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Free webinars aim to help non-tech savvy business owners before holidays

A First Coast man is working to help small businesses by offering free webinars to teach business owners how to put a few products online for their customer base.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Many small businesses are still struggling even with the holiday shopping season starting this week.

With so much of our lives going online this year, holiday shopping is not expected to be any different. This can pose a problem to small businesses who are still relying almost completely on in-person sales.

A First Coast man is working to help by offering free webinars to teach business owners how to put a few products online for their customer base. You don't have to be incredibly tech-savvy for it; the idea is that it's quick, easy and free.

Greg Davis, a website developer who runs Azola Creative, has his own micro e-commerce website to sell some products he makes as a hobby around the holiday shopping season.

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"Astor Ash is my great-grandfather's name," Davis said, showing the name of his website. "This guitar board behind me, I make these just out of recycled wood."

"So are you a woodworker?" First Coast News asked.

"I'm just trying to make sure I don't cut my fingers off!" Davis said.

Woodworking is a hobby for this website developer, but the website part can be just as easy for a full-time woodworker. It could also be necessary. Small businesses are taking one of the biggest hits from 2020 and the National Retail Federation expects online and non-store sales to increase by up to 30 percent this holiday shopping season.

The NRF also expects holiday shopping sales to be up, possibly by 5 percent, which is almost $40 billion more than last year.

"You can do it small, you can do it yourself and really within a day," Davis said.

Making a micro e-commerce website means getting one to three products for sale online using basically a website template that includes a checkout option.

"I wanted to get it out as quickly as possible, just to try to help people know how they can do it for themselves," Davis said. "I understand the technology and how to use it to get you where you need to go. So this is one of those cases where I see people struggling and talking about trying to support one another. It's something I want people to be able to do quickly and just get themselves open for business as fast as possible."

The first webinar is at 11 a.m. Tuesday. View the time options and learn more here. They are free but you need to register.

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