Gov. Northam: Bristol, Big Stone Gap to benefit from Virginia’s $4.4 million economic plan

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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam

RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that businesses and community organizations across Virginia will benefit from an economic plan that provides more than $4.4 million to investment projects.

According to a release from the Office of the Governor, the plan focuses on supporting business development, economic recovery and redevelopment of both industrial and commercial structures.

Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said, “This funding will expand job growth, nurture entrepreneurial ecosystems, and provide support to communities most affected by the pandemic.”

The City of Bristol will receive $150,000 to build upon the City’s “Made in Bristol” initiative. The City will create a Made in Bristol membership program open to small-scale producers in the Bristol area. Members will be provided with training, technical assistance and grants specific to the needs of small-scale producers. The program seeks to provide assistance to at least 20 businesses.

The release also states that the City of Bristol will also receive $60,000 to host a six-week business training series which will be followed up with a business plan pitch competition that will be focused on the downtown area. Believe in Bristol, a non-profit organization, will use these funds to create at least five jobs and expand or create three businesses.

Similar to Bristol, the Town of Big Stone Gap received $45,000 to hold a six-week business training series followed by a business plan pitch competition that will be focused on Wood Avenue located in the historic downtown area. In an effort to revitalize the historic downtown area, which is currently filled with vacant properties, the program will focus on getting specialty retail and restaurants to fill the vacancies in the area. The project aims to create or expand three businesses and while also creating at least five new jobs.

“This is about renovating old buildings, investing in neighborhoods, and launching new businesses,” said Gov. Northam.

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