Virginia grants $300,000 to help local businesses launch

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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) -- This week, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced $300,000 in Virginia Community Business Launch (CBL) grants for six towns and cities, including the City of Waynesboro.

---WHAT THE MONEY IS GOING TOWARD---

The grants are provided to help communities incentivize and foster local entrepreneurship. Each community will receive $60,000 in funding to support their respective development strategies.

“Small business development and entrepreneurism are key components to building and diversifying the new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The localities selected for this funding have articulated a clear vision for how to develop and grow a small-business ecosystem in their communities. The Community Business Launch program will help these cities and towns turn those visions into reality by helping entrepreneurs get their start and begin creating the next generation of homegrown Virginia jobs.”

---HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS---

The CBL program starts with a community’s unique vision for its future, and then uses a local business competition to find and foster the entrepreneurs that connect with that vision. CBL provides the tools to effectively prepare multiple entrepreneurs to operate successful businesses in a downtown or neighborhood commercial district and allows them to compete for funding to launch their new endeavor.

Basically, they help a few entrepreneurs from the area be prepared to run a business and then pit those entrepreneurs against each other in a competition for funding to help the future of the community.

“The CBL program has been a smart tool for building strong entrepreneurial ecosystems,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Not only are we providing much-needed funding to budding entrepreneurs, but we are exciting and educating the community on the opportunities and impacts of entrepreneurial and small business development. Today’s grant awards bring us one step closer to solidifying Virginia’s position as the preeminent place to live, work and conduct business.”

---HOW IT HELPS---

While only a limited number of entrepreneurs may win the business competitions, CBL has given rise to many entrepreneurs that have been prepared, through the CBL initiative, to be successful businesses. In the last grant year, CBL helped to start or expand 46 businesses. In addition, it helps communities begin to develop a coordinated, comprehensive sustainable environment that identifies, launches, and supports community-based entrepreneurs and small business at all levels of development.

---THE 2017 VIRGINIA COMMUNITY BUSINESS LAUNCH GRANT AWARDS---

• Town of Altavista - Altavista On Track - $60,000
• City of Bristol - Believe in Bristol - $60,000
• City of Franklin - Downtown Franklin Association - $60,000
• Town of South Boston - Destination Downtown South Boston - $60,000
• City of Waynesboro - Waynesboro Economic Development Authority - $60,000