FAIRFAX, Va. — The Virginia 30 Day Fund, a non-profit company, launched on April 6. Since then, they have raised more than $600,000 and funded more than 90 Virginia small businesses with forgivable grants up to $3,000.
"Our mission really is to help save as many jobs and small businesses in the Commonwealth of Virginia as possible," says Peter Snyder, co-founder of Virginia 30 Day Fund.
Synder is teaming up with Fairfax NAACP President, Sean Perryman, to find and finance 10 minority-owned small businesses in Northern Virginia.
"Fifty percent of small businesses, only have a two-week cash reserve. So having to wait 30-to-45 days, they won't be here anymore," said Snyder.
"The minority owned businesses especially in Fairfax County are really the backbone," said Perryman. "They're 41% of small businesses in this community and hire at least 80,000 people. So, this is going to have an effect, not only on those businesses, but their employees and the families that are connected to them."
For the last 16 years, Thomas Kim’s family has owned and operated Springfield Collision, a car repair shop in Northern Virginia.
"The business has almost come to a halt," says Kim. "There are some weeks when we don’t have any customers walking through our doors."
Kim says they applied for and received $3,000 from the Virginia 30 Day Fund.
"[For the] application process, you basically fill out your business name, you have to upload a driver’s license, business license and you upload a short video of your company," Kim said.
With the funds, Kim was able to maintain payroll for eight of his current employees.
"We’re just trying to continue to pay them so that they can continue to put food on the table and take care of their families," says Kim.
Virginia businesses that qualify for assistance from the Virginia 30 Day Fund must:
- Employ between three and 30 people;
- Be based in Virginia and have operated for at least one year;
- Be owned and operated by a Virginia resident.
Snyder says qualifying businesses can receive up to $3,000 dollars to use to maintain payroll, pay rent and provide their employees with health care.
"I believe it took just a couple of days to approve it and we got the funds within a week," Kim said.
The grants from Virginia 30 Day Fund are 100% forgivable – meaning you don’t have to pay them back. Instead the ask that you pay it forward.
"We put [in] a 'pay-it-forward' clause, where if these businesses are back on their feet in three, six, nine months... a year, and they can pay back the $3,000, we're going to put that toward another at-risk small business and hopefully pay it forward," Snyder said.
Kim says that’s exactly what he plans to do.