Helping Grow Local Businesses

Posted by Rachael Wilbur
The Business Innovation Award from Emory & Henry goes to businesses who give back to the community and the Appalachian Center for Civic Life is helping.

As part of the 2019 Washington County Business Challenge, Emory & Henry College, for the first time, has created the Business Innovation Award, giving 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,” said Jake B. Schrum, 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.”

Washington County Business Challenge promotionPreference 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, the 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.”

The Appalachian Center for Civic Life is one of the oldest civic engagement programs in the region and has supported many nonprofits throughout the region with research, student engagement, hands-on work, collaboration and commitment to serving the greater good not only in Southwest Virginia but the world.

The Business Challenge runs January 22 through February 26, 2019. Rules and applications can be downloaded at www.washingtonvachamber.org/programs

  • A view of the Appalachian Center for Civic Life building at Emory & Henry College.
    A view of the Appalachian Center for Civic Life building at 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.
-President Jake Schrum

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