More than 100 small businesses in James City County have taken advantage of financial assistance through the Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund.
Each of the 100 businesses received a $3,000 forgivable loan through the fund, which is intended to help businesses weather the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local businesses that have received loans include restaurants, manufacturers, and companies in health care and hospitality industries, according to a news release from James City County.
Businesses that have been in operation for at least a year, are owned by a Virginia resident and employ between three and 30 people are eligible for a loan.
The 100th business in the county to receive funding was Sweethaven Lavender Farm.
Sweethaven planted its first lavender crop in 2018 and opened for business in 2019. COVID-19 canceled their second annual lavender festival days in late May and early June.
Kerry Messer, owner of Sweethaven, called the grant “a huge blessing”
The Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund was formed in April through a partnership between the Williamsburg Community Foundation, the Greater Williamsburg Partnership and the nonprofit Virginia 30 Day Fund.
Staff from the WCF administer the funds, and volunteers from William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business and University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business review loan applications.
In May, James City County’s Board of Supervisors allocated $500,000 to the fund. That $500,000 is only eligible to businesses within the county. Funding is still available.
Local small businesses can apply for a grant here.
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