Small Business Relief Fund

Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund Launched
Innovative Partnership with The Virginia 30 Day Fund:  $33,500 Pledged So Far and Rising

The Greater Williamsburg Partnership (GWP) and the Williamsburg Community Foundation are pleased to announce the Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund in partnership with the Economic Development Authorities of City of Williamsburg, James City County and York County. The Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund will provide forgivable loans to businesses located in the Greater Williamsburg region.  WCF will partner with the Virginia 30 Day Fund, to support businesses across the Commonwealth of Virginia, to administer the fund including processing applications and issuing payments.

The Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund was established with $10,000 in seed money from the Economic Development Authorities of the City of Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Already, others are stepping up to grow the fund. Chesapeake Bank has committed $10,000, while two Williamsburg Community Foundation trustees have also committed to help.

“Chesapeake Bank is grateful for the opportunity to be a community partner in the establishment of this small business emergency fund,” said Senior VP Leigh Houghland. “These are unprecedented times and many of greater Williamsburg’s small businesses are fighting for their life.  By coming together as a community we will all be stronger.”

City Council member Barb Ramsey has offered to match up to $6,000 in donations to the fund. Ramsey along with the other founding donors are challenging many others in the community to contribute to this endeavor.

“Small businesses have changed the landscape of our region,” said Ramsey. “As a retired businesswoman who had a successful career in sales and marketing, I recognize the drive, dedication and funds needed to sustain a business. I would like to challenge other business leaders, particularly those who have retired to Williamsburg, to share of their resources to help local businesses thrive again.” 

“Small businesses all over the Commonwealth are hurting right now through no fault of their own, so we are excited to partner with Virginia’s founding region to support small businesses and save jobs in Greater Williamsburg,” said Pete Snyder, who co-founded the Virginia 30 Day Fund with his wife, Burson. Snyder is an alumnus of William & Mary, where he also served on the Board of Visitors. “It should be no surprise that the very community responsible for the birth of our great nation is leading yet again.  This time when our communities and Commonwealth are reeling from this deadly pandemic.  I’m thrilled to announce The Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund is the first public-private partnership in the Commonwealth to align with the Virginia 30 Day Fund, and it will allow us to expand our reach even further as we try to save as many Virginia jobs as possible .”

In the first three weeks after its launch, the Virginia 30 Day Fund raised more than $800,000 and provided direct financial assistance to over 135 struggling small businesses throughout the Commonwealth.

Small businesses can apply for a $3,000 forgivable loan online at Applications will be evaluated by volunteer MBA students from the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at the College of  William & Mary and MBA students and alumni from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Qualifying businesses must be based in Greater Williamsburg (City of Williamsburg, James City County or York County), have operated for at least a year, employ three to 30 people and be owned and operated by a Virginia resident.

Businesses are encouraged to repay the loan by depositing funding back into the fund when they are able to “pay it forward.”

For more information, please contact WCF at 757-259-1660 or

Williamsburg Community Foundation Media Contact:
Ginny Gasink, Development & Communications

Greater Williamsburg Partnership Media Contact:
Von Gilbreath, Director

City of Williamsburg, Department of Economic Development
Michele Mixner DeWitt, Director

York County, Department of Economic Development
James Noel, Director

James City County, Department of Economic Development
Christopher Johnson, Director


James City County to allocate $500,000 to the Fund

CBS News Story on VA 30 Day Fund

70 Small Businesses Receive Forgivable Loans

December 2020 — 142 businesses funded so far



Thank you to everyone who donated!

Mrs. Donald Baker
Michael Carron
Jose & Becky Carvajal
Chesapeake Bank
The Church of God at Williamsburg
City of Williamsburg
Charles & Ginny Crone
Mrs. David Dawson
Rachel Frazier
Joe & Leanne Harrow
Kathy & Bruce Hornsby
James City County
Ellen Jaronczyk
Mr. & Mrs. Robert C. Kidd
Mr. & Mrs. David Lennarz
Barbara L. Ramsey
Mr. Robert Ramsey
Realtec Community Services
Pamela Reiss
Dr. & Mrs. Lawrence Ring
Van & Barbara Ruckman
Jane & Bob Taylor
Mr. B. Eric Van Chantfort
Jack & Judy Wickens
Sidney Williams, Jr. & Lana Rutherford-Williams
Lisa & Wally Wood
York County
Benny Zhang
Han Zhang & Jinlan Liu Foundation