WAYNESBORO – Community Business Launch (CBL) awards were announced this week by Governor McAuliffe, totaling $300,000 for five projects in the Commonwealth. The City of Waynesboro secured $60,000 in funding for its Grow Waynesboro program, which will provide resources to support the development of local and regional entrepreneurial efforts with the intent to spur new job creation and expansions.
The Community Business Launch (CBL) is designed to help communities take a systems approach to defining and pursuing an asset-based small business development strategy, creatively building on the existing strengths of their local economies. Starting with a community’s unique vision for its future, the program uses a local business competition to find and foster the entrepreneurs that connect with that vision. This program is administered through the Department of Housing and Community Development.
“For Waynesboro, this award builds on a successful launch earlier this year of the Grow Waynesboro initiative, our small business development program that combined community visioning, a celebration of the local economy, and a new business competition that awarded $21,000 to start-up entrepreneurs in Waynesboro,” says Greg Hitchin, Director of Economic Development for the City of Waynesboro.
Specifically, this year’s $60,000 award will fund a 2017 business plan competition for Grow Waynesboro, almost tripling the funding available to support local entrepreneurs. “We are looking forward to deepening our impact on the small business climate,” says Courtney Cranor, Assistant Director of Economic Development and Tourism for the City of Waynesboro. “Last year’s Start-up Competition was met with such enthusiasm and really allowed us to lay the groundwork for a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in Waynesboro. With this grant we will be able to assist more entrepreneurs and local business owners.”
Grow Waynesboro will integrate creative approaches in order to foster new business development in the City of Waynesboro. Innovators from throughout the region will be invited to take part, with winners receiving start-up resources including grant awards, building lease assistance, marketing support, customized training options, professional mentorships and technical assistance.
The grant funding announcement follows closely on the heels of recent recognition of the City’s small business development program. Last month in Cleveland, the City of Waynesboro was awarded two Silver Awards from the International Economic Developers Council, one for GrowWaynesboro.com as a Special Purpose Website and another for An Entrepreneurs Guide to Starting a Business as a Special Purpose Print Brochure. Also in September, the Staunton-Waynesboro area was named by GoodCall.com as one of 2016’s top one-hundred Best Places for Women Entrepreneurs. Additional information on the business plan competition will be available soon through GrowWaynesboro.com.
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