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Posted on: May 15, 2020

James City County Allocates $500,000 to Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund

Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund

James City County is pleased to announce that it has allocated $500,000 to the Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund. At their May 12 meeting, the Board of Supervisors unanimously allocated savings from the Capital Improvements fund to support a contribution to the work of the Greater Williamsburg Business Relief Fund, which was established by the Williamsburg Community Foundation (WCF) and the Greater Williamsburg Partnership in partnership with the VA 30 Day Fund at the end of April. The Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund provides forgivable loans to businesses located in the Greater Williamsburg region. The funding allocated by James City County will be designated exclusively for County businesses. Dedicated staff from WCF will work with the VA 30 Day Fund to administer the allocated funding including processing applications and issuing payments to small businesses.

The Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund was the first public-private partnership fund established with VA 30 Day Fund. James City County is the first locality to allocate and provide oversight to locality-specific funding for the partnership. The Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund was established with $10,000 in seed money from the Economic Development Authorities of the City of Williamsburg, James City County and York County. A full donor list is available on the WCF website. The fund had grown to $50,000 in contributions and with the addition of $500,000 from James City County, more than 180 local businesses can receive grants.

“I am pleased that I could lead the effort to provide an avenue for some relief to County businesses with support from County Economic Development staff and unanimous support of the entire Board,” said Supervisor Sue Sadler, a member of the James City County Board of Supervisors. “Small businesses have faced incredible hardship over the last two months and I am glad that the County could provide direct assistance to our business owners.”

“We are ecstatic that our nation’s original startup – James City County has partnered with the Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund and applaud both Sue Sadler’s and the entire Board’s leadership during the incredibly challenging time,” said Pete Snyder, who founded the VA 30 Day Fund with his wife, Burson. Pete is an alum of The College of William & Mary and served on its Board of Visitors. “The additional support and firepower provided by the County is a much needed shot in the arm to the local economy will help lend both a life-line and some hope to struggling small businesses across James City County. We are thrilled to help assist the cradle of entrepreneurship and freedom save more jobs and more small businesses.”

“This effort exemplifies the Foundation’s motto of connecting people who care with causes that matter.  So many of these local businesses contribute to local nonprofits on a regular basis and now our community is standing together to help them when it is needed.”  Nancy Sullivan, WCF executive director.

“This public-private partnership originated out of the necessity to provide our small businesses with quick access to capital in their time of need. It’s truly gratifying to see this Fund grow and help so many of our small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in James City County and the Greater Williamsburg region.” said Voncile “Von” Gilbreath, Director, Greater Williamsburg Partnership.

Small businesses can apply for a $3,000 forgivable loan online at va30dayfund.com. Applications will be evaluated by volunteers with and working towards MBAs from the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Only businesses located in James City County will be eligible for grants from the $500,000 allocated by James City County. Qualifying businesses must have operated for at least a year, employ three to 30 people and be owned and operated by a Virginia resident. Businesses must use the grants for payroll, healthcare costs, rent and utilities.

Businesses are encouraged to repay the loan by depositing funding back into the fund when they are able to “pay it forward.”

If businesses or individuals are interested in learning more or donating to the Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund to support regional businesses, please visit the WCF website. For more information, please contact WCF at 757-259-1660 or office@williamsburgcommunityfoundation.org.

James City County Media Contact:
Christopher Johnson, Director of Economic Development
757-345-1196; christopher.johnson@jamescitycountyva.gov

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