RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday an allocation of more than $6.3 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grants to help the Commonwealth address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by funding a total of 15 projects, including eight regional GO Virginia projects and seven projects through GO Virginia’s Economic Resilience and Recovery Program.
“This funding will go a long way towards supporting a broad-based economic recovery across our Commonwealth,” said Northam. “As we celebrate these projects, we must also recognize the leadership and many contributions of the late GO Virginia Board Chairman Tom Farrell, whose business acumen helped advance the GO Virginia mission of fostering lasting regional collaboration, and was instrumental in mounting a robust effort to spur Virginia’s economic recovery amid the pandemic. His legacy will live on through innovative, impactful programs like this one.”
According to a release from Gov. Northam’s office, projects receiving funds will provide additional capacity to expand workforce development and talent pipelines in key industries, support the growth of start-ups and entrepreneurial endeavors, grow Virginia’s portfolio of business-ready sites, and help regions mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.
“From energy and life sciences to manufacturing and tourism, GO Virginia continues to spur innovative ideas and strategies to support businesses throughout the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “As Chair, Tom Farrell gave so much of his time to the betterment of Virginia communities, and he will be dearly missed.”
“The recent efforts of the GO Virginia program demonstrate the importance of strategic thinking in regions, and how addressing near-term economic needs can create long-term economic growth opportunities,” said GO Virginia Board Member and House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn. “This round of grants represent a combination of ingenuity, collaboration, and resiliency during a time of unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact they have on communities around the Commonwealth.”
Since 2017, GO Virginia has funded 163 projects and awarded approximately $56.9 million to support regional economic development efforts.
The governor’s office listed 15 grant awards, but only the following three grants are being allocated to our area:
2021 ROUND ONE REGIONAL GRANT AWARDS
Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center | $99,360
Region 2: Montgomery County and the City of Roanoke
The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC) will develop a market study, conceptual design, and associated operational plan to support the life science ecosystem in Blacksburg and Roanoke with flexible laboratory space. This space will ultimately support commercial entities and startup companies in the life sciences sector while providing a focal point to keep locally grown talent in the region.
SOVA Innovation Hub and Longwood University Office of Community and Economic Development Entrepreneurship and Innovation Implementation Project | $449,000
Region 3: Counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland, Halifax, Patrick, and Prince Edward
The SOVA Innovation Hub, in partnership with the Longwood University Office of Community and Economic Development, will launch a series of entrepreneurship training, youth entrepreneurship, and capital access programming. Funding will support the creation of new jobs by building entrepreneurship capacity and a stronger, more equitable region-wide network of resources for startups and early-stage companies.
ECONOMIC RESILIENCE AND RECOVERY GRANTS
Local Ordering, Communication, and Agricultural Logistics Initiative | $60,602
Region 8: County of Page and cities of Harrisonburg and Roanoke
Common Grain Alliance (CGA) will provide support and build cooperative relationships between farmers, local producers, and distributors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will leverage existing web-based applications with an online marketplace to increase sales and enhance the resiliency of the industry through the creation of an online platform to facilitate supply chain logistics and new technology to streamline food sales, storage access, and distribution.
To learn more about GO Virginia, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/gova.