Friday, January 27, 2023

Coronavirus: $70 million for small businesses and nonprofits. Here’s how it works

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday announced $70 million for small businesses and nonprofit organizations whose normal operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic

The funding will be made available through Rebuild VA, a new economic recovery fund, and grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to approximately 7,000 applicants to cover eligible expenses.

Rebuild VA will be administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity. Businesses and nonprofits must be in good standing, have annual gross revenues of no more than $1.5 million, and have no more than 25 employees, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

Eligible businesses and nonprofits include food and beverage establishments, non-essential retail, exercise and fitness, entertainment and public amusement, personal care and personal grooming services, and private campground and overnight summer camps.

Businesses must also certify that they have not received federal Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds or other funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to the governor’s office.

SBSD worked together with the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to develop Rebuild VA. The parameters for the initiative were established in House Bill 1505, which was amended during the reconvened session to implement a grant program for certain small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Half of the program funds will be distributed to eligible small businesses and nonprofits operating in low-income and economically disadvantaged communities. This will help to meet the needs of underserved businesses and nonprofits with broad geographic diversity, while ensuring there is adequate representation of minority- and women-owned businesses, according to the governor’s office.

“Access to capital remains the number one challenge for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said SBSD Director Tracey G. Wiley. “At a time such as this, providing funding to the most vulnerable businesses—the unbanked and underserved is our primary objective. The Agency is proud to administer Rebuild VA in partnership with our sister agencies across the Commonwealth.”

Rebuild VA funding may be used for the following eligible expenses:

  • Payroll support, including paid sick, medical, or family leave, and costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during those periods of leave;
  • Employee salaries;
  • Mortgage payments, rent, and utilities;
  • Principal and interest payments for any business loans from national or state-chartered banking, savings and loan institutions, or credit unions, that were incurred before or during the emergency;
  • Eligible personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfecting materials, or other working capital needed to address COVID-19 response.

SBSD will hold several webinars to review eligibility requirements and documentation needed to apply when the application opens on Aug. 10, 2020. A one-pager on Rebuild VA is available here.

For more information about Rebuild VA, eligibility criteria, covered expenses, and how to submit an application, click here.

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John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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