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VIRUS-RELATED BRIEFS: SoVa COVID-19 task force formed; SCORE sets webinar

VIRUS-RELATED BRIEFS: SoVa COVID-19 task force formed; SCORE sets webinar

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Economic development groups in Martinsville and Henry and Patrick counties have joined forces other organizations in Southern Virginia to create task force to address needs and collect information to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group is called the SoVa COVID-19 Task Force, and it includes Lisa Watkins of the M-HC Chamber of Commerce, Rebecca Adcock of the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce and Bryce Simmons of Patrick County Economic Development.

Representatives of similar organizations in Danville, Pittsylvania County and Halifax County also are part of the group, which will help identify essential businesses, assist in applying for stimulus grants and streamline answers to a variety of federal, state and local issues.

“Collaborative efforts among localities in each region of Virginia will be essential to ensuring that we effectively address the challenges we face, as well as prepare for a successful economic recovery once social distancing guidance can be softened,” Stephen Moret, president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership said in an email announcing the group’s formation.

The group intends to have weekly conference calls and Zoom meetings and to share information broadly, both with each other and the businesses to which they relate.

A list of COVID-19 economic resources has been developed and is available at, where businesses can find the status of COVID-19 regulations and support, resources about programs . Resources include federal and state program listings, information from professional service organizations, local assistance and webinars recordings. The list is continually updated with the latest information. Key issues are also being shared on social media platforms.

“Regions grow across economic boundaries and the SoVa COVID-19 Task Force will foster positive collaboration between localities and the business community to help transition from the current crisis to a brighter future,” Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Barry DuVal said in the release. “I commend the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance for its leadership to develop this task force and look forward to engaging alongside their efforts.”

SCORE sets seminar

The Martinsville chapter of SCORE, the organization of retired executives who offer volunteer support for small businesses, is alerting business owners to a webinar that can help businesses deal with the economic downturn as a result of the pandemic.

Woody McCain of Martinsville SCORE said the program on April 28 is free and requires only registration and a computer that has sound. Expert consultants will provide advice on how to navigate today’s issues and opportunities.

Visit and look around for the registration information.

Sovah-Martinsville seeks donationsSovah Health-Martinsville put out a call Friday for help from the community as it prepares for cases of the COVID-19 virus.

The hospital said it would accept donations of unused and handmade medical and protective supplies, citing in a release an expected need for personal protective equipment that is in short supply across the country.

Several outlets in the Martinsville area have been helping to create, manufacture and distribute such equipment.

Those eligible are property owners age 65 or older or totally and permanently disabled (of any age) with gross combined income of $27,500 and total combined financial worth of $65,000.

Voter registration office closed. The Henry County Voter Registration Office will be closed to the public until further notice. Those wanting to register to vote, to update registration information or request an absentee ballot may do so by calling 276-638-5108.

, .276-634-4697 or 276-634-4698 or sending an email to or by visiting

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