BUSINESS OPENING
Law Firm Rejects Status Quo With Unique Approach
Relevant Law, based in Lynchburg, Va., has opened as of March. As a full-service law firm that provides legal solutions for individuals and small to midsize businesses, Relevant combines legal experience, technology and client-focused service in a way that aims to reduce risks, costs and time to the consumer. The firm is formed of experienced attorneys who have local-market expertise and legal understanding; their goal is to provide a better client experience overall.

According to their press release, Relevant Law represents a modern and more sophisticated business model that eliminates much of the costly overhead and over-staffing traditionally associated with law firms—costs that are typically passed on to clients. Relevant’s innovative approach to law firm management and use of technology allows them to offer clients exactly what they are seeking—quality legal advice from knowledgeable local attorneys at attractive, affordable rates.

“The traditional law firm model is broken”, said Mark Bold who heads Relevant Law. “High billable hours are business-as-usual for traditional law firms, leaving clients uncertain and anxious about how much it will cost to solve their legal matter. It’s that uncertainty that produces the greatest fear about hiring a lawyer for help. We knew there was a better way to provide legal services, and we’ve spent years developing that model before we decided to launch.” Relevant’s offices are now open in Wyndhurst with permanent offices to be located in the Cornerstone community by July 2016. Contact them at (434) 288-0411.


BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
“Escape Rooms” Offer Unique Team Building Option
by Jennifer Redmond

They’ve been popping up all over the country, and this April two of them will open shop in Lynchburg—they’re called “escape rooms.” While the initial premise may seem creepy—or confusing perhaps—the general premise is simple: a group of individuals are essentially “locked” into a confined space, then they have one hour to use the pre-planned clues to make their escape.

“This fun, team-oriented experience caters to many groups such as sports teams, dorms, birthday parties, and friends; however, the majority of participants are coworkers,” said Ryan Culkin, co-owner of Locked Up Lynchburg, which is opening April 15 in Wyndhurst.

Since escape rooms are typically associated with entertainment, this approach may seem unusual, but co-owner of One Way Out, which also plans to open in April, Lauren Cox said, “Groups learn to function together by applying the various strengths of team members to solve the challenges and puzzles presented.”

Benefits of this type of professional development can pay dividends down the road.

“It provides insight on which workers are natural leaders and which work well in a group setting,” Culkin said. “Businesses are starting to understand the importance of positive morale in the office, and this activity allows workers to interact in a stress-free environment outside of work.”

Helping employees build friendships outside of the office could also improve employee retention and satisfaction because “comradery is created through attempting to beat the clock or other teams,” Cox said.

Various packages and theme rooms are available at both locations. More information at www.LockedUpLynchburg.com and www.LynchburgEscape.com.


BUSINESS EXPANSION
Embrace Home Loans Enjoys Recent Growth
The Lynchburg office of Embrace Home Loans has recently renovated and expanded their Wyndhurst location, and community members are invited to stop by for a tour. The physical expansion serves to better equip the Embrace team in meeting the needs of their clients. Embrace offers a wide variety of loan programs for both purchases and refinances; they process, underwrite, fund and close all loans in-house. Embrace’s unique program “Approved to Move™” provides clients with the advantage of a fully underwritten loan approval without having property. The Lynchburg branch maintains Embrace’s core value—doing business with honesty and integrity—which helps them continue to grow. A national mortgage lender, Embrace is a different kind of company: a team of professionals who care about their customers.


REBRANDING
RMA Unveils New Logo and Motto By Ashley Bunner
The Lynchburg Retail Merchants Association (RMA) has recently updated their look with a new logo and motto, which reads “Uniting Businesses. Together We’re Stronger.”

A full-service membership based organization, RMA works with members to “deliver solutions that help solve business needs.” Along with their rebranding comes a fresh focus on educational workshops and networking events—strategies that are designed to impact business growth and efficiency in the Lynchburg community. The RMA is also working to develop innovative programming and events in order to help grow new and existing businesses throughout the region.

Some of RMA Lynchburg’s coming events include an RMA Business Expo, a Buy Local Scavenger Hunt, Shift Your Shopping Campaign to include Small Business Saturday and the Annual Lynchburg Christmas Parade. For more information on RMA Lynchburg, visit LynchburgRMA.com.


LOCAL NETWORKING
“Not Your Father’s Networking Group”
Back in the 1980s, Oldsmobile had a commercial with the slogan “not your father’s Oldsmobile.” An outdated car concept was trying to reinvent itself to be relevant to a modern audience. The concept of a networking group is much like the Oldsmobile. It worked great in the 80s but hasn’t quite been able to make the trip to the current environment that sales professionals are operating in.

Mike Cook spent the last three years trying to build a “New Networking Group concept” in Central Virginia with mediocre results. Last summer he was discussing the dilemma with his friend Mike Garrison who operated multiple networking groups in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They both agreed that it was time to start fresh. Mike Cook closed the networking groups he was operating and the “two Mikes” then co-founded Strategic Referral Team: referral groups for professional sales people.

Networking and referrals have evolved, and so must the group concept. For the professional sales person, SRT invites him or her “to pull up a chair and get serious about your business.” Visit StrategicReferralTeam.com for more information.


SMALL BUSINESS
Caspian Tattoo Now Offering Cosmetic Tattooing
By Ashley Bunner

Caspian Tattoo has brought a new service to the Hill City with the option for cosmetic tattooing. Also known as permanent makeup or medical tattooing, cosmetic tattooing gives clients the option of having their eyebrows, eyeliner, lips or lip liner tattooed. Jennifer Griffin, who joined the staff as Caspian’s cosmetic tattoo artist in January, helps clients who have undergone chemotherapy and experienced the loss of their eyebrows to have them restored.

Dave Casper, Caspian Tattoo owner, believes many other individuals can also benefit from cosmetic tattooing. “Some clients do not have the ability to apply makeup with a steady hand, so they elect to have some of their makeup applied permanently,” Casper said. “Clients who live active lifestyles enjoy the luxury of never having to worry about their makeup washing off.”

In order to set up an appointment, customers are required to call (434) 237-1900 or stop by in person to set up a 30-minute consultation to find if they are eligible for cosmetic tattooing. Most procedures will require a two-hour appointment for completion. For more information, visit caspiantattoo.com.


BUSINESS RECOMMENDATIONS
Service You Can Trust From Local Businesses
Selecting reputable and skilled professionals for all the issues that arise in life can sometimes feel like throwing darts blindfolded. To help combat that sense of helplessness, a group of local business people launched CONNECT. Formed of 40 professionals who represent a wide array of businesses, CONNECT members go through a vetting process, thereby offering the Central Virginia region a select group of professionals that meets predetermined criteria: dedication to integrity in business; excellence; ethical work practices; extraordinary customer service; and community involvement.

The group includes a variety of services such as financial planning, plumbing, banking, painting, legal expertise, pest control, marketing, web design, painting, tile installation, advertising, office/home cleaning, insurance, health/nutrition, mortgages, masonry, iron work, pool maintenance, landscaping, gutter replacement, commercial or residential real estate, and more. These business people are trusted and highly competent members of the community. Whether facing a crisis, seeking guidance, needing a service or product for home or business, or simply addressing needed repairs, browse to www.LynchburgConnect.com; CONNECT is the one-stop resource for the very best reputable businesses in the region.


GRAND OPENING
Moore’s Country Store Opens New Location
By Ashley Bunner
Moore’s Country Store plans to open a sixth store location on the corner of Graves Mill Road and Creekside Lane near Home Depot this May. The ongoing project has been almost two years in the making.

Founded in 1926 on U.S. 460, east of Lynchburg, Moore’s Country Store is famous for its hot chili and homemade hot dog toppings which have been around for 65 years. According to Vice President of Moore’s Country Store Jennifer Moore, the expanded facility at Graves Mill will not only serve locals and travelers alike, but will also feature 4,500 square feet of rentable retail/office space in a lower level facing Creekside Lane near Miller Motte Technical College.

The new location will also feature Shell brand gasoline and diesel, as well as Moore’s brand of unique All-American classics such as hamburgers, cheeseburgers, French fries and their famous hot dogs.


SMALL BUSINESS
New Financial Services Launch
Lynchburg has a new banking and financial-services firm in town as of early March—Community Mission Financial (CMF).

“Family. Relationships. Mission. These are not words people are used to hearing about a bank,” says Co-Founder John Gobble an Albemarle County native. Gobble attended the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia before managing commercial banking operations for both SunTrust and United Bank.

From its very conception, CMF is out to do things differently.

For starters, they’ve designed the business to give up to 15% all profits back to the community. “The difference here is that the community is a primary stakeholder,” said Ashley Carter, another co-founder who is experienced in payroll services and purchasing cards.

Co-founder Laurel Cartwright, a merchant service veteran at both Wachovia and Wells Fargo, completes the trifecta. All three founders have built long-term relationships with banking customers in the greater Virginia area over the past 15 years. That’s why, in addition to community, CMF has structured customer relationships into everything they do. From brokerage and retirement plans to payroll and group employee benefit plans, all products and services will be aggregated under one umbrella. This means they can offer a hands-on servicing team without the cost.

“People are not accustomed to the level of service we’re providing them,” said Cartwright. “We can’t say it enough,” Gobble said. “We’re about community and a solid mission before anything else. Just look at how we ordered the name.” For more information on Community Mission Financial, contact acarter@communitymissionfinancial.com.

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