Waynesboro’s 2016 New Year's Resolution: We resolve to fully focus on our new campaign “Grow Waynesboro – Finding and Funding Entrepreneurs,” to attract talent, grow business, and build community support for local entrepreneurs within the City.”
December Update & Focus: Grow Waynesboro launched in 2016 as an initiative to find, fund, and support our community’s newest entrepreneurs. Over our first season, in partnership with Waynesboro High School, we interviewed community residents about their visions for the local economy; we gave away more than $20,000 to deserving start-up businesses; and we jump-started a conversation about how to create a dynamic and exciting local economy in our City.
In April, the 2016 start-up com petition, called The Search, awarded grants to three businesses during a live Pitch Night at the newly renovated Ross Performing Arts Center at the Wayne Theatre, drawing a packed house of enthusiastic community members. Three businesses were awarded grant money --Ula Tortilla at $8,000, the Faded Poppy at $7,000, and Make Waynesboro at $6,000.
In addition to the grant awards, Grow Waynesboro and our partner agencies provided local entrepreneurs with access to an 8-week Business Planning Class, participation in the Small Business Development Center’s 10-week Growth Wheel workshop, eleven memberships with the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce, and additional training in small business capital accumulation. Overall, the program received award recognitions from the International Economic Developers Council and GoodCall.
In October, Governor McAuliffe’s office announced that the City of Waynesboro, along with four other localities around the Commonwealth, had been awarded $60,000 in Community Business Launch grants through the Department of Housing and Community Development. Building on our successful 2016 resolution and program launch, in 2017 Grow Waynesboro will hold a second business start-up competition. Under the 2017 branding The Search, Downtown, Grow Waynesboro plans to give away an additional $51,000 in grant money and create at least five new jobs in Waynesboro.