Small Business Initiatives | Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board


Thompson Charitable Foundation

Thanks to grant-funded initiatives provided by the Thompson Charitable Foundation, technical assistance, training opportunities, and loans are available to small businesses in Buchanan and Tazewell Counties.


Funded by a grant from the Thompson Charitable Foundation, the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board is offering technical assistance to small businesses in Buchanan and Tazewell Counties: areas that have been negatively impacted by the downturn in the coal economy. With the aim of increasing sales and/or redirecting cost savings toward business expansion, the Small Business Expansion Empowerment (S-BEE) Initiative will focus on the following areas of assistance (with other assistance considered on a case-by-case basis):

  • Marketing, with primary emphasis on development and coordination of websites, multiple social media platforms, and other online channels, but also including traditional marketing strategies, such as professional signage or newspaper/radio advertising.
  • Accounting practices, including bookkeeping and point-of-sale software for improved cash flow and inventory management.
  • Onboarding processes, management practices, human resources, and retention strategies.

To qualify, a small business should (1) complete the S-BEE Initiative application and provide company demographics, description of assistance requested, number of employees impacted, and projected outcomes, (2) agree to participate in sector partnerships (e.g., manufacturing, information technology, tourism/outdoor recreation, health care, etc.) and other business roundtable events, and (3) have current Chamber of Commerce membership status as evidence of community commitment.


The Thompson Charitable Foundation has provided funds to the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board to offer small, no-interest loans to businesses with 50 employees or less in Tazewell and Buchanan Counties to help with costs associated with operations and expansion.

Criteria for the loan include:

  • Business must have 50 employees or less AND be in operation for at least one year.
  • There must be a bona fide intent to repay the loan based on the terms of the promissory note.
  • Business owner will submit a notarized application including an Excel Budget Worksheet (attached to application), signed Board/Business Resolution, and a current financial statement to
  • The loan application will be reviewed by a panel for approval.
  • Upon approval, the applicant will sign a Promissory note, outlining the repayment terms of the loan funds and a Direct Deposit Authorization Form.
  • Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board staff will check in periodically with the business owner to determine if there are any other needs that can be met.
  • The repayment period (as outlined in the Promissory note) will begin 60 days after the loan is disbursed to the business.


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