The grant program was funded by the federal CARES act money that was allocated to Goochland County and focused on reimbursing businesses the cost of complying with the Governor’s guidelines related to reopening businesses.
The program awarded grants ranging between $350 to $20,000 to twenty-nine Goochland businesses. The award amounts were based on the number of employees and documented eligible expenses.
“The entire Goochland County organization is pleased to be able to help our local businesses and fellow citizens get back to business,” remarked Todd Kilduff, Deputy County Administrator for Community and Economic Development. “From the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Goochland’s Community Development and Economic Development teams have focused on helping our fellow community members overcome obstacles to operate in a safe and successful manner during the pandemic.”
“We were extremely happy to be able to assist businesses from across various industry sectors in Goochland County” said Sara Worley, Economic Development Coordinator with Goochland County. The grants were awarded to many local restaurants and several personal service, retail, construction, and manufacturing businesses.
According to Casey Verburg, Economic Development Coordinator, “the grant program was specifically geared towards helping Goochland businesses with the unexpected expenses of complying with the Governor’s orders that caused many businesses to expend cash during the pandemic.”
When asked how the grants helped their local businesses, the Goochland County Economic Development Department received the following responses.
“During this uncertain time, The Goochland Economic Development Department is actively providing assistance for numerous local businesses to ensure our continued success,” stated Karen Levitt, Founder of Heart of Yoga. “My business has made the transition to online offerings; the business grant was offered to help with expenses related to this new way of generating income. I am eternally grateful as I navigate these new offerings.”
“A quick pivot to pick up meals combined with the extra requirements for signage and sanitation once we re-opened with safety protocols in place meant we had unplanned expenses for packaging and supplies,” said restaurant proprietor Ann Hardwick with Tanglewood Ordinary. “Goochland’s Back to Business grant has been a lifesaver in helping us manage these extra costs.”
Crystal Neilson-Hall, Owner of The Freckled Farm Soap Company responded, “When COVID hit, our business was completely turned upside down. The majority of our income came from in-person sales at farmers markets. Without that as an option we were forced to depend on wholesale sales and the portion of our business which brought in the least revenue, our website. The website was seven years old and lacked the professional touch needed to attract new customers. The Back to Business grant allowed us to hire a local web developer to build us a brand new, more polished website. It has made such a difference. It has kept us going through this pandemic and brought in new customers from all over the country.”
“Goochland's Back to Business grant has helped us to keep staff safe with a tent for curbside service, masks, gloves, cleaning supplies and an antiviral UV light in the air circulation system,” said Dr. Jerry L. Bayer of Patterson Veterinary Hospital. “Keeping people safe and employed is apparent in Goochland's grant for small businesses and we are very appreciative.”
While the Back to Business Grant closed on December 30, 2020 after successfully awarding over $156,000 in business grants, the Goochland County Economic Development department encourages all Goochland businesses to contact their office to be added to the Economic Development email list for future grant opportunities or to learn more about how the department assists local businesses.
All Goochland businesses are encouraged to visit www.GoochlandForBusiness.com, call Goochland County Economic Development at (804) 556-5862, or email at GochlandForBusiness@goochlandva.us.