CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) -While the road to economic recovery continues in Virginia, Chesterfield County wants to help small businesses by offering millions in grant funds.
The “Back in Business” program is an initiative in partnership with the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce.
“Our chamber has tried to adapt and be nimble to our members needs especially during the pandemic--serving all of the businesses in our community, because it is going to take all of us," explained Danielle Fitz-Hugh, the CEO and president of the Chesterfield Chamber.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chesterfield Chamber has been offering “Ask the Experts” workshops, as well as offering mental health seminars for local businesses.
“We’ve had long tenured businesses have to furlough employees for the first time ever, it’s been crushing for them mentally," Fitz-Hugh said.
Fitz-Hugh says the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce is focused on meeting the needs of the business community, by asking what they need. They are hoping the ‘Back in Business’ grant will make a difference for some businesses.
“We are hoping to disperse five hundred $10,000 grants by the end of the month, so a really quick turn around, we don’t want people to have to wait," she said.
The application will go live Monday, June 15th, and businesses will have 72 hours to submit an application. For those interested in learning about application process, the Chesterfield chamber will hold a webinar on Tuesday, June 9th at 3 p.m. at www.chesterfieldchamber.com , they will release the video of the webinar for those wishing to watch later.
The $5 million in grants money is coming from the money Chesterfield County received through the federal CARES act.
To be eligible for the grants a business:
- Must be a for-profit business entity with a place of business located in Chesterfield County;
- Must have been in business for a minimum of 2 years;
- Must have at least $200,000 but no more than $2 million in annual gross revenues;
- Must be able to demonstrate at least a 25% loss in revenue that can be attributed to COVID-19.
Franchises must be headquartered in Chesterfield County and are eligible for only one $10,000 grant regardless of the number of locations in the County.
Funds are meant to reimburse businesses for the costs of business interruption caused by required closures due to COVID-19. The grant can be used for:
- Employee compensation (including wages and benefits)
- Working capital
- Equipment Inventory
- Other business-critical operating expenses
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