$14.66M in GO Virginia funds redirected to COVID-19 recovery initiative
Money will support new Economic Resilience and Recovery Program
More than $14.66 million of Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) funding for economic development has been redirected to a new Economic Resilience and Recovery Program in response to COVID-19-related economic impacts, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday.
“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,” Northam said in a statement. “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.”
Each GO Virginia regional council (which represent different regions of the state) may apply for up to $1 million of the funding to support COVID-19-related initiatives. Typically, the GO Virginia board approves projects that diversify job industries within a particular region and attract high-paying jobs. The funding restructuring was approved by the GO Virginia Board.
“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,” GO Virginia’s board chair, Dominion Energy Chairman, President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell II, said in a statement. “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.”
Thus far, four projects have been approved by the GO Virginia Board:
- GO Virginia Region 2 and Virginia Tech will receive $100,000 for a COVID-19 testing project, which will deliver a projected 1,000 COVID-19 test samples to the New River Valley and Roanoke health districts. Medical lab specialists and medical lab technician students will also be trained using the funding.
- GO Virginia Region 2 and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council will receive $97,200 to offer virtual education, mentoring and business assistance programming to local companies.
- GO Virginia Region 3 will receive $75,000 to test drones that could deliver COVID-19 medical supplies, tests and equipment. The Virginia Growth Alliance is working with Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology and Virginia Beach-based commercial drone company DroneUp for the testing in Lawrenceville.
- GO Virginia Region 7 will receive $69,600 to create a website that will include information about business continuity, recovery and worker training and retraining.
GO Virginia has awarded $30 million among 90 projects since its 2017 inception. It awards funding to regional economic development projects and oversees regional GO Virginia councils, which submit project ideas to the state GO Virginia board for approval. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the private, nonprofit GO Virginia Foundation provide support to GO Virginia.