Business owners hear motiving information from chamber and … – Altavista Journal

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Updated: January 29, 2023 @ 6:22 am
Nina R. Rezai, Director of Economic Development in Campbell County, kicks things off at the January 23 joint event with the Altavista Area Chamber of Commerce. Executive Director Bev Watlington is pictured.

Nina R. Rezai, Director of Economic Development in Campbell County, kicks things off at the January 23 joint event with the Altavista Area Chamber of Commerce. Executive Director Bev Watlington is pictured.
By Debra Ferrell
Altavista Journal Editor
During a well-attended business mixer style event Monday night at Two Sisters Tap Room and Deli in Altavista, Nina R. Rezai, Director of Economic Development in Campbell County, explained that the Campbell Connects program is an initiative from Economic Development to promote regular engagement with the small business owners of the area.
This was the first occasion of joining with Altavista Area Chamber of Commerce to talk about taking a look at events in the area to evaluate what is working and what may need to be phased out of.
Altavista chamber executive director Bev Watlington was in agreement as she reminded the group that the chamber’s goal is for businesses to be successful. “What can the chamber do for you?” she asked. “This is your chamber!”
Kyle Goldsmith, the new President of the chamber’s board of directors, pointed out the need to use some “fresh thinking” about what course the chamber will take in the new year. He suggested “backing up” a little while evaluating what events to put manpower and resources into.
Coordinating chamber events so they don’t bump heads with the other events in the area is one goal. Choosing things that will promote businesses and make them grow financially is something every one wants.
Goldsmith stressed the need to all pull together in order to move forward such as how a team of horses pulling a wagon need to all go in the same direction.
If indeed, moving forward is what everyone wants. “Are we happy as we are or do we want change?” he asked.
When Rezai returned to speak she encouraged everyone to take advantage of what resources are available to small businesses.
“The Start Small Campbell Grant Program is a good place to start,” she said.
This grant program offers a $5,000 competitive grant from the Campbell County Department of Economic Development. The program offers grants to up to four Campbell County businesses per year through two semi-annual cycles.
Business eligibility requirements:
*Start-up businesses (less than three years old) and existing small businesses opening their first Campbell County location are eligible to apply
*Must hold a valid Campbell County business license
*All local taxes must be up-to-date
Application Requirements:
*Attend two Smart Start training courses offered monthly by SBDC-Lynchburg Region
*Complete SBDC-Lynchburg Region staff review of business plan (contact SBDC-Lynchburg Region to schedule appointment)
*Submit the updated online application (includes all elements of business plan)
Grant Cycles:
The upcoming award cycle has March 31 as the application due date for the May awards. The next cycle’s due date is September 1 with awards in November.
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