• 61°

More small business grants available

Additional grant funding to help small businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic is available.

Isle of Wight County and the towns of Smithfield and Windsor have expanded their COVID-19 small business grant program, first launched in June, to include a second-round funding program aimed at increasing fiscal assistance to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The second round of financial assistance will also draw on federal CARES Act funding allocated to the three jurisdictions.

The second grant is one-time financial assistance for eligible, for-profit small businesses of fewer than 50 employees to reimburse the costs of business interruption related to Virginia’s stay at home orders. Grants of up to $4,000 per business are available for new applicants to the program.

Businesses that received up to $2,000 in the first round of the program were eligible to receive up to an additional $2,000 and have been notified by the Department of Economic Development on how to request the funding. Grant applications will be processed and funded on a first-come, first-served basis upon submission of a complete application and supporting documentation. More information is available at iwus.net.

In addition, the Obici Healthcare Foundation has awarded $45,000 to Surry County for COVID-19 response. The county, in turn, is offering grants to locally-based small businesses. A goal of Obici’s response fund is to support public and nonprofit organizations that are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Obici is especially focused on supporting health and safety initiatives.

The financial assistance will be distributed by the Surry County Economic Development Authority in the form of small business grants. Submit applications to workforce development coordinator Linda Gholston, by email to lgholston@surrycountyva.gov, by mail to P.O. Box 65 Surry, VA 23883, or in person between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Surry County Workforce Development Center, 11916 Rolfe Highway, Surry, VA 23883.

To be considered for a grant, a business must have been established and operational within Surry County before January 2020; businesses and business owners must possess a current Surry County or town business license; and the business must have 50 or fewer employees.

Full program details are available on the county’s website. The deadline for applications is 3 p.m. Nov. 16.
The state’s Rebuild VA Small Business Grant Program also recently expanded its eligibility criteria.

Gov. Ralph Northam recently announced that small businesses that received federal CARES Act funding, and supply chain partners of businesses whose normal operations were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, are now eligible to receive grants of up to $10,000. The Rebuild VA grant money must be used for recurring expenses and can’t be used to cover the same expenses as other CARES Act funds.

Businesses that were previously ineligible because they received some form of CARES Act funding, including the Isle of Wight Small Business Grant, may now be eligible for Rebuild VA.

Northam’s office said Rebuild VA, which is administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and its program partners, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, made the decision to expand eligibility criteria.

Rebuild VA funding may be used for expenses such as payroll support, such as sick leave; employee salaries, mortgage payments, rent or utilities; principal or interest payments on business-related loans; and personal protective equipment.

Businesses and nonprofit organizations must have annual gross revenues of less than $1.5 million and a maximum of 25 employees. They must also certify that they have not received grants or loans from federal, state or local CARES Act funded programs, or if they have received CARES Act funding, that they will use the Rebuild VA grant only for recurring expenses.

More details about Rebuild VA are available at governor.virginia.gov/RebuildVA.