Local businesses win $36,700 in grants for Small Business Week

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — To celebrate National Small Business Week, the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County are together granting nearly $40,000 to small, local businesses.

The money comes through a program called "Bricks & Clicks." It's a three-pronged small business assistance program designed to help businesses become stronger brick-and-mortar destinations while also building stronger websites and digital marketing.

Out of 21 businesses who applied for the grants, which range from $1,200 to $4,900, 10 were selected.

Those include Dayton Tavern LLC, the Explore More Discover Museum, Food.Bar.Food, Hugo Kohl LLC, Lineage, New Creation, Solace Studios, The Isle Co., Walkabout Outfitter, and withSimplicity.

The grant awards are positioned to bring more than $70,000 worth of investment into making the selected businesses more competitive and profitable through e-commerce tools, improved websites, strategic marketing campaigns, and on-site attractions.

“This was a highly competitive application process. The caliber of the applicants was impressive,” said Peirce Macgill, assistant director of the city’s Economic Development Department. “The grant recipients demonstrated that they were applying what they learned in the workshop and from the technical assistance and clearly articulated goals and strategies. They are poised to see real economic growth by implementing the ideas and recommendations that this program has provided.”

Bricks & Clicks offered businesses in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County an opportunity to learn about small business destination marketing from a national expert through a low-cost workshop, technical assistance from local marketing and visual design experts, and grants of up to $5,000.

Helping those businesses learn such marketing techniques were Immerge, KL Creative, Local X (the digital division of WHSV), Marc Willson, and Travis Burnham.

The program was funded by a $40,000 Building Entrepreneurial Economies grant through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

Bricks and Clicks was developed by the City of Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, James Madison University, and the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center.