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To the editor: A 'thank you' to Beth Simms

To the editor: A 'thank you' to Beth Simms

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I am writing today to say thank you to Beth Simms, Town of Rocky Mount’s (relatively new) Cultural and Economic Development Director. She started working for the Town just before COVID-19 was all the rage. I’m an investor, owner, and co-owner of 2 businesses in downtown Rocky Mount and I need to sing her praise.

Last week, several small Rocky Mount businesses received an email from Beth saying that we will receive a $5,000 grant from the Reset Rocky Mount Small Business Grant Town’s allocation of the CARES Act. These grants are going towards Marketing, Rent, Utilities, Employee Training, or Inventory.

Part of the CARES Act was designed to send out huge amounts of money to each state. Virginia disbursed its funds to the counties prorated by the population.

Beth realized how much was coming to Franklin County and started researching what other counties were doing with their funds. She liked Fairfax County’s model. She proposed/lobbied the Franklin County supervisors to also consider providing CARES funds to Rocky Mount and Boones Mill based on population too. They did!

She then proposed to Rocky Mount’s Town Council to create a grant towards small businesses in Rocky Mount. The proposal was accepted. She created an application and sent it out to eligible small businesses in town. Franklin County did something very similar (thank you too).

Beth received our applications and I believe 100% of the eligible small businesses that applied are now going to get some much-needed help.

Beth is an incredible addition to the Town government. She is exactly the type of person we want and need in public service. In the past, she’s owned, operated, and worked for small businesses. She knows our challenges and has empathy, drive, and determination to help.

I believe other business owners will sing her praise too. The real benefit is that we see her around town and hear from her often. She’s at the Farmers Market, local restaurants posting pics on social media. She walks into local businesses and listens. She’s tireless and selfless. She was a great hire. Thank you Beth!

Bryan Hochstein

Rocky Mount Burger Company

Early Inn at the Grove

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