VIRGINIA BUSINESS | Virginia 30 Day Fund makes 500th grant

The Virginia 30 Day Fund, a Charlottesville-based nonprofit, announced Wednesday it has disbursed 500 “lifelines” — or $3,000 forgivable loans — to small businesses in Virginia that have financially struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Seeded with $100,000 from tech entrepreneur Pete Snyder and his wife, Burson, the Virginia 30 Day Fund was born to fill the gap in cash flow small businesses were experiencing in the month while they waited for federal Paycheck Protection Program funding. Since its April inception, the Virginia 30 Day Fund has raised more than $3 million from corporate and individual donors.

“Small businesses throughout Virginia are still struggling and for as long as this pain continues, we are going to provide a shot in the arm to as many small businesses and help save as many jobs as possible,” Snyder said in a statement. “While there is so much economic pain out there and so much more work to be done, hitting this milestone of funding 500 businesses means that more than 500 families get to keep their dream alive and more than 3,400 Virginians can stay on the payroll for another month.”

The Dip Dog Stand, a Smyth County hot dog restaurant, was the 500th small business to receive funding from the Virginia 30 Day Fund. 

“We have been in business 62 years and have never seen anything like this.  It’s taking all we have to keep going,” said Pam Hall, who owns Dip Dog Stand with her husband Grant, in a statement. “We are well-known and our employees need to keep their jobs and this is our only means of living.”

Virginia 30 Day Fund grants do not have to be repaid, but recipients are encouraged to “pay it forward” and repay the forgivable loan amount when they’re able so that other businesses can receive assistance through the fund. 

Unlike federal PPP loans, which can take up to a month to make decisions, Snyder promises applicants to the Virginia 30 Day Fund an answer on funding within three business days. The application review process is powered by a mix of 50 alums from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business. Eligible businesses must be for-profit, have three to 30 employees, be based in Virginia, have been operating for at least one year and be owned and operated by a Virginia resident.

“We are so proud to support Dip Dog Stand as our 500th business, and we aren’t stopping there,” Snyder said in a statement. “Our all-volunteer Virginia 30 Day Fund team is committed to raising and distributing the funds at-risk Virginia small businesses need, for as long as the need remains.”