The Brunswick County Industrial Development Association (IDA), in cooperation with Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), is planning the development of a produce processing facility in the town of Lawrenceville. The project will assess supply and demand and will facilitate linking producers with buyers. The project will benefit local producers by providing a facility for cold storage and value-added processing and will benefit buyers by providing a consistent source of quality produce and value-added products. Goals include increasing the amount of produce purchased and consumed locally (within a multi-county region). To move forward with this project, we need input from potential buyers. Please complete this brief survey and return to Cynthia Gregg, Brunswick County VCE. Your insights are greatly appreciated.
With most on-premise and legacy PBX
solutions, the use of a desk phone relies on being hardwired to the PBX
and PSTN networks. But these outdated phone systems weren’t built to
accommodate the large remote workforces that we’re seeing today.
Companies that don’t support a bring-your-own-device environment are extremely challenged right now in four key areas:
Security: The inability to
secure these devices and workflows puts confidential company information
at risk with each call, creating an IT administrator’s nightmare.
Functionality: Lack of key
business PBX features for admins, sales, support, and managers can
negatively impact the way a business runs in today’s environment.
Remote administration: Legacy solutions often are not easily managed offsite, making them difficult to update and troubleshoot.
Customer operations: Inbound
calls to the main business number need to be answered from anywhere and
calls need to be routed to the right employees, especially for sales and
WASHINGTON – Today,
as part of the Trump Administration’s aggressive, whole-of-government
efforts to combat the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) and minimize
economic disruption to the nation’s 30 million small businesses, U.S.
Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza issued revised criteria for states or territories seeking an economic injury declaration related to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The relaxed criteria will have two immediate impacts:
Faster, Easier Qualification Process for States Seeking SBA Disaster Assistance. Historically,
the SBA has required that any state or territory impacted by disaster
provide documentation certifying that at least five small businesses
have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of a disaster,
with at least one business located in each declared county/parish. Under
the just-released, revised criteria, states or territories are only
required to certify that at least five small businesses within the
state/territory have suffered substantial economic injury, regardless of
where those businesses are located.
Expanded, Statewide Access to SBA Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses.
SBA disaster assistance loans are typically only available to small
businesses within counties identified as disaster areas by a Governor. Under
the revised criteria issued today, disaster assistance loans will be
available statewide following an economic injury declaration. This will
apply to current and future disaster assistance declarations related to
“We’re very encouraged that banks and financial institutions are
responding to the President’s efforts to mobilize an unprecedented
public-private response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As a
result, most small businesses that need credit during these uncertain
times will be able to obtain it. However, our goal is to ensure that
credit is available to any and all small businesses that need credit but
are unable to access it on reasonable terms through traditional lending
channels,” said Administrator Carranza. “To that end, the SBA is
relaxing the criteria through which states or territories may formally
request an economic injury declaration, effective immediately.
Furthermore, once an economic injury declaration has been made in a
state or territory, the new rules allow the affected small businesses
within the state or territory to apply for a disaster assistance loan.”
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in
assistance for each affected small business. These loans can provide
vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the
temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
Process for Accessing SBA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Lending
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated
states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working
capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a
result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a
state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority,
as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental
Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an
Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.
Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available statewide
to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations to help
alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with
the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic
Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
Once a declaration is made, the information on the
application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be
made available to affected small businesses within the state.
These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll,
accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the
disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The
interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep
payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined
on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of
the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and
the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and
customer-focused response possible.
For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration The
U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business
ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small
businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA
empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and
support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover
from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive
network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private
organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam was the keynote speaker at the Ribbon Cutting for Echo Communications, LLC which is located at 300 North Main Street, Lawrenceville, VA (Old Bank of America Building). Pictured below with the governor are members of the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors, Gloria Mene-Weather Woods, IDA Chairman Brunswick, Vice Chair Morris D aylor County IDA, Mayor Scott Martin, Business Director for IDA Mike Dotti CJ Dean, Town Manager, Lawrenceville Town Council, and Kristin Muzzy Echo World, Carl Townsend CEO Echo World Communications.
High-speed fiber-optic internet service still eludes about 50% of
Virginians, but the state’s Southside region is making progress.
In the town of Lawrenceville, the former Bank of America branch on Main
Street has sat empty for two years. However, in late September, Gov.
Ralph Northam announced that Bedford County-based Echo World
Communications LLC is set to locate a call center in the former bank
building next year. It’s expected to create up to 152 new jobs.
It never would have happened if the building couldn’t have been
equipped with high-speed, reliable internet, says Michael Dotti,
business director of the Brunswick County Industrial Development
Authority. “It’s a huge amount of technology. This was like small-town
guys getting it done.”
Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) is wiring the bank building this
fall at no cost to Brunswick, with funding from Mid-Atlantic Broadband
Communities Corp., which started in 2004 as a cooperative to bring
fiber-optic networks to rural Virginia. The broadband cooperative also
has installed about 90 miles of fiber cables in six Southern Virginia
counties, with 45 more miles planned by the end of 2020.
MEC also has proposed the purchase of Buggs Island Telephone
Cooperative (BIT) by MEC affiliate Empower Broadband. The merger is
contingent on BIT’s 4,500 customers, who have been asked to submit votes
by Nov. 13.
“We expect it will speed up the process of putting fiber in this area,”
says David Lipscomb, MEC’s vice president of member and energy services
and vice president of Empower. MEC’s customer base averages only seven
properties per mile, he says, so the greater population density around
BIT’s service area in Lake Gaston will provide more revenue and help
fund high-speed internet expansion in the region.
The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, which has
awarded MEC nearly $3 million in grants, also has been instrumental in
building local network infrastructure.
MEC was in a position to help Lawrenceville install high-speed internet
at the bank branch, even though it’s not in its service area, Lipscomb
notes. As a result, the county was able to attract the call center.
Broadband is “the tool that you need in this world for businesses to
want to be in a rural community,” says Carthan Currin III, former
director of the tobacco commission and now Brunswick County’s director
of economic development. “I think Mecklenburg is really at the forefront
of the commonwealth, but we’re coming. We’re making every effort.”