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$1.5 million grant to help women- and minority-owned businesses in pandemic

Posted at 7:58 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 19:58:52-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Community Capital will be helping many small businesses in the Richmond area that are struggling in the pandemic.

With a $1.5 million grant from Wells Fargo, the community development financial institution (CDFI) will be able to give women and minority-owned business low-interest loans as well as support services to help companies navigate these difficult days.

“Richmond has taken a lead nationally when it comes to pulling together resources throughout our local ecosystem in support of the small business community, and people have just simply taken notice,” Melody Short, a Community Innovation Advisor, said when asked why Richmond was able to attract such a grant. “We're using all the resources that we have been afforded to Virginia Community Capital, regardless of this uncertain time that we're in, to boost small women- and minority-owned businesses throughout the city. Access to capital is critical for building and rebuilding our economy.”

Short pointed out that the pandemic has created unknown for many businesses even if they have managed to stay afloat.

“When you're talking about business plans and making your plans annually, [small businesses] have not built a pandemic into their model,” said Short. “So this is really a time for them to take advantage of both capital resources because they are expenses that they did not plan for, but also technical assistance so that the businesses can not only just make it through these times but also thrive.”

Short also said there was no time to waste.

“It's incredibly important,” she said. “You know the small business community really is the backbone of our local economy, and so it's important that our local economy is able to continue on because the local economy affords our neighbors employment. And so it's absolutely critical. We want to make sure we are positioned to continue on and so the “Open for Business” Loan Fund does exactly that, with the help of getting community capital, getting these resources out to the community.”

To sign up, or for more information, click here.

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