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Hampton Roads small businesses can apply for another round of COVID-19 help

Virginian  Pilot logo Virginian Pilot 9/8/2020 By Sandra J. Pennecke, The Virginian-Pilot

While the effects of the pandemic are still felt around the world, local governments in Hampton Roads have announced another round of financial relief for small business owners.

Business owners who received previous funding through the Payroll Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan or other assistance programs cannot receive funding for the same expenditures.

Inside Business is providing a comprehensive list for the COVID-19 relief grants within 10 Southside and Peninsula cities and counties.

CHESAPEAKE

Chesapeake Economic Development’s Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant program focuses on for-profit small businesses based in the city with fewer than 50 employees.

Businesses can apply for up to $10,000 for reimbursable expenditures related to COVID-19 including rent, payroll, and operating expenses.

Business eligibility requirements include: start date of March 1, 2019; remained open and maintained staff throughout pandemic; and current on city taxes and business registration.

Apply online at Chesapeakeva.biz/recovery-grant.

GLOUCESTER COUNTY

Aimed at getting the Middle Peninsula back to business, the county’s third round of grant applications will be accepted through Nov. 15.

This round of grants, which has no limit on applicant fund amounts, can be used for reimbursement of business expenses including outdoor operations and seating areas; signage; modifications; computer hardware and software; and sanitation and disinfection equipment.

Apply at B2midpen.com/application.

HAMPTON AND NEWPORT NEWS

The city of Hampton has exhausted all of its grant funds through its COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Program and is not planning on a second round at this time.

Chuck Rigney, director for Hampton Economic Development, said the $500,000 for its forgivable loan assistance program was depleted very quickly.

Newport News has allocated more than a million dollars in several round of grants including resiliency, back to business and growing e-business.

In a show of regional cooperation, the cities of Hampton and Newport News have been awarded a $1.5 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant that will be used to benefit small businesses in both cities.

Rigney said they are working on eligibility criteria and funding amounts for the loans. Details will be forthcoming on both of the city’s websites, Hampton.gov and Nnva.gov.

ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY (INCLUDES WINDSOR AND SMITHFIELD)

Focused on “reopen and rebound,” round two of the county’s COVID-19 Small Business Grant program is now under way.

The one-time financial assistance of up to $4,000 is open to for-profit small businesses in Isle of Wight County, Smithfield or Windsor. Businesses that received up to $2,000 in the first round of the program can apply to receive an additional $2,000.

Applications are available at Insidetheisle.com. The deadline is Oct. 30.

NORFOLK

Small businesses and nonprofits based in Norfolk that have suffered negative impacts from COVID-19 closures can apply for grant funds through its Coronavirus Relief Fund Grant program.

The available grants are for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Categories include: microenterprises, up to five employees, $5,000; small businesses, six to 25 employees, $15,000; and small businesses, 26 or more employees, $25,000.

Nonprofits that deliver supportive services to Norfolk residents are eligible to apply for a $15,000 grant. Funds can be used for employee compensation, working capital, equipment, inventory, rent or other business critical operating expenses.

Norfolk will accept applications for its second round through Sept. 13. Apply at Norfolkdevelopment.com.

PORTSMOUTH

The city of Portsmouth and its department of economic development’s second round for its COVID-19 Business Recovery Grant runs until 5 p.m. Sept. 30.

The $10,000 grant is open to small businesses, independently owned franchise locations and nonprofits in Portsmouth experiencing challenges to operations as a result of the pandemic. Religious institutions are ineligible.

Funds can be used for reimbursement related to expenses sustained since March 24, including: rent or mortgage payments; prorated insurance; private utilities; PPE; and marketing efforts in response to the pandemic.

Applications are available at Accessportsmouthva.com.

SUFFOLK

Suffolk’s Economic Development Authority will vote on the second round of COVID business assistance grants at its meeting on Sept. 9.

Interested small business owners in the city can visit Yessuffolk.com for updates.

VIRGINIA BEACH

The city of Virginia Beach is offering financial help for small business owners negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Applications for the CARES Act business assistance grants are accepted through Sept. 11.

Eligible reimbursement expenses include: rent, lease or mortgage payments for business property; building modifications; payroll expenses; new or expanded technology and Wi-Fi services; and personal protective equipment and employee COVID-19 testing.

Applicants must apply through the city’s online portal, Vbforms.seamlessdocs.com. Grants are awarded through a lottery system until Dec. 31 or all funding is depleted.

WILLIAMSBURG (INCLUDES POQUOSON AND YORK COUNTY)

The city of Williamsburg has teamed up with York County and the city of Poquoson to provide the COVID-19 Community Development Block Grant for small businesses.

For-profit businesses with fewer than 20 full-time employees can apply for the $5,000 grants. Approved expenses relating to the pandemic include PPE, social distancing modifications; software and hardware; and rent or mortgage payments.

The deadline to apply is June 1, 2021, but funds are expected to run out before then. Applications are available online at Williamsburg.smapply.io.

Sandra J. Pennecke, 757-222-5356, sandra.pennecke@insidebiz.com

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©2020 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)

Visit The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.) at pilotonline.com

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