The Williamsburg Economic Development Authority (EDA) offers matching grants up to $1,500 to businesses that are creating or enhancing eCommerce on their websites.
The Williamsburg eCommerce Grant Program is a joint undertaking by the Williamsburg EDA and the City of Williamsburg that began in 2008. The EDA established the Program to help facilitate technology access for small, private businesses located exclusively in the City of Williamsburg. The City supplied start-up funding for the Program and continues to provide financial support.
Projects for which grants are available include:
- Online shopping systems
- Search engine optimization
- Website design and development
- Other enhancements that increase traffic and commerce to the business
Annual maintenance or service fees (internet service provider, priority listing, domain name, or website hosting fees) are not eligible for grant funds.
Grants are made on a first-come, first-served basis with a maximum lifetime grant amount of $1,500
- Grants are matching grants equal to 50% of the total cost of the approved project for Virginia-based providers.
- Grants are matching grants equal to 25% of the total cost of the approved project for non-Virginia-based providers.
Businesses must be for-profit, have a current City Business License, and be located in the City of Williamsburg, with no more than three physical locations in the City, and no locations outside of the City. The same business may not receive more than one grant within a 12-month period.
- Where the applicant does not have an existing website, a new website must be established, or
- The applicant's existing website must be enhanced to accept online payments and/or to offer online shopping (catalog or cart) or other clearly identified enhancement to increase traffic and commerce to the business.
The primary physical business location of the website designer must be in the Commonwealth of Virginia and website design must be one of the designer's primary full-time business activities. No principal, officer, or manager-employee of the applicant may be a principal, officer, manager-employee, or investor in the entity employed to perform the services to be funded in whole or in part by the grant.
Requirement to Recognize the Williamsburg EDA on the Site's Homepage
The homepage of the Applicant’s web site must recognize the Williamsburg Economic Development Authority by stating the following: “The Williamsburg Economic Development Authority <hyperlinked to http://www.yeswilliamsburg.com> provided grant funds for the development of this web site.”
- Applicant contacts at least two website providers to get a minimum of two quotes for the work they want to be done.
- Applicant must complete the online application linked at the top of this page.
- Applications will be reviewed by the Williamsburg Economic Development Department.
- Williamsburg Economic Development staff will send an email to the applicant informing them of the decision. If approved, this email will serve as the authority for the applicant to begin work.
- Website provider completes the project as quoted.
- Applicant business pays the website provider in full and submits paid receipts and/or copy of returned checks to the Williamsburg Office of Economic Development.
- Williamsburg Economic Development staff will verify the completion of the project as quoted and provide grant payment to the applicant business.