Loudoun Economic Development awarded 124 Business Reinvestment and Recovery Grants on Thursday, totaling approximately $4.94 million in funding allocated by the Board of Supervisors from the County’s American Rescue Plan Act funding from Congress.
“My Board colleagues and I are very proud of this direct investment into Loudoun’s economy, supporting startups and established enterprises that share a strong vision for the future,” Board of Supervisors Chair at Large Phyllis J. Randall said. “The COVID-19 pandemic created many challenges for Loudoun residents and businesses, and those challenges can best be addressed through innovation and reinvention.”
Loudoun Economic Development worked with the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to design the Business Reinvestment and Recovery Grant program to fund innovative solutions that accelerate business growth for companies who pivoted in the wake of COVID-19. The grants range in size from less than $7,000 to the maximum of $50,000.
“This was a highly competitive process with more than 750 project applications, and I commend the Board of Supervisors for recognizing the unique need from the business community, as well as the opportunity that comes with this investment,” Loudoun Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer said. “We expect a strong return on this investment, in terms of job creation, business growth and tax revenue.”
Of the 124 grants, more than half will support minority-owned business ventures, 38% will support women-owned enterprises, and 14% will support veteran-owned companies. Additionally, six recipient businesses identify as LBGTQ-owned and five identify as disability-owned. Each magisterial district has at least one grant recipient.
Nearly 40% of businesses receiving grants hail from one of Loudoun’s towns, and each of the county’s major industry sectors received funding. The complete list of businesses can be viewed at LoudounBusinessFund.org.
“Our department conducted a very thorough, inclusive and transparent review, and ultimately funded more grants than we initially envisioned,” Rizer continued. “When you look at the awardees, you will see businesses that really applied the word ‘innovation’ to their individual area within the market, their service or their product. Many of them are also multipliers who will use the grant awards to purchase services and products from other Loudoun businesses that strengthen their reinvention project.”
One of the grant recipients, Bright Yeast Labs in Sterling, shifted to providing local breweries with yeast optimized for canning, following the industry’s pivot from in-person customers. With grant funding, the labs will engineer new yeast strains to better meet the demands of Loudoun’s vibrant craft brewery industry.
Sharp Line Cuts Barbershop is an Ashburn-based, Black-owned business that saw a great need to help residents return to the workforce following COVID’s interruption.. The business will use this grant to become accredited as a professional barber academy and expand its hybrid training facility.
Long Stone Farm, a Lovettsville woman-owned business, pivoted from restaurant sales to a direct-to-consumer model during COVID-19, forging deeper connections with the community helping local shoppers avoid supply chain delays. Following the grant award and recent opening of its second retail location in Paeonian Springs, the farm will double its beef and chicken production for consumers.
Michelle Lindsay Photography, a woman-owned business in Leesburg, pivoted from the high-touch service of newborn photography to a flexible and private studio space. With the help of this funding, the studio will expand to offer space to other creative Loudoun entrepreneurs.
For a full list of grant recipients, additional information on the Business Recovery and Reinvention Grants, visit LoudounBusinessFund.org.
To every small business owner and entrepreneur who has chosen to invest in Loudoun, please know that Loudoun is invested in you. Loudoun Economic Development is a full-service economic development organization dedicated to your #LoudounPossible business success. Our team of specialists provide no-cost business counseling and services that can help you in a number of different ways. A full listing of staff contact information is available here.