Back in Business: $5M in grant money set to boost Chesterfield’s economy

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield County says $5 million dollars in grant money will soon be available for small businesses.

The program called “Back in Business” is an effort to help local shops, salons, retailers, and restaurants get back up and running after COVID-19.

“The things that made Chesterfield and the Richmond region a great place to do business are still here and they’ll be here when we’re through this,” said Garrett Hart, Chesterfield County’s Director of Economic Development.

The $5 million dollars is made possible through the federal CARES act passed by Congress.

The money will be offered as $10,000 relief grants — meaning 500 local businesses can benefit.

“I am sure that we will have more applications than we have money for,” Hart said.

While manufacturing has remained strong in the county during the pandemic, Hart says Chesterfield’s retail and merchant services have been hit hardest.

“They are suffering,” Hart told 8News. “And we’re trying to give them as much help as we can.”

To make sure the money gets into the hands of businesses with the greatest need, the county says its considering specific criteria for the grant money.

Right now they are weighing the possibility of only accepting applications from businesses with less than 25 employees and a max yearly revenue between $1 to $2 million dollars.

Chesterfield County says businesses will also be required to show proof of negative impacts due to COVID-19.

“I’m hoping that we can use the criteria to help the ones who need it the most first and then find other money to help the rest,” Hart said.

Though criteria is still being finalized, the county says applications will be available in early June.

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