WDBJ | $1M small biz partnership launched for Henry County-Martinsville

The Harvest Foundation and the Virginia 30 Day Fund are partnering to offer a forgivable loan opportunity for small businesses in Martinsville and Henry County. It’s called the “Pay it Forward MHC Small Business Relief Fund.”

The Harvest Foundation is investing $1 million in honor of local healthcare workers and front line responders to the Virginia 30 Day Fund, which will distribute forgivable loan awards up to $3,000 for businesses employing 3-30 people.

“Small businesses are the heart and soul of a community,” said India Brown, program officer at Harvest. “Our partnership with the Virginia 30 Day Fund allows Harvest to support small businesses in our community without the hassle of completing a long application and the stress of waiting to receive funding. The Virginia 30 Day Fund’s passion to support small business is unmatched, and it is an honor to partner with them to create the Pay It Forward MHC program.”

“We couldn’t be prouder to partner with The Harvest Foundation to bring the Pay It Forward movement to Southside Virginia. Harvest’s generosity is also matched by their vision and desire to truly help others in this amazing community,” said Pete Snyder, cofounder of the Virginia 30 Day Fund. “To all of the hardworking small business heroes out there, help is on the way, right now. We’ve got your back. Know that we will get through this difficult time and we will come out of it stronger as individuals and as a community in the long run. Together, we are going to make a real and significant difference in Martinsville and Henry County in the weeks and months ahead.”

In addition to employing 3-30 people each, eligible businesses must be based in Martinsville-Henry County, operating for at least one year, and owned and operated by Virginia residents. Funds disbursed by Pay it Forward MHC do not need to be repaid, but if small business owners wish to “pay it forward” to another Virginia business in need of assistance in the future, they can direct dollars back into the fund to be used in Martinsville-Henry County.

“The Harvest Foundation Board of Directors made an important decision to provide support to local small business owners who need a lifeline during the crisis caused by coronavirus,” said David Stone, chairman of the Harvest Foundation Board of Directors. “Small businesses make up a substantial portion of the local economy. When we shop local, our dollars go back to work in our community strengthening our infrastructure and increasing our tax base.”

Allyson Rothrock, president of The Harvest Foundation added, “We are thrilled by the partnership with Virginia 30 Day Fund which makes it possible for Harvest to fulfill its mission of aiding small business growth while helping keep people at work at a time when many businesses are struggling to stay afloat. These forgivable loan awards will give businesses the extra time they need to plan, innovate, and be prepared when additional funding becomes available and our economy rebounds.”