~ Press release issued by Page County’s office of Economic Development and Tourism
LURAY, Aug. 24 — Page County has been awarded two Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) totaling more than $770,000.
The funds will be used to assist small business in recovery and provide help to stabilize an unemployed service industry workforce, essential workers and local businesses who have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Key implementation strategies include job creation, food assistance, mask production and businesses resources needed to minimize the effects of COVID-19 on Page County’s local economy.
In April, DHCD made available CDBG funding to small cities, towns, and rural counties in response to local needs related to COVID-19.
“When we applied for these funds in April, our community was upside down. COVID-19 closed businesses, workers were laid off and the overall uncertainty of our economy had us all in triage mode. We wanted to help, and small business relief was being thrown at us with quick deadlines,” stated Liz Lewis, Page County Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator. “I saw an immediate need for food assistance, and we started the POP UP Food Hub with the support of the Mimslyn Inn and local churches.”
DHCD announced their COVID-19 relief programs and Page County pursued the opportunity to apply for CDBG funds with of hope continuing the food hub and help small businesses.
“Two projects were ‘pitched’ to the state and thank goodness funds were granted in August,” Lewis said. “We will use our funds to ramp up food assistance with the help of Page One to include fresh food purchased from our local restaurants and small farm markets. We will also provide our small businesses with safety equipment (PPE), rent assistance and other resources that will help them better navigate COVID-19.”
The Food Hub and Mask Production and the Small Business Assistance projects will launch in September. They will operate on a first-come, first-served basis for a limited time.
For more information and to register for food assistance, please see the POP UP FOOD HUB link on www.pagecountyliving.com.
For more information and to submit an application for Small Business Assistance, please see www.pagecobuyslocal.com.