VINTON, Va. – Many businesses everywhere have struggled throughout the pandemic and some eventually closed; Vinton, however, has a different trend.
Since March of 2020, 160 businesses have applied for licenses. Vinton’s Town Manager Pete Peters said at the height of the pandemic, the town became a hub for information for business owners.
“There was information coming from all different directions. We wanted to have a single point of contact,” Peters said.
To help businesses survive throughout the pandemic, the town offered several initiatives like a temporary suspension of business loan payments.
Plus, the town offered a $10,000 grant funded through the CARES Act and offered temporary relief grants for businesses that are 60 days behind on the bills.
The town also promoted businesses on the web and social media pages.
These actions are what led to 160 people filing for business permits since the height of the pandemic.
“We just wanted to be there particularly in the town. We like to think we are a partner with our local business, since things have normalized our activity has picked up considerably,” Peters said.
According to the executive director with the Vinton Chamber of Commerce, there are 31 restaurants in the town with an area that’s only about 3 square miles.
“It’s so exciting for people to open new businesses, especially during the pandemic. It’s a leap of faith,” Angie Chewning, with the Vinton Chamber of Commerce said.