What to Expect Next With Loudoun’s COVID-19 Business Interruption Fund

business interruption fund loudoun

Loudoun’s COVID-19 Business Interruption Fund process is nearing its completion, according to the vision approved by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors two weeks ago.

Here is everything you need to know about the fund so far and where it goes from here.

Where We’ve Been:

The Business Interruption Fund, which was designed to disperse a total of $1.4 million in $5,000-$10,000 increments to Loudoun businesses adversely affected by the novel coronavirus, was first advertised to the public on April 22nd. Within the funding, $1 million was drawn from the Business Commercial Incentive Fund, typically used to attract and retain businesses to the county. An additional $150,000 was drawn from a fund that is typically used to attract and retain agriculture-based businesses, and was earmarked for members of the Loudoun Made, Loudoun Grown program. Lastly, the Loudoun Economic Development Authority voted to contribute $250,000 to boost the total amount available.

In advance of the fund opening, LoudounBusinessFund.org was created with instructions, terms and conditions, FAQs and a test form. More than 500 businesses took advantage of a test form, and were alerted to apply on the official form when the fund opened at noon on April 29.

In the first four hours of the Business Interruption Fund being open, more than 600 businesses applied, representing a cross-section of Loudoun’s economy. After the fund closed at noon on May 2, we needed the combined efforts of county staff from Economic Development, the Treasurer’s Office, Finance, and Loudoun Cooperative Extension to conduct all of the necessary business outreach for verification and the collection of documents. Without their help, which went well above and beyond their normal jobs, we would not be able to disperse this money in a timely fashion.

After another internal review to judge eligibility, the remaining businesses have been placed into a pool for random selection.

What We’ve Learned:

This is a first-of-its-kind fund to address an unprecedented health crisis that has had a devastating effect on the business community. We automated, tested and refined the process before opening the application, and it still required a collaborative response.

We worked to execute the vision of the Board of Supervisors, and those conversations with business owners weren’t always easy. Every business is hurting right now and this fund will only help so many of them. However, it was a good opportunity to work with business owners to find funding and resources that are tailored to address their needs.

Out of the 1,200 plus applications, Roger Zurn, Janet Romanchyk and Buddy Rizer certified 671 businesses (full list posted to LoudounBusinessFund.org). Those that did not meet the Board’s criteria were mostly due to not having three employees (or more than 100), could not show 25% in losses, or exceeded the $2.5 million threshold.

The approximate breakdown is as follows:

Loudoun Made, Loudoun Grown

  • Total Certified Applications: 50
  • Grant Awards: $5,000
  • Total Amount: $250,000 (50)

51-100 Employees

  • Total Certified Applications: Six
  • Grant Awards: $10,000
  • Total Amount: $60,000 (6)

3-50 Employees / 3-100 Home-Based Employees

  • Total Certified Applications: 615
  • Grant Awards: $7,500
  • Total Awarded: 1,090,000 (145)

While we initially envisioned three different tranches and eligibility requirements for businesses, the needs of the business community show that more money was needed for some tranches than others. We are able to fund all of the applicants in the Loudoun Made, Loudoun Grown tranche and the 51-100 employee tranche. We will be able to use the remaining money to fund even more businesses than anticipated in the 3-50 employee tranche.

In total, this fund will be able to help more than 200 Loudoun businesses!

What Comes Next:

Today at 2 p.m., Loudoun Economic Development Director Buddy Rizer will begin the random drawing process at the Loudoun County Government building in Leesburg.

This process will be broadcast live on Loudoun.gov, Comcast Government Channel 23, Open Band Channel 40, Verizon FiOS Channel 40, and on the Loudoun Economic Development’s Facebook page.

At the end of the process, all grant-receiving applications and business names will be posted on LoudounBusinessFund.org, and contacted via email to discuss next steps, which includes providing financial information for the Economic Development Authority to coordinate the payout.

All applicants that did not receive funding will also be contacted with additional resources and funding opportunities to consider.

Questions can be asked at any time through our email, or by calling 1-800-LOUDOUN.

 

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Our business was on the list yesterday, and off today. No phone call, no email, nothing from the county. All documents were provided accordingly. What happened?

    • Brian Tinsman says:

      Hello Tim, thank you for reaching out. I’m very sorry, but if your business was not certified for the drawing, it is because your application did not adequately demonstrate your eligibility for the fund, which needed to be supported in the documentation that you sent. I certainly understand your frustration that the information was not sent to you in a timely fashion, but the final list was not certified by the internal review team until this morning. That information was sent to all applicants as soon as it was available, via email, at about noon today.

      Eligibility requirements varied slightly by the size of your business, but included:

      • Must have 0-2 employees for agriculture-based businesses, or 3-100 W-2 employees in any industry;
      • Must have less than $2.5 million in gross annual receipts;
      • Must have at least 25% loss in revenue that can be attributed to COVID-19
      • Must be appropriately licensed and operation in Loudoun County, Va.

      Applications were disqualified for not meeting those requirements, or providing documentation that did not support meeting those requirements. Whenever possible, our review team aired on the side of inclusivity and fairness. We can provide individual feedback upon request.

      We recognize that each eligibility requirement excludes businesses that need financial support, but the fund is intended as one piece of the county’s overall small business support during this trying time. The Board was presented with multiple options for the fund and chose the parameters being used to administer the grant awards. We will be gathering all the information provided through the grant and directly from businesses in order to provide the Board a full report.

      Please let us know if you have any questions and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible. Please look for email outreach tonight that provides you with additional resources and funding opportunities.

      Again, I’m very sorry that the fund did not work out, but we’re here to help.

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