On Tuesday afternoon, Loudoun County Economic Development completed the random selections for 400 COVID-19 Business Interruption Fund grants, totaling $2 million.
The fund was created by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and the Loudoun Economic Development Authority in April, and dispersed $1.4 million to 201 businesses in its first round. After the county received CARES Act funding in May, the fund was replenished with $5.7 million, approximately $3.7 million of which went to fully funding eligible applicants from the first round.
For this round, the Board of Supervisors focused on businesses that have between zero and two employees. This is the largest segment of businesses in Loudoun County, and includes solo entrepreneurs, family businesses, and larger operations that rely more on independent contractors than employees.
Eligible applicants were able to show that they had less than $2.5 million in gross annual receipts, had at least a 25% loss in revenue due to COVID-19, and were an appropriately licensed, for-profit business that was operational in Loudoun County.
The grant recipients were randomly selected in a drawing at the Government Center, and the $5,000 grants will be dispersed to businesses starting next week. Funding will reach all corners of Loudoun County and help support business operations across a wide swath of Loudoun’s industries. A full list of grant recipients can be found at LoudounBusinessFund.org.
“Nearly 1,100 Loudoun businesses have a better chance of survival thanks to the proactive response of the Board of Supervisors and Economic Development Authority. The combined $6.85 million in grants will go a long way toward protecting Loudoun jobs and rebuilding our economic future,” Loudoun Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer said. “As we look ahead to Phase Three of reopening, we will continue to identify funding opportunities and creative ways to support #LoudounPossible innovation. Our team is dedicated to working with all businesses moving forward.”
“We at StageCoach Theatre appreciate how Loudoun County Economic Development has the interests of our small business community at heart,” Jerri Wiseman expressed. Wiseman is the co-owner and executive producer of StageCoach Theatre Company, LLC.
“Since we use contractors, our options for COVID relief grants and loans were extremely limited. This grant will go towards covering our rent and instructor pay! It is money well spent by the county as small businesses will continue to support others in the community.”
Program Director Clarisse Bethel at Clarys Nurse Aide Training Center also emphasized the significance of the funding to meet operation expenses.
“This grant will impact my business by helping me to make office rent payments and repaying some obligations such as my payroll,” Bethel said.
Eddie Mason, founder and CEO of MASE Training, sees a promising revival for the business that he and his wife Sonya run together.
“We were overjoyed from the fact that we truly needed it, after having to close our doors due to the impact of the coronavirus on our business,” Mason explained. “To now have business interruption funds that will help us bring some of our staff back and pay for operational expenses has truly been a blessing!”
The first- and second-round of grants from the Business Interruption Fund were dispersed to companies with between three and 100 employees. Survey responses from those businesses indicate that the grants of between $5,000 and $10,000 were used primarily to fund payroll (46%) and pay monthly rent or mortgage expenses (36%). Other expenses included employee benefits, supplies and products.
Additionally, 92% of first- and second-round grant recipients felt more confident about the viability of their business heading into recovery after receiving the funds.
A full list of grant recipients from all rounds can be found at LoudounBusinessFund.org.
UPDATE June 29, 2020: Due to a clerical error identified after the June 23 drawing, Loudoun Economic Development was able to complete a supplemental random drawing and select two additional businesses that were certified for Round 3 of the COVID-19 Business Interruption Fund. A recording of the supplemental random drawing can be found here. The two businesses previously awarded due the clerical error in Round 3 will be funded from a separate category of funding and did not impact the number of companies funded in this round.