DANVILLE, Va. – Virginia Senator Tim Kaine was in Danville on Friday to discuss several challenges with business owners and city leaders, including inflation and supply chain issues.
The gathering was more than a luncheon – it was an opportunity to express concerns.
Kaine said his goal was to listen to them to go and provide more resources.
“We’ve done a lot, but there’s more I want to do. So, give me advice on what I can do to be helpful,” said Kaine.
Julie Brown, the owner of 2 Witches Winery and Brewing Company, said her biggest challenge right now is adapting to the so-called ‘new normal’ from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As people are traveling again and, kind of, reestablishing some of those traditions; we want to make sure that we’re reestablishing 2 Witches as their weekend tradition,” said Brown.
Brown said she was able to reestablish her business by benefiting from financial programs.
The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) allowed her to keep the staff and offer online sales, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) provided a low interest rate to help her rebuild.
“We had a wall that we had to take down [in the building] because we had to spread everyone six feet apart. We bought industrial floor cleaner. We bought the electrostatic sprayer to make sure we were providing a safe environment,” said Brown.
Brown hoped Kaine’s biggest takeaways from Friday’s gathering were related to small business administration, loans, and access to capital.
“For entrepreneurs who are starting up a small business, access to that capital is going to be critically important,” said Brown.
Others expressed similar interests during the luncheon, as a partnership between business owners wanting to help one another succeed, which the Senator was glad to see.
“They have a real partnership mentality here, and I don’t see that in every community in Virginia,” said Kaine.
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