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Grants Give Lifelines To Chesterfield Small Businesses

Open for business
Under the Federal Coronavirus Cares Act, small businesses were able to apply for grants of up to $10,000 each. (Photo: Pixal)

The federal government is providing $10 billion in emergency grant funding for small business owners across the country. Some Chesterfield County businesses have already been approved for the grants, up to $10,000 each. 

Curtis Stancil had high hopes for his food service business this year. He’s the president of Curtmont Global Services. And one of his contracts is to feed the fans at Rivercity Sportsplex--the county’s multisports complex that hosts regional and national amateur sporting events, such as The Jefferson Cup, a youth soccer tournament. 

“This year, we were scheduled to have a phenomenal year. I mean, we had events booked from February all the way to the end of December,” Stancil said.

Last year, Rivercity brought in over half a million dollars in sales revenue, according to officials. Stancil said on good weekends, he’d see over 10,000 people. But then the coronavirus pandemic forced him to shut down. 

As a whole, the county relies heavily on sales revenue generated from tourists who visit the Rivercity. According to county officials, in 2019, the county took in over $35 million - $35,105,375 to be exact. A spokesperson for the county says they are still in the process of calculating the numbers loss for this year. 

But Stancil already knows how much he’s lost. 

“We've probably lost close to $100,000. Probably around $100,000. Easy,” Stancil said. He added the number is actually closer to $200,000. 

Stancil had to lay off half his workforce. To help his business stay afloat he applied for and got approved for the grant money. He’s still waiting for the funds, which he said is expected to come this week. When he gets the money he plans to rehire the rest of his staff and add a new side venture, one that will do deep cleaning of facilities in places like Rivercity. 

William Keith Trent and his wife Pamela own K & K Connections--it’s a business that leases vans for other businesses. Trent says everything surrounding the vans, from insurance to maintenance falls within his wheelhouse.  K & K, which Trent started over 15 years ago, is sponsored in part by GRTC RideFinders.   

Trent said he used to have 50 vans on the road but when the pandemic hit, that number went down to seven.

“Our income over the last few months has depleted by over 36%,” Trent said,  and each month, that number goes down.

He only employs about seven people in total. He relies on part-time work from retirees and family to help with his business.

Trent said the grant money will go toward paying insurance costs, employees and upkeep on the vans that he is using. 

“We’ve still got bills to pay...until we get these vans moving again,” Trent said. 

Van rentals at K & K Connections are slowly starting to pick up again, Trent said. And he’s looking at a new contract that could put more of his vans on the road. 

Chesterfield County had two application windows for small businesses to apply for the grants. In total, they issued 30 grants.

 

Ian M. Stewart previously was the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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