for businesses and consumers.

State Resources
Welcome back Individual Level Member!
Scott F. Robohn

Scott Robohn is an experienced technology leader with expertise in Cloud, IP and Optical networking, Mobile Networking, and related technologies. He has over 30 years experience building and leading teams in technical sales, customer service, and product development.
  • Generate Impact, Harrisonburg (Tech Lead)
  • Middle River Regional Jail, Staunton (IT Systems Technician)
  • Segra, Waynesboro (IT Operations Technician)
  • Harrisonburg High School (Computer Science Teacher)
  • Augusta County Service Authority, Verona (Systems Analyst/Developer)
  • Vision Technology Group, Harrisonburg (Tier III Network Engineer)
  • Budget Referee, Harrisonburg (Full Stack Developer with front end web development focus)
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