Governor McAuliffe announces $71,000 in Building Entrepreneurial Economies funding

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced $71,000 in Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE) awards for five projects in the Commonwealth. The BEE program provides funding to nonprofits and local governments to assist with the development of local and regional entrepreneurial economies that foster job creation and expansion by small businesses.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “In order to create jobs and build a new Virginia economy, we must help develop and grow our small businesses by creating and maintaining entrepreneurial environments in our communities.  Through the BEE program, we are assisting organizations and local governments that are supporting place- and community-based entrepreneurship in their communities.”

BEE offers several types of grants, including implementation and planning. The implementation grants are awards up to $75,000 for projects that expand coverage for small business support services or implement innovative ideas that have already been funded and field tested through the BEE planning grant. Planning grants are awards of up to $7,500 to research, develop and plan for a potential project.

“Helping communities develop and sustain an ecosystem that catalyzes entrepreneurship is a key strategy in our efforts to grow and diversify our economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “This program equips communities with the right tools, services and financing to create a quality environment for business start-ups and expansions.”

Ten applications totaling approximately $276,000 in funding were received. Applications were competitively evaluated, scored and ranked based on criteria including organizational and personnel capacity, reasonable goals, alignment with local or regional community’s vision for economic and community development and various other items.

The following projects were awarded funding through the 2016 Building Entrepreneurial Economies program:

BEE Implementation Grants

Applicant Localities Project Name Award Offer
BizWorks Enterprise Center Chesterfield County Start Smart Program      $ 23,505
City of Galax City of Galax Jump! Galax (Phase I)      $ 25,000
Total:  $ 48,505                          


BEE Planning Grants

Applicant Localities Project Name Award Offer
Beans and Rice Inc. Pulaski, Montgomery, Floyd and Giles counties Launch Something NRV $7,500
STEP Inc. Franklin, Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania counties Entrepreneurship Training Center $7,500
IA Foundation for Kids City of Roanoke The Making Foundation $7,500
Total: $22,500
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