Preserving Virginia's small businesses through forgivable loans
Around the country, small business owners who have poured their time and resources into starting or growing their businesses are now seeing their hard work put in jeopardy. Here in Virginia, locally owned businesses are struggling to make ends meet and maintain their employees. Even with forthcoming federal assistance, many businesses face a need for immediate relief in order to meet payroll, provide healthcare to their employees, and cover basic business expenses like rent.
In response, technology entrepreneur Pete Snyder and his wife, Burson, launched the Virginia 30 Day Fund. Through the fund, they’ve worked to place funds directly in the hands of Virginia business owners as quickly as possible. These forgivable loans, up to $3,000 each, do not need to be repaid. Instead, they ask that recipients “pay it forward” when they are back on their feet, by placing those dollars back in the Fund which will in turn help another struggling Virginia small business.
They have been thrilled by the magnitude of the response and the overwhelming gratitude of recipients. The Virginia 30 Day Fund has provided assistance to over 210 small businesses across the state and has raised more than $1,500,000 in funds. $3,000 is not enough to alleviate the full burden these entrepreneurs face. However, it can provide a lifeline to keep the lights on for one month longer. Pete and Burson see this as a small way to pay back these members for all they’ve done for our communities.
The good news is this #PayItForward model is working. The first small business has already paid forward their funds which were immediately sent to another struggling small business in their town. 30 Day Funds are starting to pop up all across the country, with the Pennsylvania and Arkansas 30 Day Funds coming online just in the last two weeks. Together, we can work to help save small businesses.