Longwood Small Business Development Center has added three specialized consultants to help small business owners meet the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Small businesses are going to need particular guidance and support in three core areas: operations, marketing and financial management,” Longwood SBDC Executive Director Sheri McGuire said.

Recently joining the Longwood SBDC are Teresa Davis, certified public accountant with Hill & Davis, CPA; Dr. Vince Magnini, principal of The Institute for Service Research; and Katherine Beale, retail manager most recently with Trend. These specialized consultants will provide additional support to businesses facing the current economic crisis.

“Teresa Davis will offer guidance on finance and accounting as well as accounting for disaster loan reporting,” McGuire notes.

As a first step, Davis is offering a webinar on accounting with an emphasis on PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) Loan reporting and forgiveness.

“The initial course will cover record keeping and bookkeeping,” Davis says. “Small business owners need to be ready to document information once they have secured COVID-related loans.”

Magnini and Beale will be assisting retail and restaurant business owners.

“Retail and restaurant owners face unique challenges with operational changes during re-opening,” McGuire adds. “Longwood SBDC recruited Magnini and Beale since both have significant experience in these types of operations.”

Magnini, who previously taught marketing at Longwood University, has worked with Longwood SBDC off-and-on for about 15 years.

“I currently work for a consulting practice that specializes in operational efficiency, customer service and creating business plans,” Magnini says. “I’m excited to have this opportunity to help the small business community. SBDC’s goal is to give our business owners the help they need to get through this.”

Beale, who has worked for a variety of retail and financial firms including Saks Fifth Avenue and JP Morgan Chase, is excited to join the SBDC team and assist local business owners.

“Retail business will be my focus,” Beale says. “Working with SBDC appeals to me in a lot of ways. It’s a good feeling to be part of something that really makes a difference.”

McGuire is pleased to expand SBDC services with new team members.

“CARES Act funding gave SBDC the opportunity to expand our base of contract consultants in response to current needs,” McGuire explains. “Over the past several years SBDC has expanded its consulting resources by contracting with experienced independent consultants who are entrepreneurs themselves. This approach has worked well in giving small business owners the breadth and depth of experience beyond what any one individual SBDC consultant might possess.”

Two current SBDC contract consultants are also active in the COVID recovery effort. Ilsa Loeser, principal of Letterpress Communications, offers courses and consulting through SBDC to help businesses adapt their marketing strategies, and Michael Duncan is available to assist with his specialties that focus on manufacturing operations and process improvement.

“We have a wonderful team now with a broad range of skillsets and experience that small businesses can tap into as they reopen for business,” McGuire concludes.