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How West Point is offering HOPE to struggling neighbors and businesses

Posted at 11:34 AM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 11:43:46-04

WEST POINT, Va. -- As COVID-19 extends its reach across the globe, communities large and small are still trying to cope. The economic downturn can be especially devastating to small towns, like West Point -- a community of 3,300.

Town Manager John Edwards says it has been difficult knowing families and businesses are struggling day to day, so the town council is stepping in with a stimulus program to pump tens of thousands of dollars back into the West Point economy.

"We want families and businesses to know that the town cares, and the success of our local businesses and the success of our families. is important to the council," Edwards said. "We don’t all experience these times the same, but we do care and we all want to chip in and help in any way we can."

So, the town council is offering H.O.P.E. -- Helping Our Pointer Economy. The financial stimulus program approved by town council members will offer a $50 voucher booklet, good for purchases at area businesses, to every household in the Town of West Point.

The cost will be borne by the Town’s General Fund, with no payment from citizens or businesses.

In the next few weeks, Edwards says they’ll work with the Chamber of Commerce to reach out and get businesses signed up.

"By doing this, and if folks participate like we expect, it will infuse somewhere between $70,000 and $75,000 into our economy between now and the end of the year," Edwards explained. "Our town has a lot of small businesses and in some cases, this could mean the difference between surviving and not surviving the economic downturn."

Families will be contacted in the coming weeks to pick up their voucher booklet. They must show proof of residency and bring an ID.

Once they have the vouchers in hand, they can immediately begin redeeming them.

Businesses who want to participate must be located in West Point, have a current business license issued by the Town of West Point for 2020, be current on property and meals tax payments or have an approved payment plan for any past due taxes.

Participating businesses will accept West Point H.O.P.E. vouchers through Dec. 31, 2020 and can submit the vouchers to the Town Treasurer for payment as often as they’d like.

Anyone with questions can call the West Point Town Hall office at 804-843-3330.

Virginia Together: The Rebound Richmond campaign is here to help. Find information on who is hiring, investigations into unemployment payment issues, financial advice on making ends meet, and mental health advice on managing the pressures. These stories will be featured often on CBS 6 News and can be found by clicking this link.