It goes without saying that it’s been an unprecedented year for all of us, but the adaptability, strength and resilience of our network here in Virginia never ceases to impress us. When everything changed, seemingly overnight, back in March our Main Street communities suddenly faced a long list of new challenges, and at the forefront of everyone’s minds was how to best support the small businesses that are the backbone of our downtowns. The Community Revitalization Office of DHCD quickly mobilized to provide $310,000 in funding for the “Small Business Support Relief & Recovery Initiative,” available to Virginia Main Street designated communities. 23 communities applied for the grant money, and all 23 were awarded funding to help immediately address the needs of local, small, independently owned businesses in their districts.
Each community came up with ways to best distribute the funding to support their small businesses and are now reporting the results to us. The grants have helped retain 343 businesses and 901 jobs across the state. Our Main Street directors are seeing the impact firsthand, telling us from Harrisonburg: “the grants have contributed to these 5 businesses staying afloat. Revenue is at an all time low for nearly every business. Every bit of capital helps to keep the lights on at this point to weather the storm,” and in Franklin: “all 28 businesses assisted by our SOS grant program coupled with support programs from our community partners remains in business and a large portion of them are on the path to growth.” We’ve compiled a full report here, check it out to learn more about the effect of the relief funding: