Program will support communities in developing economic recovery tools to address pandemic
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $14.66 million for a new Economic Resilience and Recovery Program to respond to the unprecedented economic conditions facing Virginia and address the near and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative was created through a restructuring of Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) funding. The program will focus resources on economic resilience and recovery while staying true to the GO Virginia mission of creating higher-paying jobs that strengthen and diversify regional economies.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on our economy, and we must use every asset we have to assist businesses and communities as we rebuild,” said Governor Northam. “GO Virginia will be a key partner as we work to spearhead an economic recovery and drive new economic development. Through the Economic Resilience and Recovery program, GO Virginia has been able to pivot and help support these important initiatives throughout the Commonwealth.”
The GO Virginia Board has approved a policy to implement the Economic Resilience and Recovery Program with up to $14.66 million in GO Virginia funds. Each GO Virginia regional council may apply for up to $1 million to support strategic initiatives in response to the economic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the GO Virginia Board approved flexible policy changes to accelerate the deployment of funding. Applications will be accepted through the nine GO Virginia Regional Councils. For more information on the regional councils, click here.
“The negative impacts to our economy will be felt for some time, so we must be strategic with how we spend state dollars,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We have an opportunity to build on the great partnerships and hard work that the GO Virginia regions have developed to create strategies that address Virginia’s economic recovery. The range of economic development opportunities that will result from the projects funded by the Economic Resilience and Recovery program will have an important impact on the Commonwealth.”
The following four projects have been administratively approved through the new Economic Resilience and Recovery Program, totaling $341,800.
- GO Virginia Region 2 and the Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences and Technology at Virginia Tech will receive $100,000 for Rapid High-Throughput COVID-19 Testing project. The project will deliver timely COVID-19 test results to the New River Valley and Roanoke health districts with a projected 1,000 test samples analyzed per day. The project will also provide specialized on-the-job training to medical lab specialists and medical lab technician students hired to scale-up lab operations.
- GO Virginia Region 2 and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council will receive $97,200 to offer virtual education, mentoring, and business assistance programming to companies throughout the region. The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council is partnering with the cities of Roanoke and Salem, the counties of Botetourt, Montgomery, and Roanoke, and the Roanoke Economic Development Authority to build off their existing business accelerator program and deliver enhanced services and programming that is responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- GO Virginia Region 3 will receive $75,000 for a critical drone test delivery project to assess the efficacy and safety of increased last-mile delivery of COVID-19 medical supplies, tests, and equipment by commercial drones. The Virginia Growth Alliance is working with Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology and commercial drone company, DroneUp, to complete the testing at St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville.
- GO Virginia Region 7 will receive $69,600 for the Back to Work Website and Information Program, which will create a “one-stop shop” for businesses in the region. This project is a partnership between the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, and will be guided by the newly formed Back to Work Leadership Task Force. The website will feature information on business continuity, recovery, and worker training and retraining as well as content that specifically addresses business solutions through a webinar series.
“Now more than ever, we need to think creatively about how to utilize GO Virginia resources to address the economic challenges we face today and in the near future,” said Chair of the GO Virginia Board Tom Farrell. “The GO Virginia regions have demonstrated hard work over the last year with the myriad of projects, and now given the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing innovation and ingenuity with a robust project pipeline that will deliver impact and address their regional economies’ recovery. We look forward to realizing the success of these projects and seeing economies bounce back and deliver new opportunities for individuals across the Commonwealth.”
Since GO Virginia’s inception in 2017, it has funded 90 projects and awarded approximately $30 million to support regional economic development efforts. More information about GO Virginia can be found here.