UPDATE: More than $3 million of available funding has already been paid out to eligible Loudoun hotels and B&Bs. The deadline for starting an application has been set as close of business on October 8, 2021.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has dedicated $6 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding to the new Hotel Relief Grant Fund, supporting the county’s overnight accommodations industry that is struggling to recover from COVID-19.
The grant opens for applications at noon on Monday, August 9, 2021. For more information, visit LoudounBusinessFund.org.
“Hotels, B&Bs and other overnight accommodations play a critical role in supporting all sectors of Loudoun’s vibrant economy. From the business meeting that secures investment to the family getaway that supports agritourism, overnight stays help define Loudoun’s quality of life and facilitate lasting impressions,” Loudoun Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer said. “Coming out of COVID-19 restrictions with business travel lagging, our hotels and B&Bs need help. In their moment of greatest need, we expect this grant to be a necessary shot in the arm to re-open to full capacity.”
Loudoun is home to nearly 6,000 hotel rooms and hundreds more bed and breakfast rooms.
For eligible applicant businesses, the grant will provide $1,000 per room, up to a maximum of $250,000 for that business location.
“We really are at the beginning of the recovery for the travel and hospitality industry and while we are seeing a return of visitors, our businesses—especially lodging facilities—will face tremendous revenue and job loss,” Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson said. “A recent tourism economics study showed that one out of every three American jobs lost during the pandemic was in the tourism sector. This commitment by the Board of Supervisors goes a long way toward helping to restore our industry, bring back jobs and will generate valuable spending for our businesses, benefiting the county, as a whole.”
Eligible hotels and other lodging businesses must meet all requirements to receive funding:
- Licensed and operating in Loudoun County and be in good standing with the County or the incorporated town where the facility is located;
- Have been in operation prior to March 1, 2020;
- Be a provider of accommodations subject to Loudoun’s Transit Occupancy Tax;
- Have at least 10 sleeping rooms, except as provide below;
- If the facility is a licensed bed and breakfast, it must have at least 4 sleeping rooms, OR must have at least 2 sleeping rooms and show proof of compliance with Transit Occupancy Tax payments prior to the opening of the grant application period.
- Show a reduction of 25% of revenues due to the pandemic from March 1, 2020, to present;
- Be open to the public as of August 1, 2021;
- Short-term residential rentals are not eligible for this program;
- All businesses must accept payment as direct deposit. Paper checks will not be issued for this grant.
Funds received through the grant must be utilized for general operating expenses (rent, payroll, job training, taxes, debt service, etc.), or costs associated with COVID-19, including PPE, sanitation services, etc.
Funds received through the grant may not be used for purchase of non-related equipment, infrastructure improvements or technology upgrades.
For interested businesses, an informational webinar hosted by Visit Loudoun and Loudoun Economic Development will take place on Tuesday, July 27, at 10 a.m. to share information about the grant. Colleen Kardasz, Assistant Director of Loudoun Economic Development, will walk through the funding application and share tips and answer questions about the process, and a recording of the webinar will be made available after the fact.
For more information about the grant, including a link to the webinar, please visit LoudounBusinessFund.org.