Governor Northam expands Rebuild VA fund to help small businesses

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TAZEWELL, VA (WVNS) — Millions of dollars were set aside to help small businesses in Virginia.
On September 21, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced the expansion of the Rebuild VA fund.

It is no secret the pandemic took a financial toll on small businesses around the country, and those in Tazewell County are no exception. Corey Brewster owns a barber shop in Tazewell, Va.

“In the original plan it said it was August. If I would a had to stay closed until August, I don’t know if I would have made it to be honest,” Brewster said.

Cory Brewster is the owner, operator, and sole employee of his barbershop. To provide for his family, he takes on nearly 40 haircuts a day. The COVID-19 pandemic made the process even more difficult.

“From cutting hair to calling the next person to cutting their hair, then I just have to keep calling everybody, but you have to do what you have to do to stay open,” said Brewster.

After shutting down early in the pandemic, he is now trying to catch up with unpaid bills.

Sharina’s Wingz remained open throughout the entire pandemic, but this only brought on added expenses. Edwinna Cecil is the sister of the owner of Sharina’s Wingz.

“We have to keep the doors open, and then there’s the light bill and the water bill and there’s building rent and buying supplies and paying people, so I mean it doesn’t stop. Just because the pandemic came and it’s here, it doesn’t stop. Everything goes on,” Cecil explained.

There is hope for businesses like these in the form of the Rebuild VA Fund. The $70 million fund is geared toward helping small businesses pay for cleaning supplies, employee benefits, salaries and even rent.

“Gosh that would be amazing because that would help us to do more, maybe expand buy more product. Help with the cost of sanitizer and that sort,” said Cecil.

If you are a small business owner and would like to apply for this grant, click here.

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