MARTINSVILLE BULLETIN | OUR WORDS: For Martinsville-Henry County small businesses, help is on the way

Over the past several months, the COVID-19 pandemic and mandatory shutdowns have wreaked economic havoc throughout America, and our community here in Martinsville-Henry County has been especially hard hit.

While The Harvest Foundation has been well established for nearly two decades, the Virginia 30 Day Fund was launched this April to save as many Virginia jobs as possible in response to the COVID-19 crisis. To date, the nonprofit Virginia 30 Day Fund has raised nearly $2.8 million, assisted more than 370 at-risk small businesses throughout Virginia, and their model has been deployed in numerous states, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, New Jersey and Colorado, with more states on the way.

Now, with a $1 million grant from The Harvest Foundation, the Virginia 30 Day Fund is providing even more direct financial assistance to at-risk Martinsville and Henry County small businesses, so they can survive this harrowing time and keep employees on the payroll.

Here is how one small business owner in Martinsville-Henry County reacted when he found out less than 24 hours after completing an application for the Pay it Forward MHC Small Business Relief Program that he was awarded a $3,000 forgivable loan: “I was flabbergasted,” said Roger Curtis, owner of The Jeweler’s Edge, located at 2440B Greensboro Road in Martinsville. “This was hands-down the easiest form we’ve ever filled out for any type of grant or loan. It was amazingly quick and amazingly direct.”

The Jeweler’s Edge was one of 20 small businesses awarded a forgivable loan from Pay it Forward MHC within just 24 hours of our launch – and in coming days and weeks, we expect to fund hundreds and hundreds more.

These forgivable loans do not need to be repaid, but if a small business that received assistance feels they have sufficiently recovered and wishes to “pay it forward” to another at-risk Martinsville-Henry County business, they can work with Pay It Forward MHC to do so.

Eligible businesses include those employing between three and 30 people, businesses operating for at least one year and those owned and operated by a Virginia resident. Apply to Pay it Forward MHC by visiting and clicking on “How to Apply.” Find out more about Virginia 30 Day Fund by visiting

Working together we can save hundreds of Martinsville-Henry County small businesses and thousands of jobs and put our amazing community on solid economic footing for a much needed comeback. To the hard working small business heroes who are struggling right now, help – and hope – are on the way.