ALEXANDRIA, VA – On Wednesday, Oct. 28, Gov. Ralph S. Northam (D-VA) announced the expansion of a grant program designed to help small businesses and nonprofits affected by the pandemic. Since that announcement, according to the application website, Rebuild VA has had its eligibility criteria widened and the amount of funding businesses can receive has increased.
In August, the grant program began with $70 million in federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. To strengthen Rebuild VA, an additional $30 million will be used.
The maximum grant award has increased from $10,000 to $100,000. Businesses with fewer than 250 employees and a gross revenue of less than $10 million are eligible to apply for assistance.
“We started Rebuild VA to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Northam. “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.”
Funding covers the following 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
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.
This expansion means that coverage will be open to all small businesses in the state – from summer camps to retail shops – provided that an applicant meets the eligibility requirements. Businesses that have received a grant previously will be awarded a second in accordance with the new guidelines.
The program is administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD). The SBSD is working in partnership with the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
The application period is now open.