Fairfax NAACP teams up with local nonprofit to aid small businesses
The nonprofit Virginia 30 Day Fund has raised $600k since its establishment two weeks ago.
The nonprofit Virginia 30 Day Fund and the Fairfax County NAACP announced Thursday they have launched a partnership to provide funding to minority-owned small businesses in Northern Virginia that have been hurt economically by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Virginia 30 Day Fund was founded two weeks ago by Pete Snyder, a technology entrepreneur and CEO of investment company Disruptor Capital, and his wife, Burson. The couple seeded the fund with $100,000 and garnered additional support from the local philanthropic and business communities. The nonprofit aims to offer a “lifeline” to small businesses struggling to get federal funding.
Snyder has promised applicants that they’ll receive an answer about their funding application within three business days, a nod to the organization’s name, which came from the projected one month between the federal government approving small business relief funding and the small businesses actually receiving it, said Chris Bond, a Virginia 30 Day Fund spokesperson.
“Having to wait 30 to 45 days … [small businesses] won’t be here anymore,” Snyder said during a Thursday press conference. “We want to make sure that when we bounce back out of this we actually have an economy that’s working. Small business fuels the economy of Virginia and the economy of America.”
Since the Virginia 30 Day Fund was launched on April 6, it has raised more than $600,000 and funded 91 small businesses in Virginia. Eligible organizations are able to get up to $3,000 in forgivable loans.
The challenge the organization faces now is that there’s a backlog of 1,500 applications and not enough funding to go around.
“The destruction is that vast,” Snyder said.
The Fairfax County NAACP started contributing by fundraising for minority-owned businesses in the community. Snyder found out about the Fairfax County NAACP’s efforts, and approached them for the partnership.
“The need is tremendous,” Fairfax NAACP President Sean Perryman said during the press conference, “but our will is just as mighty,” adding that minority-owned businesses comprise 41% of the small business community in Fairfax and employ a total of 80,000 people.
Businesses are able to apply if they have at least three employees, are based in and operate in Virginia and have a Virginia resident as its owner or operator. Applicants are able to apply in just a few minutes and are asked to make at least a 90-second video sharing details about their business and what they expect to do with the funding for which they’re asking.
Funding can be used for payroll, rent or health care benefit costs, and applicants can apply for up to $3,000 in funding. At this point, however, with the funding the organization currently has, it won’t be able to fund all applicants.
“We cannot fund everyone. It’s a numbers game right now. There’s a greater demand than supply that we have right now. That being said, I’m very optimistic that the work we’re going to do with the Fairfax County NAACP will allow us to do much more.”