Richmond region needs more support for inventors
News from Richmond Times Dispatch:

The Richmond region may not be as big of a hotbed for high-tech invention as Silicon Valley, but it does have a pool of inventive people who have turned simple, yet creative ideas, into patented products.

Mike Bucci’s moment of inspiration came several years ago while he was trying to figure out the easiest and fastest way to paint furniture.

“I was painting a cabinet, and it was a really humid April in Virginia, so the paint wouldn’t dry,” said Bucci. “I’d paint one side, and it would take two days to dry.”

So Bucci invented a device called the Painter’s Pyramid, a tool that makes it easier to paint one side of a piece of furniture while another side dries.

Bucci has turned his patented invention into a business.

His company, K&M of Virginia, sells the Painter’s Pyramid and several of his other home-improvement inventions, along with a few tools he has licensed from other inventors. The Painter’s Pyramid is sold in about 10,000 stores, including Lowe’s and Home Depot locations, and in 20 countries.

Individual inventors in the Richmond area were granted 27 utility patents in 2010, up from 21 in 2009, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Over a five-year period from 2006 to 2010, individual inventors in the Richmond area received 125 utility patents.

The figures are for utility patents, the most c…………… continues on Richmond Times Dispatch

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Fixed 0 percent home improvement loans available in county
News from Stillwater Gazette:

Washington County and the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corp. (GMHC) have joined to create the Washington County owner-occupied residential rehabilitation deferred loan program to assist residents with interior and exterior home improvements.

Homeowners can receive deferred loans up to $ 18,000 with no interest and no monthly payments through GMHC’s HousingResource Center(tm). The full amount of the loan is not due until the homeowner sells or transfers the title.

These loans are available to households at or below 80 percent of the area median income, adjusted for household size (e.g., approximately $ 65,000 annually for a family of four), and can be used to finance projects to make homes safe and livable. Accessibility improvements, exterior painting, electrical, plumbing, structural problems, siding, windows, doors, sidewalks, lead abatement, and septic improvements are just some examples of eligible projects.

This program serves most of the county, except Marine on St. Croix, Woodbury and Grey Cloud Island Township. Owners of occupied single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and duplexes are eligible.

“The program was easy to use. Since we didn’t have the money for needed projects, it was so nice to have someone who knew what needed to be done come and fix up our house without having to pay for it right away,” said…………… continues on Stillwater Gazette

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