Chamber helps fund CBL grant

Published 12:20 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Members of the Lunenburg Chamber of Commerce voted to contribute $2,000 to help the county move forward with its Community Business Launch (CBL) grant project.

Kenbridge Town Mayor Robyn Fowler provided an update on the CBL grant during the Lunenburg Chamber of Commerce meeting Thursday.

Fowler proposed that the chamber help the county by financially matching a portion of the CBL grant project, helping the towns of Victoria and Kenbridge, and Lunenburg County apply for the grant. The more funds the county can provide the more money they can receive from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) CBL grant.

The grant application deadline was extended until mid-April.

The CBL is a program with the Virginia DHCD that, according to the DHCD website, “assist(s) communities in taking a systems approach to defining and pursuing an asset-based small business development strategy.”

Fowler said the respective Kenbridge, Victoria, Lunenburg Industrial Development Authority (IDA), and Benchmark Community Bank have agreed to provide funds for the match required for the grant.

Fowler said the grant culminates in a Shark Tank-like competition in which prospective business owners pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, and have the opportunity to receive funds for their projects.

Businesses involved with the grant would have to open by September of 2020, Fowler said.

Del. Tommy Wright, who attended the meeting, asked Fowler what reasonable amount she suggested the chamber provide.

Fowler said the Kenbridge IDA has committed to donating approximately $5,000, the Victoria and Lunenburg IDAs have committed to $4,000 each, and Benchmark is waiting to see the amount other organizations donate before giving an exact amount.

The minimum amount needed for a match, Fowler said, is approximately $11,000.