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Albemarle Works to Bring Up Businesses in County - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Albemarle Works to Bring Up Businesses in County

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It's not easy building a small business, especially in a recovering economy. Now, Albemarle County is doing what it can to make that process smoother, but some business owners say the process is still too rocky.

Albemarle County is doing everything it can to lose a negative reputation of being bad for business. It's reaching out and sharing resources to cultivate commerce in the county. But when it comes to starting from scratch, some say the path to profitability has too many hurdles.

Route 29 is the main street of Albemarle County. Business booms even "mom and pop" shops like Yoder's Sugar and Spice.

"We sell lots of nuts, and candy, and all kinds of good stuff," said Glenn Yoder, the owner of Yoder's Sugar and Spice.

But getting the good stuff on store shelves wasn't always a good experience. "It's permits, licenses that you've got to get. Those hurdles that you've got to go over," explained Yoder.

It took Yoder more than six months working with Albemarle County before he could open for business last July.

Yoder says it is because of the "red tape that you've got to go through to get something going."

"There's a certain amount of process and regulation that businesses have to go through wherever they are," explained Albemarle County spokeswoman Lee Catlin.

Now, Albemarle County is reaching out with resources to help businesses. It hosted its first business roundtable with the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.

Catlin says the meeting was scheduled "to demystify the processes and procedures of local government."

It published a small business tool kit to help county business grow, and says the door is open to those that need help.

"There are county staff who are anxious to talk to them and help them resolve those problems," said Catlin.

But even with the best map, Yoder says the road to success on Albemarle's main drag can be a windy one.

"They are business friendly to a point, but again it's just a lot of hoops," he said. Albemarle County is planning to host more outreach events to help guide small businesses.

Click here to find more business information, including a link to the county's small business tool kit.

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