WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The Greater Williamsburg Partnership and the Williamsburg Community Foundation announced the Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund in partnership with the Economic Development Authorities of 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.
Small businesses can apply for a $3,000 forgivable loan online at this link. Applications will be evaluated by volunteer MBA students from the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary, as well as MBA students and alumni 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.
Donations to the Fund will be collected by the Williamsburg Community Foundation. WCF will partner with the Virginia 30 Day Fund, to support businesses across 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 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 Senior VP Leigh Houghland. “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.”
City Council member Barb Ramsey 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.”
In the three weeks since its launch, the Virginia 30 Day Fund has raised more than $800,000 and provided direct financial assistance to over 135 struggling small businesses throughout the Commonwealth.
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.