Fund provides financial assistance, hope to struggling small businesses
The disruption brought on by the coronavirus to Wonju Korean Restaurant hit suddenly.
No one could dine inside the restaurant on Williamson Road in Roanoke. Revenue plummeted. The owners didn’t know if they could keep their employees. The landlord wouldn’t budge on rent payments.
Rebecca Jeong, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Johnathan, researched online for financial aid options. They found the Virginia 30 Day Fund, which provides small businesses in the commonwealth $3,000 forgivable loans to help with payroll, rent, preserve health care coverage for employees or other needs.
“It helps to know there are people who are willing to help each other and support one another,” Jeong said. “That’s how we’re keeping our faith.”
Pete Snyder, a Charlottesville technology entrepreneur, created the Virginia 30 Day Fund about a month ago with his wife, Burson, to provide immediate financial relief to businesses struggling to quickly secure other funds.
“We’ve been humming along,” Snyder said. “It’s been a wonderful journey, some of it heartbreaking.”
In the four weeks since the fund has been up and running, it’s raised $1.5 million. The nonprofit has provided loans to more than 170 small businesses, including about 20 in the Roanoke and New River valleys.
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