The Williamsburg Economic Development Authority met virtually Tuesday and voted on the Tourism Industry COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, an initiative that would provide aided funding for restaurant and lodging businesses alike.
According to the agenda item summary, hotel room occupancy dropped 11% in June 2020. Also noted is the limited capacity of restaurants due to the governor’s orders.
The Williamsburg City Council approved the grant program Oct. 8 and requested the EDA implement it.
Williamsburg Economic Development Authority members then approved the grant program unanimously in their Tuesday meeting.
Nearly $512,500 in funding is available for lodging grants, while restaurants have about $500,00 available to them.
The program outlines grant amounts and eligibility requirements for businesses — $5,000 grants are available for restaurants, while grants ranging from $7,000 to $15,000 are available for lodging depending on the number of rooms.
Hotels are eligible if they were open for business as of March 1 of this year and are still open when the grant is received. They must also possess a valid 2020 business license and be current on all taxes and payments to the city of Williamsburg. If there is a balance due, then the amount due will be subtracted from the grant.
Timeshares are not eligible for consideration, according to a brochure describing the grant program.
Restaurants also need a valid 2020 business license, along with an explanation of their COVID-19 resiliency efforts. Their primary function must be to serve meals and beverages.
Just like lodging, restaurants also need to be opened by March 1, 2020 and still be open when the grant is received. The same rule on taxes and payment to the city also applies to restaurants.
To view the lodging and restaurant qualifications, click here.
Most importantly, this is not a rolling program.
All applications must be received by Nov. 16, 2020. Awards will be approved by Dec. 1, according to the agenda item summary and resolution.
To learn more about available incentives and grant programs, visit the Williamsburg Economic Development Authority’s website.
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