RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Small businesses have been hit hard due to social distancing guidelines and the closure of non-essential businesses. A northern Virginia technology entrepreneur and his wife started a non-profit to help small businesses stay afloat.
“You can’t be an entrepreneur without being an optimist--we are seeing Virginians help Virginians," explained Pete Snyder. “We thought ‘oh my gosh’ how can we get others involved and get these small businesses over the hump until the federal Calvary can come and hopefully save the day--so that is how we started the Virginia 30 Day Fund.”
The VA 30 Day Fund is a non-profit that started as an idea just 8 days ago. According to their website, the Virginia 30 Day Fund is “working with other business leaders throughout the Commonwealth, the Fund’s goal is to help save as many Virginia jobs as possible while small businesses await recently approved federal funding.”
The organization is offering forgivable loans of up to $3,000 to businesses that apply and have their application approved.
Virginia businesses that qualify for assistance from the Fund are:
- Small businesses that employ three to 30 people;
- Based in Virginia and have been operating for at least one year;
- Owned and operated by a Virginia resident.
“The funds dispersed to small businesses by the Virginia 30 Day fund do not need to be repaid. If businesses who receive the Fund’s assistance do, at a later date, wish to “pay it forward” to another Virginia small business in need of assistance, they may do so by directing those dollars back to the Fund, which will disburse the funding to another Virginia business in need,” the organization wrote online.
Snyder and his wife Burson put up $100,000 of their own money to get the fund started.
“We are on day 3, we are going to fund over 2 dozen businesses to get them cash in their bank accounts today," explained Snyder. “We’ve raised over a quarter of million dollars in 2 days, so the community is really helping us out--right now we have 5 times the demand for the dollars we have."
As the demand and need for funding increases, The VA 30 Day Fund continues to look for donors willing to help fund the forgivable loans.
“One thing we ask of those receiving these funds, is that they keep employees on the job. Don’t tighten the belt and fire folks, which only make this problem worse," said Snyder.
So far they have helped businesses in several industries all over the Commonwealth, including a grocery store, fitness studio and sheet metal manufacturer.
“We are entrepreneurial by nature in Virginia, we are going to get through this, we are strong and our economy is going to come roaring back,” said Snyder.
If you are interested in applying for a forgivable loan, learn more here
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