Small Business Grants
Small business is essential to the Waynesboro community and to the success of our economy. They represent steadfast commitment by owners to provide goods and services to citizens and visitors while offering vast employment opportunities. There are over 5,000 business establishments in the Staunton Waynesboro MSA, almost all of them considered a “small business” using the SBA definition of having less than 500 employees. In SAW, 86% of our businesses have 19 or fewer employees. The effect of COVID-19 closures on all businesses combined with our two largest employment sectors being hospitality/accommodation and retail have had a significant impact on our economy.
An April 2020 survey of Waynesboro businesses indicated that 63% of the respondents will face a “severe impact” due to business closures or other adjustments to their normal business operation. When asked what assistance would be helpful to the business owner, 58% responded that cash flow assistance would be most helpful.
The CARES Act of 2020 provides funding assistance to state and local governments for the direct impact of the COVID -19 pandemic. A component of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) is the “provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.” The Waynesboro City Council responded to the need and ultimately allocated $600,000 or 15% of the total CARES funds received to meet the needs of small business. In total, four grant programs were created and administrated by the Waynesboro Economic Development Authority.
Small Business Success Stories
This video highlights three successful businesses in the East Main Street (Route 250) Corridor in Waynesboro, VA. The owners of Rockfish Gap Outfitters, Blue Ridge Bucha, and Basic City Beer Co. discuss the attributes of Waynesboro and the Shenandoah Valley, challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, and how they overcame those hurdles.