Which businesses are eligible to apply?
Businesses that meet the following eligibility guidelines are all encourage to apply:
- Opening Date: Upon award of a start-up grant, the new or planned business must be ready and able to open no later than March 31, 2019. Existing businesses that have already opened their doors are not eligible to apply.
- New Jobs: Must be creating at a minimum a job for the entrepreneur opening the new business. Businesses that are projected to create additional jobs over the following three years are in particular encouraged to apply.
- Location: Business must be planning to open in the City of Waynesboro. Preference may be given for businesses locating in or near the downtown or East Main Street business districts.
- Training Program: All eligible grant recipients must successfully complete our 8-week business planning class (described below) and present their final business idea to local judges on September 6, 2018.
How do I enter the competition?
Submissions for Grow Waynesboro Grant Awards are made online and due May 22, 2018.
Can you tell me more about the business training requirement?
Grow Waynesboro provides both funding and training support to our new businesses, helping them grow as successfully as possible. All applicants for the start-up grants must successfully complete our 8-week business planning course, which will cover topics such as marketing, cash flow projections, hiring employees, legal and tax advising for your business, and more.
The course will begin on Tuesday June 5th at 6:00pm and end on July 31, 2018. Due to the July 4th holiday, there will be no class on Tuesday, July 3rd. Upon successfully completing the course and writing a business plan, semi-finalists must also give a live presentation of their business concept to a panel of local judges at Pitch Night, the evening of Thursday, September 6, 2018.
How do I prepare for Pitch Night ?
An optional Pitch Preparation Workshop will be held on August 28, 2018 to help competitors build upon the research and work that went into their business plan and turn that into an impressive presentation for the audience and judges.
How large are the grants?
That depends on the number and quality of the applicants! Applicants are invited to apply for up to $10,000. The final distribution of start-up grants will depend on the quality, funding needs, and quantity of the overall applicant pool.
What can I use the grant dollars for?
Rent payments, office supplies, marketing materials, inventory, website development, computer equipment, leasehold improvements and more are all eligible costs for businesses supported by Grow Waynesboro grant dollars. Winner will not receive a generic check, but should instead submit their requested purchases to the City’s Economic Development Office for direct payment to vendors.
I still have more questions
We’d love to help answer them! Visit or call Courtney Cranor:
City of Waynesboro Office of Economic Development & Tourism
301 West Main Street
Waynesboro, VA 22980