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The Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator, Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, The Washington County Chamber of Commerce, and People Incorporated, have partnered with Washington County VA, The Washington County IDA, The Town of Abingdon, and The Department of Housing and Community Development to host the third annual Washington County Business Plan Challenge. The winners will receive $23,000 in total awards toward implementing their winning business strategy.
The Business Plan Challenge is an ambitious business plan competition designed to attract entrepreneurs with new technology, value added agriculture, outdoor recreation, light manufacturing and retail/support service businesses to locate their start up or expand their existing business within the towns of Glade Spring, Damascus and Abingdon and within the boundaries of Washington County. One winning start up business and one existing business will win $5,000 each. There is also a 2nd and 3rd place prize for each category. To be considered for the awards, participants must attend all business training classes to be held weekly over a six week period and complete a business plan that will be presented before a panel of 4 judges. The business plans will be mailed to 3 anonymous judges who are experts in their fields and who do not know or recognize the names of the contestants. All contestants are provided a list of mentors from a variety of business and educational sectors of the Washington County community. These mentors are available throughout the year to assist in continued business planning for the contestants. Classes will begin on January 24, 2017 and continue on a weekly basis thru February 28, 2017. They begin at 6:00 p.m. and are held at Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator. To apply for the Business Challenge, please contact the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, or visit www.washingtonvachamber.org/business_challenge. Applications for the Challenge will be accepted through 5:00 pm on January 17, 2016. Space is limited and will be on a first come first serve basis.