Rebuild VA, a grant program to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, will expand eligibility criteria and increase the amount of grant money businesses receive.
Gov. Ralph Northam made the announcement during a news conference Wednesday.
Here’s the gist: Businesses with less than $10 million in gross revenue or fewer than 250 employees will be eligible under the new criteria, and the maximum grant award will increase from $10,000 to $100,000.
“We started Rebuild VA to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Northam said. “These changes to the program will ensure that we can provide additional financial assistance to even more Virginians so they can weather this public health crisis and emerge stronger.”
Rebuild VA launched in August with $70 million from the federal CAES Act. Northam is directing an additional $30 million to support the expansion of the program.
Rebuild VA will now be open to all types of Virginia small businesses that meet size and other eligibility requirements, from restaurants and summer camps, to farmers and retail shops. Businesses that previously received a Rebuild VA grant will receive a second award correlated with the updated guidelines, according to the governor’s office.
The program is administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity in partnership with the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
Eligible businesses and nonprofits must demonstrate that their normal operations were limited by Northam’s Executive Orders Fifty-Three or Fifty-Five, or that they were directly impacted by the closure of such businesses.
In September, the program expanded eligibility to supply chain partners of businesses whose normal operations were impacted by the pandemic.
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.
For additional information about Rebuild VA and how to submit an application, click here.
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