The Greater Williamsburg Partnership (GWP) and the Williamsburg Community Foundation (WCF) are pleased to announce the Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund in partnership with the Economic Development Authorities of the City of Williamsburg, James City County and York County. The Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund will provide forgivable loans to businesses located in the Greater Williamsburg region. Donations to the fund will be collected by the WCF. WCF will partner with the Virginia 30 Day Fund, to support businesses across the Commonwealth of Virginia, to administer the fund including processing applications and issuing payments.
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. Already, others are stepping up to grow the fund. Chesapeake Bank has committed $10,000, while two Williamsburg Community Foundation trustees have also committed to help.
“Chesapeake Bank is grateful for the opportunity to be a community partner in the establishment of this small business emergency fund,” said Leigh Houghland, senior vice president. “These are unprecedented times and many of Greater Williamsburg’s small businesses are fighting for their life. By coming together as a community we will all be stronger.”
Barb Ramsey, a City of Williamsburg City Council member, has offered to match up to $6,000 in donations to the fund. Ramsey along with the other founding donors are challenging many others in the community to contribute to this endeavor.
“Small businesses have changed the landscape of our region,” said Ramsey. “As a retired businesswoman who had a successful career in sales and marketing, I recognize the drive, dedication and funds needed to sustain a business. I would like to challenge other business leaders, particularly those who have retired to Williamsburg, to share of their resources to help local businesses thrive again.”
“Small businesses all over the Commonwealth are hurting right now through no fault of their own, so we are excited to partner with Virginia’s founding region to support small businesses and save jobs in Greater Williamsburg,” said Pete Snyder, who co-founded the Virginia 30 Day Fund with his wife, Burson. Snyder is an alumnus of William & Mary, where he also served on the Board of Visitors. “It should be no surprise that the very community responsible for the birth of our great nation is leading yet again. This time when our communities and Commonwealth are reeling from this deadly pandemic. I’m thrilled to announce The Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund is the first public-private partnership in the Commonwealth to align with the Virginia 30 Day Fund, and it will allow us to expand our reach even further as we try to save as many Virginia jobs as possible.”
In the three weeks since its launch, the Virginia 30 Day Fund has raised more than $650,000 and provided direct financial assistance to over 100 struggling small businesses throughout the Commonwealth.
Small businesses can apply for a $3,000 forgivable loan online at va30dayfund.com. Applications will be evaluated by volunteers working on MBAs from the Raymond A. Mason School of Business William & Mary and grraduates of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Qualifying businesses must be based in Greater Williamsburg (City of Williamsburg, James City County or York County), have operated for at least a year, employ three to 30 people and be owned and operated by a Virginia resident.
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 donating to the Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund to support regional businesses, please visit the WCF Donation website. If you prefer, WCF can help set up an electronic transfer from a bank account. For more information, please contact WCF at 757-259-1660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
James City County Media Contact:
Christopher Johnson, Director of Economic Development
WCF Foundation Media Contact:
Ginny Gasink, Development & Communications
GWP Media Contact:
Von Gilbreath, Director