On Tuesday evening, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved $1 million in grant funding for the COVID-19 Business Interruption Fund to support Loudoun businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
Eligible businesses must demonstrate all of the following criteria:
- Have between 3-100 employees;
- Have less than $2.5 million in gross annual receipts;
- Have at least a 25% loss in revenue that can be attributed to COVID-19;
- Be licensed and operational in Loudoun County, Va.
The fund will open for applications at noon on April 29, 2020, and remain open for 72 hours, closing at noon on May 2, 2020. All submissions will be accepted based on the time stamp, verified by county employees, and placed into a pool, where businesses will be randomly selected until the funding has expired.
The $1 million grant is divided so that 60 applicants with 3-50 employees will receive a $7,500 grant, and 55 applicants with 51-100 employees will receive a $10,000 grant.
The Board of Supervisors has made an additional $150,000 fund available to help Loudoun’s agriculture-based businesses with up to two employees. Participants in the county’s “Loudoun Made, Loudoun Grown” marketing program will be eligible for grants of $5,000.
Because it is a web-based application only, interested applicants are encouraged to visit the website before the application window opens, to fill out the test form to confirm that submissions can be received from their computer or mobile device. The application and additional information can be found at LoudounBusinessFund.org.
“Small businesses are the heartbeat of Loudoun’s economy, and this funding is critically important to protect the jobs and livelihood of residents in Loudoun County. At a time when unemployment is spiking, both locally and around the world, every job that gets saved brings us one step closer to recovery,” said Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair at Large Phyllis Randall. “These are challenging times, but Loudoun is resilient, and together we will get through this and rebuild our economy.”
Money for the COVID-19 Business Interruption Fund is being diverted from the county’s $2.1 million Commercial Business Incentive Fund, which is used for business attraction and retention efforts under normal circumstances. Drawing from this fund will support some of Loudoun’s most vulnerable businesses without increasing the county’s debt load.
The Board of Supervisors’ vote came on the heels of news that the U.S. Senate has approved an additional $310 billion to be added to the Small Business Administration’s lapsed Paycheck Protection Program. While the SBA fund has provided relief to some businesses in Loudoun County, more help is urgently needed.
“Many small businesses around Loudoun County are struggling to pay their bills and keep their employees,” said Supervisor Matt Letourneau (Dulles), Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Finance, Government Operations and Economic Development Committee. “For those businesses struggling, every little bit helps, which is why redeploying $1 million from our commercial business incentive fund to provide grants to small businesses is a good use of resources during this difficult time.”
Following approval from the Board of Supervisors, the Loudoun Economic Development Authority is authorized to administer the grant process and disperse the funds to selected businesses by early May. The Department of Economic Development, the Treasurer’s Office, and other county staff will assist in administering and vetting the applicants, as well as continuing to provide a wide array of business resources.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has sent us into uncharted territory, and the economic impacts will be significant and far-reaching throughout Loudoun. The grant program approved by the Loudoun Board is a critical step that will mitigate the economic impacts of this unprecedented challenge and help workers and businesses to weather the storm and come out stronger when things return to normal,” Loudoun Economic Development Executive Buddy Rizer explained. “We are dedicated to a fair and transparent application process that saves as many #LoudounPossible businesses as we can.”
To test your browser’s ability to apply for this grant program, please visit the application website in advance of noon on April 29, 2020. For the application, Terms and Conditions and further instructions, please visit LoudounBusinessFund.org.