Virginia website offers help for small businesses

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - More efforts to help Virginia small businesses.  Governor Bob McDonnell promises a new version of a state website will make it easier for businesses to start and grow.  That's because of it's one-stop design.

Whether you are trying to start a small business or expand your existing one a good chunk of the information you'll need is just a click away.

This week, Governor McDonnell announced the launch of the enhanced business one stop website.  The site streamlines information from a number of state agencies including the Department of Taxation and the Virginia Employment commission.

"This is absolutely one of the best tools that we've seen come out of Virginia in many a year," said George Peyton with the Retail Merchant's Association.

Peyton says it's the flow of information that often what holds business owners up.

"It's knowing where to go; there's nothing worse than having a business in one county and wanting to open up in a another country, and say okay, now what are the rules and to break down that red tape makes a big different to a small business," he said.

The website is designed to make small business owner's lives easier because they already do so much. For instance, we interviewed the owner of a small business in Shockoe Slip, and when we first got here, she was unloading products out of the back of her car.

"I deliver product; I'm my own CFO; I'm the CMO; that's me," said Kathleen Richardson, owner of The Urban Farm House.

Richardson owns The Urban Farm House, which is celebrating it's one year anniversary Thursday.  She said transitioning from the corporate world hasn't always been easy, but she's encouraged by the attention small businesses are getting from government leaders.

"I appreciate Gov. McDonnell really focusing on small businesses knowing that will be a key to the recovery of jobs. That attention is so much needed; I believe, and I think that's what a lot of folks have been saying; we need jobs, and that happens through small business, and I think it's the right way to go about it," she said.

Virginia leaders also hope this website will draw in companies from outside the state.  The Governor hopes to soon integrate more state agencies into Business One Stop.

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