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West Virginia University’s Encova Center offers webinars to help state businesses successfully navigate COVID-19 comeback

West Virginia University’s Encova Center offers webinars to help state businesses successfully navigate COVID-19 comeback

downtown Morgantown store fronts

In a hopeful, cautious step forward, West Virginia is starting the process of reopening its doors for business this week after stay-at-home orders were issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic nearly two months ago.

West Virginia University’s John Chambers College of Business and Economics is helping the state get back to business by offering a series of eight webinars from May 6-19 hosted by the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which is part of the Chambers College.

The virtual sessions are designed to prepare businesses to get up-and-running and reengage with customers through the state’s phased reopening plan that spans the month of May, and will feature experts from WVU, Grow with Google, the Robert C. Byrd Institute, the WV Small Business Development Center and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Mountaineer Country Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.

“West Virginians come together to persevere through challenges and change better than any other state in the nation,” said  Javier Reyes, dean of the Chambers College and vice president for Start-up West Virginia. “Businesses who open their doors prepared, adaptable and armed with the right resources to support their employees and customers will successfully navigate this crisis, and as part of our land-grant mission, WVU is offering resources that can help them do just that.”

The Encova Center’s efforts are a continuation of their Small Business Assistance Program that launched in the early weeks of Governor Justice’s stay-at-home orders. They assisted nearly 60 businesses from around the state in navigating loan options, limited offerings and closures.

Anna Carrier, Community Business Program lead for the Encova Center, has spearheaded the efforts to support small businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. She said that it’s part of the mission of the Encova Center to lock arms with businesses to ensure West Virginia has a robust, united, and well-resourced business community.

 “The spirit of helping each other through crisis is part of what makes West Virginia such a wonderful place to live, work and play,” said Carrier. “Assisting businesses as they transition through reopening their doors reminds us that we are all in this together as a community.”  

Topics and dates for the webinars are detailed below. All sessions can be accessed via this Zoom link and will be held at 11 a.m. except for the May 6 session, which will be held at 11:45 a.m.

Wednesday, May 6: Grow with Google: managing your business remotely in times of uncertainty

Led by Anna Carrier, WVU Encova Center Community Business Program lead  

Monday, May 11: A new digital world: using Google Ads and digital marketing techniques for your business

Led by Laurel Cook , Assistant Professor of Marketing , WVU Chambers College and Joanne Hunt, WVU assistant director of student media, WVU  

Tuesday, May 12: Ready to reopen: how to prepare your WV business to reopen safely and successfully

Led by Ajay Aluri and Frank DeMarco , Hospitality program , WVU Chambers College; Susan Riddle, President & CEO, Visit Mountaineer Country Convention and Visitors' Bureau; and West Virginia restaurant owners Bron Kayal and Ray Glymph

Wednesday, May 13: Avoiding HR Headaches: rebuilding your team post COVID-19

Led by Maria Mancini, Director of Leadership and Organizational Development and the WVU Talent and Culture team

Thursday, May 14: Navigating your finances post COVID-19

Led by Frank Golsborough, Business Coach, S mall Business Development Center; and financial experts from business community

Friday, May 15: Reactivating your supply chain

Led by John Saldanha , Sears Chair and Associate Professor of Global Supply Chain Management , WVU Chambers College; and Stephen He , assistant professor, Marketing , WVU Chambers College

Monday, May 18: Switching gears: manufacturing opportunities learned from COVID-19

Led by Thorston Wuest , assistant professor of   WVU Statler College of Engineering , Staci Miller, WV Manufacturing Extension Partnership; and Bill Woodrum, Robert C. Byrd Institute

Tuesday, May 19: Prepping your private practice post COVID-19

Led by Dr. Chris Martin , WVU School of Public Health

All webinars will be accessible on the Encova Center website for those unable to join the sessions live. Anyone in the region is eligible to participate. For more information, please contact Anna Carrier at



CONTACT: Heather Richardson
Assistant Dean of Communications
John Chambers College of Business and Economics

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Chambers College