Emory & Henry to award $5K to local business in Washington County Business Challenge

Posted by Rachael Wilbur
As part of the 2021 Washington County Business Challenge, Emory & Henry College, for the third time, is offering the Business Innovation Award.

The award gives a local start-up or expanding business a $5,000 award for focusing on agriculture, agri-tourism or outdoor recreation as well as having a Benefit Corporation status.

“This award is a way of saying thank you to a business that gives back to our community while growing the economy,” says Dr. John W. Wells, president of Emory & Henry College. “We appreciate them for helping to create a stable local economy for our general community and those at the College. They need to know that their efforts are both recognized and appreciated.”

The Business Challenge is a collaborative effort of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Virginia Community Capital and Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator. The mission of the challenge is to foster small business development and job opportunities around Washington County.

Preference for the award will be given to a business that incorporates as a Benefit Corporation (B-corporation), one that commits itself to making a positive impact on society, workers, the community and the environment. Where a normal C-corporation places value on financial performance, B-corporations place their value on the well-being of the community and environment around them.The award will be given to a business in Emory, Meadowview or Glade Spring that has helped or will help to create general public benefits from their operation.

“It was so important to choose a B-corp for this award,” said Scott Sikes, associate director of the Appalachian Center for Civic Life. “B-corps are the ones who are taxed the same as C-corporations, yet they still strive to make a difference in the lives of those in their community and society at large, which differs greatly from your average non-profit organizations.”

Past winners of the Business Innovation Award were Tumbling Creek Cider Company and Stephen Curd, founder of Lavelle Manufacturing.

Due to COVID-19, the program will be a virtual/online weekly event. The Business Challenge runs January 19 through February 23, 2021. The deadline for applying is January 12, 2021.

Application and Rules

  • Washington County Business Challenge 2021
This award is a way of saying thank you to a business that gives back to our community while growing the economy. We appreciate them for helping to create a stable local economy for our general community and those at the College. They need to know that their efforts are both recognized and appreciated.
- President John W. Wells

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