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New program offers $10K recovery funds

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

Virginia small businesses and nonprofits whose normal operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic have a new source of funds to help them recover — a program called Rebuild VA.

The program, administered through Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), is a new economic recovery fund offering grants up to $10,000 per applicant. With $70,000 available, the grant should be able to assist around 7,000 applicants.

“Small businesses and nonprofits are the backbone of the Virginia economy and the bedrock of our communities, and they have been devastated by this ongoing health crisis,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in making the announcement of the new fund. “… Because many of the affected small businesses and nonprofits located in distressed and economically disadvantaged areas of Virginia, we are designating a portion of this funding to ensure they get the support they need.”

Businesses that received federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funds or other Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds are not eligible for Rebuild VA grants.

Businesses and nonprofits that are eligible must be in good standing, have annual gross revenues of no more than $1.5 million, and have no more than 25 employees.

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 are among eligible applicants as long as they can certify they have not received any funding under the CARES Act.

Rebuild VA was created through a joint venture of Department of Housing and Community Development, Virginia Tourism Corporation and Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Half of the available funds will be distributed to eligible businesses and nonprofit organizations in low-income and economically disadvantaged communities.

The funds can be used for payroll support — including paid sick, medical or family leave and maintenance of group health care businesses during those periods of leave; employee salaries; mortgage payments, rent and utilities; principal and interest payments for business loans incurred before and during the health emergency from qualifying national or state-chartered banks, savings and loans and credit unions; eligible personal protective equipment (PPE); cleaning and disinfecting materials, or other working capital needed to address COVID-19.

Applications for the grants are being accepted beginning Aug. 10. The one-page document will be available on the Rebuild VA webite, governor.virginia.gov/Rebuild, beginning Aug. 10.

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