A Harvest Foundation partnership to help small businesses cope with the financial fallout from COVID-19 just marked a milestone of 100 awards in less than a month — and there’s still $700,000 left to give away.
On June 10, the foundation announced a $1 million donation to the Virginia 30 Day Fund to start the Pay It Forward MHC campaign. Small businesses in Martinsville and Henry County with three to 30 employees can apply for forgivable loans of up to $3,000 and receive the money in just a few days.
The funds do not need to be repaid, but recipients are encouraged to “pay it forward” and donate back, if they are able, so that other businesses can benefit.
Program officials held a Zoom call Wednesday morning to announce the 100th award, which goes to Martinsville dentist Dr. James Wilson. This marks $300,000 distributed to local businesses so far, Harvest Program Officer India Brown said.
When the governor ordered a statewide shutdown of most businesses in March to stem the spread of COVID-19, “many of the Pay It Forward MHC applicants were deemed non-essential and had to close their doors temporarily,” Brown said. “Although business had to halt, the bills did not! Many are using the funds for payroll or to get caught up on bills so that they can continue paying their employees.”