Governor Expands ReBuild Virginia Small Business Grant Program
In August, Governor Northam launched a new economy recovery fund in Virginia providing $70 million for small businesses and nonprofit organizations whose normal operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding made available through Rebuild VA, a new economic recovery fund, provides grants of up to $10,000 to eligible applicants to cover eligible expenses. Rebuild VA is administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD). ReBuild Virginia is now being expanded to cover more small businesses and supply chain partners. Businesses that received funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and supply chain partners of businesses whose normal operations were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are now eligible to receive grants of up to $10,000. Applicants who have received federal funds must certify that they will only use the Rebuild VA grant for recurring expenses and that the grant will not be used to cover the same expenses as the other CARES Act funds.
The Rebuild VA Program is administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD) and its program partners, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
This is welcome news for many small businesses that were covered by the Governor’s Executive Orders issued in March – especially those in the Hampton Roads region who depend on the region’s spring and summer tourism revenue.
Eligible businesses and nonprofits must demonstrate that their normal operations were limited by Governor Northam’s Executive Orders Fifty-Three or Fifty-Five, or that they were directly impacted by the closure of such businesses. In March, Governor Northam took executive action to protect the health and safety of Virginians, which included limiting operations for food and beverage, non-essential brick-and-mortar retail, exercise and fitness, entertainment and public amusement, personal care and personal grooming, and private campground and overnight summer camps. Expanded business sectors now eligible to apply for Rebuild VA grants include small hotels and bed and breakfast lodging facilities along with film companies supporting production in the Commonwealth. Businesses that provide goods or services for those identified in one or more of the eligible business categories previously mentioned are now eligible.
Businesses must also certify that they have not received grant or loan dollars from federal, state, or local CARES Act funded programs, or if they have received CARES Act funding, that they will use the Rebuild VA grant only for recurring expenses. These businesses must also certify that the Rebuild VA funds will not be used to cover the same expenses as other CARES Act funds.
Rebuild VA still requires that businesses and nonprofit organizations be in good standing, have annual gross revenues of no more than $1.5 million, and have no more than 25 employees.
Rebuild VA funding may be utilized 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.
To learn more about the program or to complete an application, visit ReBuild VA.
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