LYNCHBURG, Va. -

In four years of business, Ronnie Shoultz has moved his small gift shop multiple times.

"This is our third location on Main Street," said Shoultz.  "We are trying to position ourselves where we might be most visible."

Shoultz has found success by offering niche items that aren't available in other Lynchburg stores.

"It has been a challenge, but we are tenacious," said Shoultz, who's succeeding at a time when many other small businesses are failing.

"It literally breaks my heart when I walk down the street and I see another going out of business sale," said Rebecca Sturm-Clauser, a Lynchburg-area resident who is trying to reverse the trend of business closings.

Sturm-Clauser is a business coach.  For several months she's been offering advice for free.

"I thought how can I help people not struggle so badly, because it's going to happen and we're all going to have those challenges," said Sturm-Clauser.

Every month she hosts an event called "Business Express."  Small business owners come together to network and gather advice.

"We know that small businesses have limited resources, so we offered this to them free of charge," Sturm-Clauser said.

Albert Billingsly is taking advantage of the free classes.  He owns a small insurance agency.

"She has been able to help me focus on areas that I was not focusing on," said Billingsly.

The sessions have helped him build a business plan and glean knowledge from other small business owners.

"That in itself has been an invaluable asset in that I get to meet people who are doing the same thing," Billingsly said

"We hope that small business will take tools back that will help to grow their businesses," said Sturm-Clauser.

"Business Express" is held on the first Tuesday of every month at the White Hart Cafe in downtown Lynchburg.  To learn more contact Sturm-Clauser at (434) 661-8068 or e-mail dccoachrebecca@gmail.com.