Bricks and Clicks:
Small Business Recovery Program (Harrisonburg)
(application deadline 5/26)
Bricks & Clicks for Small Business Recovery is a three-part, partnership-driven small business assistance program. It offers training, customized technical assistance, and the opportunity to receive a grant. Through Bricks & Clicks, technical experts will be matched with businesses for one-on-one consultations to help them identify solutions to their challenges. Additionally, grants up to $5,000 will be awarded for digital or bricks-and-mortar improvements designed to help customers feel safe and comfortable when patronizing businesses in-person, and more confident in their online purchases.
Applicants will be asked to discuss "problem statements" or challenges they are now facing in their recovery from the pandemic. The review team will use these statements to match selected applicants with various technical experts (business advisors, interior designers or architects, website developers, marketing experts, etc). These experts will take a deep dive with you into your business and offer customized recommendations and ideas to help your business solve challenges and support your long-term sustainability. When possible, we may match you with multiple experts to get you the support you need.
Most applicants already have an idea of the type of projects for which they would like to request grant funding. Your technical assistance expert can help you fine-tune a strategy for meeting your goals or for ways you can approach completing your project or solving a problem. Past Bricks & Clicks participants have said the deep-dive, personalized technical assistance was an incredibly helpful step in the program and would have had value on its own even if they didn't get a grant. Grant funds will be reserved for most applicants selected for technical assistance (awards will depend on the proposed project and cost).
What if you already know what your business needs and already did research or consulted with someone? Tell us this in the application so you can bypass the technical assistance step and get permission to submit a grant proposal form. Filling out your application is important -
you can get help with another challenge or problem if you'd like technical assistance in another area.
Who can apply?
Small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19, have been in business for at least 1 year, and are located
within the boundaries of downtown Harrisonburg are encouraged to apply.
if you're not sure your business falls within these boundaries.
Business owners should outline 1-3 problem statements, which could include, but are not limited to
How to apply?
The Bricks and Clicks application will be made available on
Monday, May 18th. All applications must be submitted by
Tuesday, May 26th. Selected applicants will be notified by email
by May 29th.
You will be asked to connect relevant findings of the customer feedback survey with how local consumer attitudes, preferences, and concerns might impact your business and how your problem statement and/or potential proposed project might address that data.
From April 23 to May 3, 2020, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham COVID-19 Business Assistance Taskforce distributed a "Customer Feedback Survey on Businesses Reopening" in advance of restrictions on small businesses and mass gatherings lifting in a phased approach in Virginia. This survey intended to learn how area customers feel about a variety of topics related to public health and what influences the decisions they make about the places they go.
The anonymous survey was shared with residents in the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County by the COVID-19 Business Assistance Taskforce members. The team received feedback from 1,677 survey respondents. The results are being shared with Harrisonburg City and Rockingham County small businesses in order to prepare them for welcoming customers back this spring in a way that promotes public health and safety,
"It is clear from the survey responses that people very much want to feel like businesses are making the health of their employees and customers a priority and will continuing following multiple sanitary protocols for quite some time," says Andrea Dono, executive director of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance. "Regardless of when restrictions will be lifted, customers made it known that they will still have concerns about protecting themselves and trusting that a space is safe. The success of businesses will hinge on their ability to respond to those concerns and build their confidence in coming back."
COVID-19 Business Assistance Taskforce Harrisonburg-Rockingham Business Support Taskforce members include representatives from the City of Harrisonburg Economic Development; Rockingham Department of Economic Development and Tourism; the Shenandoah Valley Partnership; the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SVSBDC); Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance; the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce; the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council; and JMU's Professional and Continuing Education.
Provided by the Shenandoah Valley Partnership
The Shenandoah Valley Partnership has provided an incredible list of helpful resources for our region. We have included a few of these links from their website, but we encourage you to take a look on their page, as they will be updating it routinely with additional resources. Please visit
to view the entire list.
Emergency Loan Programs
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Questions regarding finances? Reach out to your financial institution. Payment deferral programs exist at many banks for businesses and consumers.
COVID-19 Resources & Local Open/Closed Businesses
During this uncertain time, we feel the need to share information that will help our readers monitor the current situation. Below we have linked several resources.
We also recommend you take a look at the following article providing additional COVID-19 resources for economic development planning and recovery:
Resources to monitor COVID-19 updates:
Open/closed businesses (& altered hours of operations) in the Shenandoah Valley:
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Virginian's ability to work, access healthcare and education, and has magnified the digital divide more than ever before. The Commonwealth Connect team has launched a webpage to provide information about what both the federal government and Virginia's ISPs are doing in response to the crisis. Please see: https://www.commonwealthconnect.virginia.gov/COVID-19
- SBA's Disaster Loan is a program designed to help small businesses and non-profit organizations meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot otherwise be met as a direct result of COVID-19. The SV SBDC provides information and assistance in the loan preparation documents. To learn how to apply for the SBA EIDL: disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information. For assistance from the SVSBDC to apply see here: valleysbdc.org/covid-19.
- Status of Building Officials' offices across the Commonwealth on VBCOA website
- Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation: COVID-19 Update Page outlines regulated non-essential businesses that most close
- FEMA has a page on HOW TO HELP that gives contact information producing COVID-19 related products. *Contact the SBDC office if you want more detail on the challenges of creating/manufacturing personal protective products, and we'll put you in touch with our International Trade Manager and other subject matter experts.
- Virginia Rapid Response COVID-19 Business Support Initiative: The Shen Valley Workforce Development Board has received funding to assist employers eligible to remain open during emergency. Funds are reserved for small businesses. More information and application process at vcwvalley.com.
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
James Madison University IT Dept, Harrisonburg (Linux System
Generate Impact, Harrisonburg (Tech Lead)
Segra, Waynesboro (IT Operations Technician)
Harrisonburg High School (Computer Science Teacher)
Augusta County Service Authority, Verona (Systems Analyst/Developer)
GOT ADDITIONAL JOBS THAT SHOULD BE PUBLICIZED
? SEND US A NOTE AND WE'LL PUBLICIZE THEM.
Participate in the local tech conversation: Rocktown Tech (Slack)
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Shenandoah Valley Technology Council
800 S. Main Street MSC 3615
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807