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RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam has proclaimed May as Business Appreciation Month in Virginia.
“Businesses of all sizes have navigated unprecedented challenges over the past year, and our Administration has worked hard to provide them with the relief they need to emerge even stronger,” said Governor Northam. “As we turn the corner and look ahead to a post-pandemic future, we will continue doing everything we can to welcome new businesses to our Commonwealth, help existing businesses grow, and ensure Virginia remains the best place in the country to do business.”
In 2020, Virginia allocated $120 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to the Rebuild VA economic recovery fund, which served small businesses and nonprofit organizations whose normal operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, Rebuild VA supported more than 3,000 small businesses and nonprofits, and 66 percent of grantees were woman-, minority-, or veteran-owned businesses.
“Small businesses are the backbone of so many Virginia communities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “With our talented workforce, competitive business climate, and robust economic development pipeline, we are very optimistic about the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead for businesses in every corner of our Commonwealth.”
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 200 economic development projects have been announced across the Commonwealth that are anticipated to create over 17,000 new jobs and more than $10 billion in capital investment, representing strong momentum for economic development in Virginia. This month, Governor Northam, Secretary Ball, and economic development officials traveled to Germany, Greece, and Switzerland where they participated in more than a dozen foreign direct investment meetings and two business roundtables to discuss Virginia’s advantages with leaders of international companies.
“The unprecedented events of this past year brought major challenges to us all, and Virginia’s largest private sector industries, agriculture and forestry, were no exception,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “As part of Business Appreciation Month, we would like to commend our farming and forestry operations, agribusinesses, and others that continue to provide food, fiber, and fuel to consumers around the Commonwealth, nation, and around the world.”
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