Monday, March 22, 2021
Virginia Beach City Council recently voted to provide an additional $12.4 million in funding to continue providing resources and assistance to Virginia Beach residents and small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The funds are being distributed through the Virginia Beach Pandemic Relief Partnership, a collaboration that includes United Way of South Hampton Roads, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, Hampton Roads Workforce Council and LISC Hampton Roads.
In October 2020, City Council provided an initial $8 million in funding to the Partnership to be divided evenly among the four nonprofits. In January, the City approved an additional $8.42 million. The added $12.4 million was designated to two of the partners based on demonstrated need.
“The goal City Council had in the fall was to find community-based organizations that can help get money and other resources into the hands of people who need help quickly and easily,” said Mayor Robert M. “Bobby” Dyer. “The Partnership organizations delivered on that exceptionally well. This additional funding is focusing more specifically in areas of greatest need.”
LISC Hampton Roads received $4.4 million, which has allowed them to open a second round of $10,000 grants to small, women-owned and minority-owned (SWaM) businesses in Virginia Beach. Of the funding, the City stipulated no less than $1 million must be granted to food service providers, one of the industries most impacted by the pandemic.
The small business grant application opens today, Monday, March 22 at 9 a.m. and applications are due by Friday, April 9 at 5 p.m. Eligible applicants must:
- Be a for-profit SWaM business licensed in the City of Virginia Beach
- Have an Active Status in the Virginia State Corporation Commission Clerks Information System
- Have between one and 250 employees
- Have suffered a negative economic impact from COVID-19
- Be owned by an adult at least 18 years of age
Grant funds can be used for wages and benefits, inventory, past-due bills, payables, weatherization of outdoor spaces and other operational costs. To apply, visit vbrelief.org and select “small business” on the first step of the form.
United Way received the remaining $8 million. Of that, $6 million was designated to provide grants to nonprofits to help with operational costs and expenses. United Way anticipates opening the nonprofit grant application in mid-April. Finally, $2 million will be used to provide financial assistance to families and individuals in the areas of housing, childcare, utilities and health.
Since launching on November 17, VBrelief.org has received over 53,000 views and 5,669 requests for assistance. Of the requests, approximately 10 percent are for small business grants, 26 percent for workforce development, 38 percent for food and over 90 percent request at least one form of financial assistance (5 percent childcare, 7 percent health, 29 percent housing, 45 percent utilities and bills).
Virginia Beach residents and small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 in any way, are encouraged to visit VBrelief.org to access resources and assistance. Residents will be asked to complete an intake form to identify their needs and provide additional information that will help case managers connect them to the right programs and resources. The information will be housed in a secure platform and only shared with relevant service providers and organizations for the purposes of providing assistance.
To learn more visit VBrelief.org