$500,000 available for projects that fund region’s economy
The wait is over for entrepreneurs who believe they have a great idea for a business that could create jobs and economic opportunity in Southwest Virginia. The GO Virginia Region One Council, which includes the counties of Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan, Tazewell, Russell, Smyth, Washington, Wythe, Bland, Grayson, Carroll and the cities of Norton, Bristol and Galax, is now accepting applications for funding projects that could boost the region’s economy.
Projects funded will address one or more of the Council’s target areas, which include growing and strengthening industry sectors including advanced manufacturing, agriculture/food and beverage manufacturing, information and emerging technologies as well as energy and minerals through activities such as talent development and retention, increasing innovation and infrastructure development.
Approximately $500,000 is available for funding projects in GO VA Region One and $11.1 is available for competitive projects across the Commonwealth. Region One anticipates funding projects in varying amounts with project periods not exceeding two years.
Each project requires a dollar for dollar match, which must come from a non-state appropriated source such as non-state public entities, federal or local funds, private sources or in-kind contributions. Additionally, the goal of the State GO Virginia Board is to promote cross-jurisdictional collaboration. At least two or more localities (counties or independent cities) must be engaged in the project by contributing 20 percent of the required match, or $50,000, whichever is greater, for each proposed project. This may be waived by the GO Virginia State Board to half of the required amount, upon a finding of fiscal distress or an exceptional economic opportunity within the collaborating localities.
The primary purpose of GO Virginia is to create higher paying jobs (greater than the annual average wage of the region which is $33,865). Projects to be funded must align with the Region One Growth and Diversification Plan, which may be found at (uvawise.edu/uva-wise/administration-services/office-economic-development/go-virginia-region-one-council/).
The application period began Oct. 31 and runs through 5 p.m., Dec. 11. A detailed applications packet including program guidelines may be found at the same web address.