STAFFORD, VIRGINIA – Stafford County Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism are pleased to announce a $215,000 local grant award and contract from GO Virginia Region 6 Council and the GO Virginia State Board to expand its entrepreneurial programs in the Rappahannock Region. Earlier this past June, Governor Ralph Northam first announced plans to allocate more than $11.1 million in Growth and Opportunity of Virginia (GO Virginia) grants to stimulate the economy in Virginia, and Stafford County was a part of the plans submitted programs through Go Virginia.
“We have hit the ground running,” said Joel Griffin, Chairman of the Stafford EDA. John Holden, Director of Economic Development and Tourism added that, “The support for Go Virginia is critical to the efforts Stafford has made in small business and entrepreneurial development.”
The Stafford EDA launched a new micro and economic growth loan program in early 2020, just as the Coronavirus Pandemic shut down many operations. At that time, the EDA pivoted and launched some of the first COVID-19 grant programs, before CARES Act funds were released. With the passing of the CARES Act, Stafford County Board of Supervisors and the EDA provided additional grant programs to struggling business. We supported 138 businesses totaling $1,742,672 grant dollars through COVID-19 business assistance grants.
At the same time, the Stafford EDA was implementing its first Go Virginia grant that laid the foundation for this second grant and the launching of an entrepreneurial accelerator program in Stafford. The new program, dubbed ‘VA-RAP for Virginia RIoT Accelerator Program’ will provide intensive business and entrepreneurial development services. The VA-RAP is scheduled to start in January 2022.
Stafford County and RIoT have launched a series of “Lunch and Learn” programs. The first, held only weeks ago, provided valuable information on an Employee Retention Credit program that provides up to thousands of dollars in tax credits or cash to support small businesses. The next Lunch and Learn topic is “Assembling an IoT Network for Under $1k” and will be held on August 26th at the Virginia Smart Community Testbed. Visit www.gostaffordva.com/entrepreneurial-programs/ to register for this free event.
“We look forward fostering and helping build our entrepreneurial ecosystem in Stafford, the Rappahannock Region, and beyond,” said Holden.