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Northam announces $4.4M to help entrepreneurial, community groups across Virginia

Sec. of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said it will help expand job growth, nurture entrepreneurial ecosystems and help communities affected by COVID-19.

NORFOLK, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from Aug. 2021.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday $4.4 million in grants for statewide entrepreneurial and community projects, including several in Hampton Roads.

According to the Office of the Governor, these projects will create and support business development, help the economy recover and revitalize industrial and commercial structures.

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said this funding will help job growth and nurture entrepreneurial ecosystems in the Commonwealth.

"Supporting this funding means supporting the Commonwealth’s small businesses and an economic future that works for all Virginians," Ball said.

Here's a look at what projects in Hampton Roads are getting funding:

Hampton

The 757 Makerspace, a community workshop and studio space for creative professionals, is getting $100,000. It's an expansion of the original space in Norfolk and seeks to promote entrepreneurship and early-stage startup businesses in the area.

Newport News

The city is getting $250,000 to renovate a building at 2510 Jefferson Avenue into a retail and office space.

The Newport News Economic Development Authority is getting $86,000 to support small businesses and entrepreneurship in the southeast commercial district. The group plans to offer hands-on technical and financial assistance to small businesses and distributed commercial locations.

Womens Empowerment Development Inc. got $50,000 to also help the southeast community in the historic Jefferson Avenue and Chestnut Avenue commercial districts. The group will come up with a strategic action plan to help businesses.

Portsmouth

Bloom, a co-working and incubator space for startups and micro-companies, is getting $100,000 to expand its operation.

Black Brand will expand its microenterprise assistance program, B-Force Accelerator. This expansion will provide technical assistance and training workshops to early-stage minority business owners.

Williamsburg/James City County

Inner Peace Coalition is getting $100,000 to help small, woman-, minority- and immigrant-owned businesses in the Historic Triangle area, with an emphasis on businesses providing child care services. It's a partnership with the James City County Department of Social Services.