Small businesses can now receive up to $100K in coronavirus support as part of Rebuild VA program

Virginia News

CARES Act expanded with an added $30 million in funding

FILE – In this Feb. 2, 2019 file photo, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, gestures as his wife, Pam, listens during a news conference in the Governors Mansion at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. A law firm has completed its investigation into how a racist photo appeared on a yearbook page for Northam. Eastern Virginia Medical School said in a statement Tuesday, May 21 that the findings of the investigation will be announced at a press conference on Wednesday, May 22. Northam’s profile in the 1984 yearbook includes a photo of a man in blackface standing next to someone in Ku Klux Klan clothing. Northam denies being in the photo, which nearly ended his political career in February. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Governor Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that Virginia’s small business coronavirus support program, Rebuild VA, will expand eligibility criteria and increase the amount of grant money businesses receive.

The added $30 million in CARES Act funding allows small businesses with less than 250 employees to apply for a maximum amount of funding of $100,000 — which was expanded from $10,000 for business with 25 employees or fewer.

“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.”

The state grant program launched in August with $70 million funding from the federal CARES Act to help small businesses and nonprofits in Virginia. Initially, it was designed to help the smaller state businesses — which are the hardest-hit from the economic downturn from the pandemic.

Rebuild VA will now be open to all types of Virginia small businesses that meet eligibility requirements, including size. Restaurants, summer camps, farmers, and retail stores are now eligible as well.

Officials say that if a business previously received a Rebuild VA grant, they are eligible to receive a second award in correlation with the updated guidelines.

Rebuild VA funding may be used for 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

A statement released by Northam’s office says that 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 September, the program expanded eligibility to supply chain partners of businesses whose normal operations were impacted by the pandemic.

Rebuild VA is administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD) in partnership with the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

For additional information about Rebuild VA and how to submit an application, visit Rebuild VA online.  

Read the full statement here.

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