Richmond – Governor McAuliffe announced today $300,000 in Virginia Community Business Launch (CBL) grants for the towns of Altavista and South Boston, as well as the cities of Bristol, Franklin and Waynesboro. CBL assists communities in taking a systems approach to defining and pursuing an asset-based small business development strategy.
"Small business development and entrepreneurism are key components to building the new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. "The Community Business Launch program continues to be a resource that we are using to diversify our economy and put a strong focus on small business growth.”
The CBL program starts with a community’s unique vision for its future and then uses a local business competition to find and foster the entrepreneurs that connect with that vision. CBL provides the tools to effectively prepare multiple entrepreneurs to operate successful businesses in a downtown or neighborhood commercial district and allow them to compete for funding to launch their new endeavor.
“CBL has been a smart tool for building strong entrepreneurial eco-systems,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Tod Haymore. “Not only are we providing much-needed funding to budding entrepreneurs, but we are exciting and educating the community on the opportunities and impacts of entrepreneurial and small business development.”
While only a limited number of entrepreneurs may win the business competitions, CBL has given rise to many budding entrepreneurs that have been prepared, through the CBL initiative, to be successful businesses. In the last grant year, CBL helped to start or expand 46 businesses. In addition, it will help communities begin to develop a coordinated, comprehensive sustainable environment that identifies, launches and supports community-based entrepreneurs and small business at all levels of development.