CDBG Funds Support COVID-19 Recovery and Relief Efforts in Rural Communities across Virginia

Amidst an unprecedented public health emergency, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds continue to serve as a valuable resource, assisting eligible localities in responding to the challenging health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting urgent need recovery activities. In September, Governor Ralph Northam announced more than $8.4 million through the CDBG program will help rural communities across Virginia, awarding funds to 14 deserving projects that will support small businesses and families.

“Our administration remains committed to investing in rural communities during this unprecedented health crisis and as we work to rebuild Virginia’s economy. This funding will go a long way to address the immediate needs of Virginia families and provide relief to small businesses, so they are better prepared for economic growth despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic.” – Governor Ralph Northam

Since 1982, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has administered the CDBG program, helping local governments address critical needs such as housing, infrastructure and economic development. During 2020, DHCD reallocated existing CDBG funding to assist with COVID-19 response and recovery activities.

“Virginia continues to take an innovative approach in providing resources to assist households and businesses throughout the Commonwealth as they navigate this pandemic. This CDBG funding will create healthy and safe ways for Virginians to move forward with recovery efforts.” – Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Brian Ball

Here are a few examples of projects underway across Virginia:

Page County was awarded $175,800 to help expand its food pantry to provide meals to low- to moderate-income households and elderly individuals, along with hospitality and restaurant workers that have been laid off or furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The food hub expansion will retain at least six jobs in the kitchen at the Mimslyn Inn to create meals and organize food services at the food pantry at least four days per week. The county will also help establish a small mask production operation, which will donate masks to higher risk populations or those returning to a job in the service and tourism sectors.

Alleghany County was awarded $1,600,00 to assist small businesses in the Alleghany Highlands region through a small business recovery assistance program. Localities will allow up to $5,000 per business to reimburse the costs incurred to reopen in accordance with state guidelines, as well as provide up to $8,400 in commercial rent relief for affected businesses. CDBG funding will assist roughly 150 businesses in the area, many of which are small retailers or tourism-related businesses that have remained closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The town of South Boston was awarded $550,000 to assist businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Partnering with Halifax County, the town will award businesses up to $5,000 for retooling and technology activities and up to $10,000 for three to six months of rent or mortgage relief. The town of South Boston’s local Main Street organization, Destination Downtown South Boston (DDSB), a designated Virginia Main Street (VMS) program, will administer funding for the county and provide wrap-around support.

Click here to view the full press release and learn more about awarded projects!

Lead Image: Virginia Department of Historic Resources