Northern Virginia technology entrepreneur Pete Snyder and his wife, Burson, have launched the Virginia 30 Day Fund, targeting businesses with between three and 30 employees for gap funding.
Working with other business leaders throughout the Commonwealth, the fund’s goal is to help save as many Virginia jobs as possible while small businesses await recently approved federal funding.
The fund offers up to $3,000 to businesses owned by Virginians who have been in business for more than a year.
Most notably, the funds do not have to be repaid, although recipients are asked to “pay it forward” to another Virginia small business in need of assistance if they are able to do so in the future.
The Virginia 30 Day Fund was seeded with $100,000 by the Snyders, with contributions expected from other businesses and philanthropists. Businesses that apply are guaranteed a response in three days and can expect an immediate transfer of funds upon approval.
Snyder joined host and Loudoun Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer on the eighth episode of the #LoudounPossible Pod, where he explained the inspiration behind the fund.
“I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I’ve started several small businesses over the years and that is my true calling in life, is to be an entrepreneur,” he said. “When this [pandemic] hit, the first thing you do is focus on your family, making sure that they’re safe and healthy. Then I looked at businesses.
“For the first week or 10 days, everything was good enough, considering. And then, I just started seeing the devastation all around us. How do you help in this period of time?”
While much larger sums of funding are expected to be available through the Small Business Administration and earmarked funding from the CARES Act, the application process has failed to respond quickly to tens of thousands of claims. SBA funding is available for businesses, nonprofits and veterans organizations with as many as 500 employees, which includes a large percentage of American businesses.
The Virginia 30 Day Fund is not intended to replace other long-term solutions but could provide funding for operating expenses and payroll in the interim.
“It’s going to take several weeks for the cavalry to actually get there,” Snyder said of the CARES Act funding. “Fifty percent of small businesses only have two weeks of cash on hand. So how are they going to get over this death valley?
“That’s when I cobbled together a couple of folks from the philanthropic community and the business community. We pulled some dollars together and started the Virginia 30 Day Fund.
“Within the first two days of us being up and going, we have seen 254 applications. The devastation is just so vast, that it’s hurting everyone. It is the worst devastation I’ve ever seen. So we are opening our doors and trying to help everyone that we can that qualifies.”
The application requires business owners to provide relevant personal and contact information, as well as information about the small business, including the number of part-time and full-time employees, a copy of your business license, other supporting documentation, a copy of a W-9, an explanation of how funds will be used, and a mechanism for measuring the impact that the forgivable loan had on your business.
Business owners are required to submit a short video pitching their business story and allow the fund to use their information for promotional purposes.
To apply for the Virginia 30 Day Fund, please click below:Apply for the VA 30 Day Fund
Listen to the full #LoudounPossible Pod with Pete Snyder: