CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WWBT) - The nonprofit created to help small businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is now offering to help businesses who experienced property damage or theft in the past week due to violence stemming from protests.
The first small business to benefit from the funds is Waller & Company Jewelers, a 120-year-old African-American family-owned retail jewelry business in Richmond that has been vandalized and looted in recent nights.
“Some people who didn’t have good intentions," says David Waller, the store’s owner, and manager, "decided to use this opportunity to do break-ins and break glass and be violent.”
As the jewelry store rebuilds with help from volunteers, the Virginia 30 Day Fund will help with financial support to mitigate some of their losses.
“As Virginia small businesses, which are already at grave risk due to the COVID-19 crisis, work to pick up the pieces and rebuild from this damage, we are here to help build them back up,” said Pete Snyder, the co-founder of the Virginia 30 Day Fund. "Rather than allowing the violent few to tear down what others have built, we will come together with our fellow Virginians to heal our Commonwealth.”
Snyder and his wife teamed up with other entrepreneurs in early April to launch the Virginia 30-Day Fund in order to provide direct financial assistance to at-risk small businesses and save jobs in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Since then, the fund has helped more than 300 small businesses and grown to more than $1.7 million raised and pledged. The funds that businesses receive do not need to be repaid but are urged to pay it forward to another at-risk business.
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