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Harrisonburg, VA (October 27, 2021) – The Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center is poised to be an integral part of several ongoing business growth programs that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s office recently awarded Virginia Statewide Business District Resurgence Grants. Administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Statewide Business District Resurgence Grant supports historically economically disadvantaged communities and business districts that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

The City of Harrisonburg was awarded $100,000 in funds, with $50,000 going to the Bricks and Clicks Business Retention Program and $50,000 going to the B-Cubed (Black- and Brown-owned Business or B3) Growth Program. Led by Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR), Bricks & Clicks is a partnership between Harrisonburg Economic Development (HED), the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SVSBDC), and JMU’s School of Professional and Continuing Education. The “Bricks” part of the program focuses on using technical assistance and training to help existing businesses enhance storefront marketing, with the “Clicks” portion geared towards improving a business’s online presence and e-commerce.

B-Cubed, led by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, brings together HDR, HED, SVSBDC, and JMU in an innovative program that aims to cultivate a welcoming culture that will attract new Black- and Brown-owned business ventures to the area and encourage increasing investment from existing businesses in the Harrisonburg economy.

The City of Waynesboro was awarded $116,000 for the Waynesboro Renaissance project, an initiative geared to support small business recovery downtown and create a path to a Waynesboro renaissance. The grant will be used to provide funding to small business owners for consultant services, business plan development, technical assistance and training; expand the current façade grant program to a larger area which will cover a greater number of women-owned, minority-owned, and immigrant-owned businesses; enhance the Waynesboro at Work series of entrepreneur success stories; create and implement consumer marketing programs; and to update a 2012 housing study evaluating residential opportunities in the downtown area. The SVSBDC will assist in the delivery of consultant services, business plan development, technical assistance, and training.

“All of these projects have already provided enormous benefit to the region’s small business community, especially in mitigating the challenges of COVID, supporting business owners from diverse backgrounds, and getting more targeted, personalized services to business owners. This funding will allow these initiatives to grow for even greater economic impact,” said SVSBDC’s Assistant Director Allison Dugan.

The SVSBDC has been a major contributor to the business response efforts during COVID, not only in their traditional roles as business advisors, connectors, and training providers, but in the formation of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham COVID-19 Business (Response) Resilience Taskforce and in communicating with and assisting small businesses in the navigation of a wide range of national, regional, and local economic relief programs.

Find more information about B-Cubed at https://www.hrchamber.org/business-assistance, Bricks & Clicks at https://downtownharrisonburg.org/grants/bricks-clicks , and the Waynesboro Renaissance project at http://www.waynesborobusiness.com/waynesboro-receives-116000-grant/.

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About Small Business Development Centers. The Virginia SBDC Network provides confidential advising, business training and connections to resources for new and existing businesses throughout the Commonwealth. The SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, George Mason University‐Mason Enterprise, local host institutions and GO VIRGINIA, a state‐funded initiative administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The Virginia SBDC is nationally accredited by America’s SBDC. Business owners can access the services of their nearest SBDC at VirginiaSBDC.org.

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