Several regional COVID-19 business grant and assistance programs have exhausted their funding, but it’s worth checking to see if new rounds become available.
Local governments and organizations are waiting for clarity on how the latest $1.9 trillion stimulus package signed by President Joe Biden will affect such programs. Virginia is expecting about $6.8 billion in state and local allocations from the package, with about $3 billion going to local governments, aside from other stimulus funding, according to an Associated Press story.
More pressingly, businesses and sole proprietors have until March 31 to apply for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans, although a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers is seeking a deadline extension through the end of May.
The SBA also released guidance on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant signed into law Dec. 27 but is not yet taking applications for the $15 billion program with maximum grants of $10 million. Eligible applicants are live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, motion picture theater operators, talent representatives and relevant museum, zoos and aquarium operators meeting specific criteria.
The SBA announced Friday it’s expecting to start accepting applications April 8. For more info, visit Sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/shuttered-venue-operators-grant.
Small Business Development Center
For small businesses needing help navigating multiple changes to programs and various resources, the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads offers free one-on-one virtual counseling appointments. SBDC advisers can also help with recovery planning. For more info, visit Hrsbdc.org/en/covid-recovery-center/.
The Virginia Beach Pandemic Relief Partnership — a collaboration of the United Way of South Hampton Roads, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, the Hampton Roads Workforce Council and LISC Hampton Roads funded by the city of Virginia Beach — is taking another round of applications March 22 through April 9, according to its website, VBrelief.org.
Small, women- and minority-owned businesses licensed in Virginia Beach and that suffered a negative economic effect from COVID-19 are eligible to apply for a $10,000 grant, according to the website. Nonprofits are not eligible. Funds can be used for wages, inventory, past-due bills, rent, weatherization of outdoor spaces and other operational costs.
A pool of grant funds is reserved for restaurants, catering businesses, drinking places and mobile food services, according to the website.
Suffolk extended the deadline for its fourth round of the city’s COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Grant Program through March 31 to include a broader range of small businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, according to a news release.
Both brick-and-mortar and home-based businesses that have been in business in Suffolk since Nov. 1 are eligible to apply. Applicants can get working capital grants of up to $5,000 with about $500,000 available in the program. For more info visit YesSuffolk.com or contact Gregory Byrd at 757-514-4042, or email@example.com.
Virginia 30 Day Fund
The Virginia 30 Day Fund is still taking applications for up to $3,000 for Virginia small businesses that employ between three and 30 people. Applicants fill out an online form and submit a short video about the business and its employees. The private sector-backed nonprofit taps volunteers from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for help in the approval process.
For more information, visit Va30dayfund.com.
Dominion Energy partnered with the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Foundation to provide electric bill relief up to $1,000 for small businesses, nonprofits and houses of worship in Virginia. Organizations must have employed 50 or fewer people as of Jan. 1 and businesses must certify a loss of revenue or financial need because of COVID-19. For more information, visit Vachamber.com/foundation/small-business-relief-program/.
Virginia Food Access
The Virginia Food Access Investment Fund, created by the General Assembly last year, is taking applications through April 30. While not a COVID-related program, it offers grants and loans to fund the business development, construction, rehabilitation, equipment upgrades and expansion of grocery stores, small food retailers and innovative food retail projects in historically marginalized communities.
About $1.25 million in funding is available over two years with award amounts ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 as reimbursable grants, according to an online presentation. Applicants can include farmer’s markets, farms and co-ops. For more information, visit Vdacs.virginia.gov/marketing-food-access-investment-fund.shtml.
Law and accounting firms
Law and accounting firms operating in Hampton Roads are supplying information, analysis and updates about various state and federal programs and rules related to the coronavirus pandemic on their websites and through webinars.
View information from law firms Vandeventer Black LLP at Vanblacklaw.com/category/coronavirus/, Williams Mullen at Williamsmullen.com/COVID19-Resource-Center and Kaufman & Canoles at Kaufcan.com/covid-19-legal-resources/.
View information from accounting firms PB Mares at Pbmares.com/covid-19-resource-center, BrownEdwards at Becpas.com/category/coronavirus/, Dixon Hughes Goodman at Dhg.com/covid-19, KPMG at Kpmg.us/insights/2020/covid-19-resilience-readiness.html, Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer at Wec.cpa/media-hub/category/covid-19-updates.
Tara Bozick, 757-247-4741, firstname.lastname@example.org