FROM Daily Press BY Abigail Adcox
Thirty small businesses within James City County including local restaurants, hospitality services and retail stores were approved last week for $3,000 in relief funding through the Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund.
This follows the Board of Supervisors for James City County unanimously voting to allocate $500,000 to the fund for small businesses within the county. James City County has received 75 applications for the forgivable loans.
The Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund was established at the end of April by the Williamsburg Community Foundation in partnership with the VA 30 Day Fund.
Chris Jump, owner of Anvil Campground in Williamsburg, had previously applied for funding from the VA 30 Day Fund and been denied. Following James City County’s additional pledged money, he received news the business had been approved.
“We were just so grateful, because it just gave us a little bit of light in all the darkness,” said Jump.
With the funding, Jump said they were able to help cover some of their fixed expenses, pay their employees and finish already started renovations on the clubhouse.
“You don’t get many opportunities in your adult life to win anything. … It helped out a lot,” said Jump.
Nikki Montero, owner of Axe Republic in Williamsburg, was also a recent recipient. Montero said that they have used the money to create an expanded outdoor area in order to accommodate social distancing guidelines when they re-open on June 19.
Pete Snyder, who founded the VA 30 Day Fund with his wife, Burson, said that their “true intent was to be a lifeline for people.”
Snyder and his wife, Burson, are also business owners themselves and graduates of William & Mary.
The idea for the VA 30 Day Fund was to help bridge the estimated 30-day gap between when businesses applied and received federal funding.
In reality, Snyder said only about 20% of businesses who received the VA 30 Day Fund forgivable loans have received federal money.
The VA 30 Day Fund has also inspired other 30 day funds to pop up around the country, including in Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, and most recently, New Jersey.
Businesses which receive the forgivable loan are encouraged to repay the loan by depositing it back into the fund.
“We are hoping that when our business starts to pick up and do well, we can pay it forward back into the fund. So another business that may have not been a recipient this time could use the money in the same way we did,” said Montero.
Abigail Adcox, 757-222-5320, firstname.lastname@example.org