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Sprint becomes marathon as VA 30 Day Fund helps more small businesses

Published: Dec. 11, 2020 at 7:33 PM EST
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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Daily Grind has kept the coffee flowing, despite times when the owners didn’t know if the business would survive.

“Our sales are still a little low from what they were last year,” Elizabeth Kendall told WDBJ7, “however we are definitely making it.”

Rania’s Restaurant is serving up an extensive menu - and optimism for what lies ahead.

“We’re back in business,” Roberto Sanchez said. “We are open and we are here to stay!”

And Service Printing is hanging on, as the company marks its 100th anniversary.

‘It’s just been a very difficult year,” David Martin said, “for every small business, not just mine.”

This week, Charlottesville entrepreneur Pete Snyder and his associate Katherine Neal visited Martinsville to see how the three businesses are faring, and to present a check to David Martin.

The Virginia 30 Day Fund has awarded forgiveable loans of $3,000 to more than 700 businesses. Organizers have been aiming for 1,000 by the end of the year.

The effort Pete and Burson Snyder launched in April has far surpassed their expectations.

“We thought we’d be in this for two weeks or maybe two months, you know, flatten the curve, remember that,” Snyder said. “No one expected eight months, nine months or even going into next year.”

So far, more than 150 businesses in the Martinsville-Henry County area have received assistance, thanks to a partnership between the Virginia 30 Day Fund and the Harvest Foundation.

India Brown is a program officer with the foundation.

“The small businesses of Martinsville-Henry County are the heartbeat of our city and county,” she said. “And so to be able to help them is so important to us.”

The business owners encourage others to apply.

“The help, it came like rain from the sky,” Sanchez said. “It was needed big time.”

“I think there are a lot of businesses that are still really struggling, that need to apply for this,” Kendall told us.

“If I can do it, trust me, on a computer, anybody can do it,” Martin said.

Snyder has been active in Republican politics, and is mentioned as a likely candidate for Governor. But he says the Virginia 30 Day Fund is separate from his political activities.

With COVID spiking and a full recovery still many months away, Snyder said the outreach to small businesses will continue.

To learn more about the Virginia 30 Day Fund, visit the organization’s website.

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