Washington County Business Challenge 2014

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Are you ready to launch a new business or expand an existing business in Washington County, Virginia? If so, this is a great opportunity to win up to $5,000 towards your new business venture if you …

Are you ready to launch a new business or expand an existing business in Washington County, Virginia? If so, this is a great opportunity to win up to $5,000 towards your new business venture if you locate in Washington County, Virginia.

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  • 1. WASHINGTON COUNTY BUSINESS CHALLENGE 2014 ta tar S ne usi B E ss nd pa x a ss ne si n Bu Pla s n es si Bu $10,000 in Business Investment Grants Available ess sin ls u w B t Skil N e en rn m Lea nage Ma ATTENTION ENTREPRENEURS & SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS READY TO TURN THAT IDEA INTO A BUSINESS? BUSINESS CHALLENGE CONTEST MARCH 6 - APRIL 10, 2014 A weekly training and competition process that will award over $10,000 in business investment grants for start-up and existing businesses looking to expand jobs within Washington County, Towns of Abingdon, Damascus & Glade Spring. Eligible Business Categories: • Arts and Culture • Outdoor Recreation • Value Added Agriculture/Agritourism • Restaurants and Hospitality • Technology/Manufacturing/R&D Applications due by: February 18, 2014 Contact For Details: Washington County Chamber of Commerce 1 Government Center Place, Suite D Abingdon, Virginia 24210 276-628-8141 washctybiz@gmail.com www.washingtonvachamber.org/challenge *All workshops available to the public. Advanced registration required! • Retail and Support Services Media sponsor: Bristol Herald Courier
  • 2.     Washington County Business Plan Challenge Applications available January 15, 2014 The Business Plan Challenge is a competitive process that will award over $10,000 in business investment grants for start-up and existing businesses looking to expand with additional job creation in Washington County, Virginia. Applications must be submitted or postmarked no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 18, 2014 and received at the Washington County Chamber of Commerce at 1 Government Center Place, Suite D, Abingdon, VA 24210 or by email at washctybiz@gmail.com or fax at 276-628-3984. Awards The following will be awarded from Washington County Chamber of Commerce to the winners of the program once they establish an eligible business for qualified business expenses. • 1st Place o $5,000 o Half-price rent at the Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator for one year. (value $2,000) o One year membership to Washington County Chamber of Commerce (value $150) o Free space at the Business Expo • 2nd Place o $3,000 o Free space at the Business Expo rd • 3 Place o $2,000 o Free Space at the Business Expo Eligible Business Categories • Arts and Culture • Outdoor Recreation • Value Added Agriculture/Agritourism •Restaurants and Hospitality •Technology/Manufacturing/Research and Development •Retail and Support Services Schedule of Events Date February 18, 2014 March 6, 2014 March 13, 2014 March 20, 2014 March 27, 2014 April 3, 2014 April 10, 2014 April 24, 2014 Topic Covered Applications due 1st class- Intro to Starting a Business Credit and Managing a Business Where’s the Money? Panel of Financial Experts Marketing, Promotion and Customer Service Expert Panel ( Legal, Accounting, Insurance) Pitch Night Business Expo
  • 3. Washington County Business Plan Challenge Fact Sheet, p. 2   Other Program Requirements 1. Applications are due by 5:00p.m. February 18, 2014. To be eligible, you must have a business or business idea that you want to pursue in one of the six categories. (See Eligible Business Categories.) Business must be open within 1 year from completion of the program. 2. To win one of the competitive awards, the business must be located within Washington County, Town of Abingdon, Town of Glade Spring or Town of Damascus. 3. Business proposals will be scored using several criteria – strength of business plan, experience, match with local needs, etc. Maximum grant would be $5,000 per business, and requires a minimum of one (1) full time and one (1) part time employee, payment of all business licenses and applicable taxes, etc. 4. THE DECISION OF THE JUDGES IS FINAL. 5. Attendance is mandatory for all six classes to be eligible, including the business plan presentation. 6. Each selected business owner agrees to meet at least monthly with a designated “mentor” to share information, go over the books, etc. 7. Each grant will provide up to twelve months reimbursable expense upon presentation of receipts at the end of each month, as long as the business owner continues to participate with the business counselor, up to a maximum of twelve (12) months, or whenever the grant award is exhausted, whichever comes first. 8. Awards are non- transferrable/non-negotiable. 9. All workshops are open to the public. How to Find out More • For additional information contact Neta Farmer: 276-628-8141 or washctybiz@gmail.com Funders and Sponsors Washington County Chamber of Commerce Washington County IDA Town of Abingdon Highlands Union Bank Coordinating Partners People Incorporated Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator Southwest Higher Education Center Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Abingdon Main Street Washington County Abingdon Convention and Visitor Bureau Towns of Abingdon and Glade Spring
  • 4.   Washington County Business Plan Challenge Name of Applicant: ___________________________________________________________ Address: ___________________________________________________________________ City/Town: ___________________________ State: __________ Zip code: ______________ Home phone: _______________________ Cell phone: ______________________________ Email: _____________________________________________________________________ Brief Description of Proposed Business: ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Which eligible category most closely describes your business? (Mark all that apply) Arts and Culture – emphasis on products or offerings that value handmade, authentic and distinctive characteristics of the Southwest Virginia culture Outdoor Recreation – emphasis on products or offerings that promote, showcase, or make use of natural assets and outdoor opportunities Value Added Agriculture/Agritourism – emphasis on products or offerings that use raw indigenous materials, and through production, create a product offering that has a substantially higher value, including agritourism offerings Restaurant and Hospitality – emphasis on services that provide meals, lodging, or other guest services that enhance the visitor and/or tourist experience Technology/Advanced Manufacturing/ Research and Development – emphasis on industries that use advanced technology to improve their products or services or for research and development. Retail and Support Services – emphasis on retail services and activities that support any of the above categories I am interested in attending the business workshops only Business Plans must include: Executive Summary, Description of Product, Service or Business Model, Management Team Profile, Marketing Plan, Timeline, Financials (Capital Start-up Needs, Cash-Flow Projection for 2 years minimum). Applications must be submitted or postmarked no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 18, 2014 and received at the Washington County Chamber of Commerce at 1 Government Center Place, Suite D, Abingdon, VA 24210 or email at washctybiz@gmail.com or fax at 276-628-3984.