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2022 Business Innovation Initiative Program

2022 Business Innovation Initiative held


By Sylvia Allen, Editor

LAWRENCEVILLE – The 2022 Business Innovation Initiative was held recently for small business owners to launch the Merchant Assistance Program. The Brunswick County Department of Economic Development, Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority, Metropolitan Business League and City Point Innovation Resource Center sponsored the event held at the Brunswick County Conference Center.

Alfreda Jarrett Reynolds, Director of Economic Development, said recently the Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority received a 2022 Business District Resurgence Grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

“This program allows County agencies to directly address the needs of at-risk, small businesses in this struggling community. To provide additional impact, this project will leverage existing entrepreneurial initiatives, including RISE Collaborative and the Metropolitan Business League. The MBL has been the backbone for the development, support, and advancement of small, minority, and women-owned businesses in the Richmond and tri-cities area and is excited to expand its services to the Brunswick County area. Approximately 20 small businesses were represented and each one was gifted a complimentary one-year membership to the Metropolitan Business League funded through the Resource Grant. Micah White, Business Development Manager with the Metropolitan Business League shared with the group how his organization can offer assistance to business owners. He stressed the importance of being involved and making connections in order to maximize the value of a membership to the MBL.

“The icebreaker activity gave business owners the opportunity to share a bit of information about their business. Brunswick County is a jewel and our businesses provide services not only to our citizens but many of these businesses have a span reaching far beyond our borders. Dennis Roberts with REMAC shared that his company is actively working in 10 states at this time. Cynthia Chambers with Dancing for Joy shared that she had traveled as far as Peru with her dance studio. This event also afforded business to do some goal setting for 2022 and beyond to 2027. This will allow the Brunswick County Department of Economic Development and the Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority to work with these businesses to maximize their goals and potentials.

“This event is only the beginning of a structured program that we intend to provide for all existing and upcoming small businesses. COVID-19 has brought many challenges to our community with supply chain issues, lack of finances and funding, and staff difficulties. We are excited to have the opportunity to offer support to our business community and our goal is to see individuals and businesses prosper and thrive through the programs, supports and assistance that we are providing to them. It is my pleasure to partner with Mr. Mike Dotti of the Brunswick County IDA and the Metropolitan Business League to bring assistance and support to our Brunswick County businesses,” Reynolds stated.

The project description - “This project will be a joint effort between the Brunswick County Department of Economic Development and the Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority. This project is a response to the discovery that many local businesses were in desperate need of basic business technical assistance and marketing opportunities. This program will allow County agencies to directly address the needs of at-risk, small businesses in this struggling community and to ensure that our other small businesses continue to flourish.”

Project activities – Direct Small Business and Entrepreneurial supports, resources, training, and networking opportunities. Professional services to help set up a business for long-term success. Development of marketing campaigns and increased social media presence.

Anticipated outcomes – Businesses served, programs implemented, measurable business outcomes.

The Metropolitan Business League provided consultations on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Brunswick County Government Building by appointment.

Metropolitan Business League – Guide, Connect, Succeed

Why become a member? “The MBL is committed to the success of your business. A MBL membership provides exclusive social media highlights of our business with a personal welcome. New members receive a consultation with the MBL President or Business Development Manager and an invitation to attend our new member orientation. The engagement process continues with a series of check-ins and follow-ups aimed to guide, connect and help you succeed.”

Highlight Programs – The RVA LinkUP has been reestablished as a core event that allows supplier diversity officers the opportunity to meet businesses that can meet the needs that their companies face. Monthly Recharge Meetings – The Member Recharge Meetings are held monthly and are designed to initiate membership dialogue around issues of mutual concern and to provide opportunities for networking. Summer Happy Hour Networking – The Summer Happy Hour Series provides a relaxed environment for networking with buyers, procurement professionals, corporate executives, supplier diversity representatives, and elected officials.

For more information contact [email protected].

To learn more contact the Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority at (434) 848-0248 or the Brunswick County Department of Economic Development at (434) 848-8200.