Patent Basics

This session explored the different types of patents, including utility, design, and plant. It also defined the difference and use of both provisional patent applications and non-provisional patent applications and discussed the process of patent prosecution, the role of the U.S. patent examiner and what to expect when working with the USPTO. Information regarding a number of patent prosecution programs and initiatives available to applicants will also be provided.

Webinar presented in collaboration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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Cybersecurity Awareness Month: How to Get your Business Involved

Since, 2004, Cybersecurity Awareness Month has been a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure that businesses have the resources they need to protect their critical information. Over 3000, companies, schools’ governments and non-profits joined the 2020 campaign as Champions.  Learn how you can be part of the 2021 campaign and receive free resources to help educate your employees, customers, clients, vendors and partners about cybersecurity awareness.

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Everything you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines, mask mandates, and Virginia workplace safety

As more and more employees become vaccinated and return to the workplace, businesses are wondering what they can and should require of their employees and how to best protect themselves and their customers to maintain a safe work environment. 

Join the Alexandria SBDC for a presentation by R. Doug Taylor, Shareholder, Bean, Kinney & Korman, P.C., who addresses the following questions:

  • Can an employer ask for proof of vaccination status? What should that proof look like?
  • What if an employee refuses to be vaccinated? Can employers terminate for refusal to be vaccinated?
  • Must employers still require masks in the workplace?
  • How may employers encourage vaccinations without requiring vaccinations?
  • Can employers require unvaccinated employees to get tested? Do employers have to pay for that? How frequently can testing be mandated?
  • What if an employee insists on working remotely?

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Securing Your WordPress Website

Creating your website with WordPress can be exciting but also overwhelming. Once you have built your site, you need to secure it. Hackers like to take advantage of inexperienced users and new websites to get access to your sensitive information. Most security breaches can be prevented if your site is up to date.

Virginia SBDC Cybersecurity Advisor, Tom Stamulis, shares essential security practices and tips on how to keep your plugins up to date and your site secure.

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Reviewing Your Financials and Budget

Most small business owners have been hyper-aware of their financial position and bottom line during the pandemic. Some are looking for places to cut back with the least impact on their long-term growth. Others are looking for areas to invest in that will give the best return. Still, others are working on putting together a budget for their next fiscal year amidst all of this uncertainty. This session gives participants the tools to think through their business’s finances and the path forward.

What’s covered:

  • Building a financial plan – set goals for sales and profit and measure success against those goals
  • Creating a cash forecast that predicts future cash balances – knowing when cash shortfalls are predicted gives the business owner more time to adjust. Examine your spending with an eye on fixed expenses versus discretionary ones.
  • Creating a dashboard of your important Key Performance Indicators – Even in good times, having a view of your business performance will help you address issues as early as possible.

Presented by the Alexandria SBDC and Mason SBDC

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Digital Marketing and Technologies of the Future

Technology is changing the way we interact and work, and the pandemic has highlighted the digital divide that impacts businesses and customers in all industries.

  • What technologies has your business adopted that are serving you well?
  • How have you stayed connected with your customers?
  • What additional investments might be needed? 

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Guide for Retail Renewal

Virginia is reopening in Summer 2021 and retail has changed. Marc Willson of the Virginia SBDC is presenting a Guide for Retail Renewal webinar to share:

  • Current retail trends since COVID
  • Customer expectations of the retail experience
  • New opportunities and challenges to maximize for success
  • Tips for developing and executing a renewed business strategy

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A Grand Reopening Celebration: A Retailer’s Guide to Success

Every store, restaurant and town in Virginia should plan a reopening celebration to welcome everyone back to shopping, dining and buying local.

Your reopening event can be part of a larger town celebration such as a summer festival or 4th of July party. Or it can be an event just for your store or Main Street.

Hosting any kind of event requires planning and organization. Chances are it’s been a while since you planned an in-person event and now you’ll need to consider extra details to ensure you follow social distancing, masking, and other COVID-19 safety measures.


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The Future of Consumers and Customer Behavior

The pandemic has changed customer expectations and behaviors. Some of these changes may be temporary, while others may be here to stay. In this session, participants will learn more about broad trends in consumer behavior and will hear directly from business owners who are navigating these trends. Attendees will also have time to identify potential long-term changes in their industries and how they will need to adapt.

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Learn about U.S. Design Patents

Before you file your patent application, you need to conduct a prior art search. Learn to search databases used by patent examiners. This session covers essential questions, including:

  • What are the benefits of searching?
  • Where can you search?
  • When should you search?
  • How do you search using USPTO search tools?

This session is useful for inventors, entrepreneurs, and those who have a beginning to intermediate knowledge of patents and would like to learn more about patent searching.

Webinar presented in collaboration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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