Washington County Business Challenge to Begin in January

December 28, 2022 | In the News

The Tenth Annual Washington County Business Challenge, a competitive six-week training program, will begin on January 17, 2023, and award over $36,000 in funds and services to startups and expanding businesses within the towns of Abingdon, Damascus, Glade Spring, and Washington County, Virginia.  

The Challenge’s mission is to foster small business development and job opportunities around Washington County. Over 90 business owners have participated in this program over the past nine years, with 73% still in business within Washington County, resulting in job growth and increased tax revenue for the locality. 

The program training sessions will be held virtually beginning on January 17, 2023. The Business Challenge is a collaborative effort of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Virginia Community Capital, and the Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator. There will be two (2) $5,000 first place awards, two (2) $2,500 second-place awards, and two (2) $500 third-place awards.  

Other awards are listed below: 

  • First Community Bank will award $1,500 for the Best Pitch. 
  • Comfort Suites will award $1,000 for the Most Knowledgeable Business Idea. 
  • Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator will award half price rent for one (1) year for the 1st Place Start-Up Business and 1st Place Existing Business winners. 
  • The Washington County Chamber of Commerce will award four (4) one (1) year Chamber memberships to all first and second place winners. 
  • Food City will provide printing services and the Bristol Herald Courier will serve as an annual publicity sponsor. All in-kind sponsors have been donors since 2014.  
  • Mike Spiegler, principal partner in Spiegler and Blevins CPAs, will contribute one (1) year of CPA services ($10,000 value). 
  • John Martin, partner at Penn Stuart, will contribute the business start-up formation documents, (LLC, B Corp, partnership, C Corp, etc.) to the winning contestant ($3,000 value). 

Details, guidelines, and applications may be found here 

All past participants are eligible to attend the classes free of charge and/or to participate as a contestant if they have not been a first-place winner in the past. Everyone interested in expanding or starting a business in the towns within Washington County are encouraged to enter.  

The 10th Annual Business Plan Challenge registration deadline is January 5, 2023. The classes begin on January 17, 2023. If you have questions, please feel free to contact (276) 628-8141 or (276) 492-2060 to receive more information.