Virginia Beach Economic Development Unveils a New Partnership and Program to Grow Small Businesses

Virginia Beach Economic Development Unveils a New Partnership and Program to Grow Small Businesses
February 1, 2022

The City of Virginia Beach is announcing a new program called the Virginia Beach Small Business Capital Access Program, which provides $400,000 to qualifying small businesses in the form of zero interest loans. The program was created to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Virginia Beach and is the result of a collaborative effort between the Department of Economic Development and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) of Hampton Roads.

The Virginia Beach Small Business Capital Access Program started receiving applications on Jan. 3, 2022 and is currently offering loans of $15,000 to $25,000—with no payments required for the first six months. To be considered, applicants must have been in operation for a minimum of two years and incorporated as a business, hold a current business license in Virginia Beach, and demonstrate an annual net profit between $50,000 and $1 million.

"We are pleased to announce this new program and feel that it can truly make a difference for small businesses in our community," said Patrick Duhaney, Virginia Beach City Manager. "Companies with fewer than 250 employees represent 99% of all businesses in Virginia Beach—so naturally the City wants to deploy resources to support them. We hope that making this capital available and offering key resources at The Hive will help small businesses that were hit hard by the pandemic and lack access to flexible, affordable capital which in turn will benefit the community as a whole."

In August 2021, the City of Virginia Beach opened a small business resource center in Virginia Beach's Town Center called "The Hive." Unlike a coworking space, The Hive is designed to help businesses in early stages of development by giving them access to a variety of resources to get them properly established and set them on the path to success. Along with legal, fiscal, marketing, banking, workforce and other resources that are put at their disposal, business classes are also offered by Virginia Wesleyan University and Tidewater Community College.

Another recent addition to the community is the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which opened its Hampton Roads chapter in early 2020. Its mission is to bridge the gap between underserved and underinvested communities and organizations that have the capital, resources and willingness to help. One of their first initiatives in Hampton Roads was the Virginia Beach Relief Partnership, an effort between various organizations and the City of Virginia Beach to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This year, LISC Hampton Roads and the City of Virginia Beach are excited to introduce their newest initiative, the Virginia Beach Small Business Capital Access Program.

"LISC believes small businesses are critical to the health of the economy and are at the heart of our communities," said Naomi Gunnell, Deputy Director, LISC Hampton Roads. "Entrepreneurship and business ownership are important vehicles to develop community wealth for business owners and the people they employ. That is why LISC Hampton Roads is proud to partner with the City of Virginia Beach to serve small business owners through access to financial resources and technical support."

The City of Virginia Beach and its Department of Economic Development is encouraging interested parties to submit their application for their new Small Business Capital Access Program. For eligibility criteria, complete loan terms, and to apply, please visit https://www.yesvirginiabeach.com/thehive.

About the Hampton Roads Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

The Hampton Roads office of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a national nonprofit that provides financing and support for community development around the country. As one of 35 local offices, LISC Hampton Roads works with local government, community development corporations and other nonprofits to revitalize neighborhoods and catalyze opportunity.

About The Hive

The Hive is a small business resource center designed to support an innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the City of Virginia Beach. Its mission is to serve businesses in early stages of development and new-to-market companies that need on-site business resources to help guide them to growth and success. For more information about The Hive, visit www.yesvirginiabeach.com/thehive.