Stafford Economic Development & Tourism
What's Next | July 2022
The Virginia Tourism Corporation is offering a marketing grant to Virginia microbusinesses. Eligible applicants include small tourism-related businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees including boutique retail, restaurants, food trucks, small attractions, craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, boutique lodging and B&Bs, and events focused on shoulder season visitation. VTC is providing matching funds up to $5,000 for businesses with a targeted, research-based marketing plan.
Greetings! In this month’s What’s Next Newsletter, we want to be sure you are aware of grants, financing, and other resources available for your (small) business.
There is no “free” money of course, but the Virginia Tourism Corporation has released a new (likely one-time) grant program to support small tourism business enterprises.
There are many other programs and funds programs we offer at a local level, to include:
- Tourism Event Sponsorship Program
- EDA's robust financing programs and loans for businesses
Connecting small businesses to resources and community partners
The range of programs to help small business are wide and deep. We encourage you to explore the options above and get in touch with our department and ask for guidance.
We are here to help business grow and prosper in Stafford. That includes hosting our regular business events—a chance to meet new business colleagues, learn a bit, and perhaps develop a new business friend.
Join us as we continue to expand our business community (small and large) in Stafford and across the region.
John Holden, Director
Economic Development & Tourism
The EDA offers three loan programs designed to help new and existing Stafford businesses get the capital they needs to grow.
The Business Growth Fund provides market-rate gap financing to businesses for commercial real estate development; furniture, fixtures, and equipment; inventory; and working capital.
The Micro Loan Program provides low-cost, short-term financing aimed at growth opportunities and immediate needs of new and existing businesses.
The COVID-19 Micro Loan Program provides low cost, short-term financing aimed to meet the immediate needs of businesses suffering substantial economic impact due to the pandemic.
Entrepreneurship & Business Events
We are leading the way to build a stronger regional entrepreneurial community and “ecosystem” in the Stafford area. We strive to engage business leaders, seek out opportunities for new investments, foster talent development, and, most importantly, support the Stafford regional business community. Check out our upcoming events below, and don't forget to submit your business events to our events calendar here.
AUGUST 10, 2022 | 4:00 - 5:30PM | Potomac Point Winery
Join us for Wine & Business to connect with local professionals across all markets. In addition to networking, Wine & Business will have a brief insightful, “Raw Truth” of an industry specific discussion, led by a local expert.
This Wine & Business event will share the Raw Truth of Dirt, Development, and Construction with F&R.
Wine & Business is admissions free, and includes a beverage. Registration is REQUIRED.
Play golf with future pros in Stafford!
The Stafford Economic Development Authority (EDA) is seeking partners, sponsors, and volunteers to participate in the Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament.
Stafford County Economic Development & Tourism and the Stafford EDA attracted the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) to host a Qualifier and Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament at The Gauntlet Golf Club. The AJGA is the leading association for junior golfers, many of whom move on to play in college, the LPGA, and the PGA.
It’s the perfect setting to entertain or reward clients and employees, network with business prospects, or enjoy a day of golf with friends and junior athletes. Sign up as a team of three or play individually with a future golf star. Sign up to play here.
Join us at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 14, 2022, for the Shamble! Entrants must be received by Sunday, August 7, 2022.
Tournament Partners, Team Sponsors, Individual Sponsors, Hole Sponsors, and a variety of other opportunities are available. Sign up to sponsor.
PLAY IN THE TOURNAMENT
Sign up as a team of three or play individually with a future golf star. Sign up to play.
We are looking for community volunteers for the EDA fundraiser shamble and the AJGA Tour Stafford Qualifier during the week. Sign up to volunteer.
Workforce Development Partnership
with Leaders of Stafford County
In June of 2021, Stafford County Public Schools received funding from the Virginia Department of Education through the CTE High School Innovation grant to launch the Cyber 4+ program. Cyber 4+ is Cybersecurity Dual Enrollment, Career and Technical Education program allowing high school students to receive four Cybersecurity certifications (CompTIA) and an Associate’s degree upon graduation, at no cost to the students or their families. Cyber 4+ is designed to meet a critical talent shortage in the cybersecurity field while providing meaningful learning opportunities leading to gainful employment for SCPS students. Stafford County Public School’s Cyber 4+ pathway was created in partnership with Germanna Community College, GCubed Inc. , and Stafford County Department of Economic Development and Tourism.
Get Involved! August 23, 2022 | 8:30 AM | Virginia Smart Community Testbed
Please join us for a meeting of minds to learn about the efforts of leaders across Stafford County to develop a High School pathway in which our young people earn 4 CompTIA Certifications upon graduation and an Associate’s Degree within their first year of Higher Education through a pathway called, Cyber 4+.
Calling All Innovators and Start-Ups
RIoT - Focused on Entrepreneurs.
Stafford County is home to the RIoT Foundations Program and the Virginia RIoT Accelerator Program (VA-RAP). In partnership with our organization and the Virginia Smart Community Testbed, the VA-RAP program is now accepting fall applications, which provides mentorship and support to start-ups and innovators looking to bring products to market. This is a free-12-week program focused to accelerate your business start-up by connecting you with industry leaders, mentors and partners. The Fall 2022 Cohort runs from September 28 through December 15, 2022. Deadline for applications is Friday, July 29th at 5:00PM ET.
RIoT is a renowned, non-profit organization that helps communities build vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems. From research commercialization, startup growth, to corporate innovation projects, RIoT and their programs increase the impact of traditional business development resources.
UPCOMING RIoT Events in Virginia
August 24, 2022 | 5:30 - 7:00PM | Fredericksburg Area Museum
RIoT’s startup pitch competition is coming to Virginia! With the launch of the first VA-based RIoT Accelerator Program in April, graduates from the inaugural cohort are ready to take the stage. Come hear high-energy startup pitches under the stars– founders will be telling their stories and sharing about their business growth in one of the coolest summer spots in town. Food, drinks, networking, and exciting new businesses to partake in– join us on August 24th for the first ever RIoT VA Startup Pitch Night.
Stafford County is a pro-business community with an ambitious ecosystem for entrepreneurs, rising cyber and tech investments, and a place with a number of hidden gems to visit. We strive to engage our business leaders, seek out opportunities for new investments, foster talent development - and share our tremendous community, natural, and cultural resources.