As Main Street communities and localities continue to face difficulties during the ever-developing COVID-19 pandemic, we will be compiling resources that are shared and updating this page regularly.
Virginia Main Street (VMS):
Small Business Support Relief & Recovery Initiative
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Community Revitalization Office (CRO) will be offering grants to immediately address the needs of local, small, independently owned businesses within the Virginia Main Street designated community’s districts that have been facing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are due no later than close of business Friday, April 10. (View Application)
Main Street America (MSA):
Main Street America has begun compiling existing resources, opportunities and community response examples in a brand new resource guide on their website, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Street Resources. Updates will be made regularly.
The Grills Fund for Main Street Revitalization celebrates the innovative thinking that has always been vital to the revitalization of America’s Main Streets by honoring and supporting programs that demonstrate new approaches and creative techniques to managing their downtown/district through the impacts caused by the pandemic. The recipients will not only actively position their communities and programs for success, but will offer model programs, activities, and solutions for Main Streets across the country. The Grills Fund for Main Street Revitalization fund will provide five (5) Accredited Main Street America Programs $10,000 each to help fund innovative revitalization efforts to address the current and/or legacy impacts of COVID-19.
Checklist: How Supporting the Local Economy
Checklist: Staying Connected Checklist
Checklist: Supporting Each Other
Recorded Webinar: Supporting Local Safely
Recorded Webinar: Organizational Health Check-Up
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP):
AARP will host a weekly live Coronavirus Information Tele-Town Hall on Thursdays at 1:00 p.m. ET (Learn more)
Better Business Bureau (BBB):
Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE):
CNE wants to continue helping nonprofits be strategic and resilient. Check out their COVID-19 Resources!
CNE will be offering virtual office hours. Click here to learn more + sign up!
CNE seeks to gather information and feedback from you on your critical needs and challenges, and to reach out to funders and community partners to share how best to help the sector. We want to give a powerful, collective voice to what is most important to you right now. Please take five minutes to complete nonprofit needs survey.
CNE: Upcoming Trainings
CNE recognizes that the nonprofit financial landscape is deeply disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are now offering nonprofits a new service to help develop a streamlined, but customized financial modeling tool to consider different financial scenarios for maintaining financial stability through this pandemic and into recovery.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC):
Commonwealth of Virginia (COV):
Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Virginia: Resource Page
Virginia’s Statewide Stay at Home Order: Frequently Asked Questions for Businesses + Workers
Website: Virginia Department of Health (VDH)
Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA):
Development finance has always been at the forefront of recovering from natural disasters and economic challenges. The COVID-19 Resource Center is a collection of financing programs and resources to address disaster relief and recovery.
CDFA shared a great report: How to Rescue Main Street From Coronavirus Before It’s Too Late
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond:
Richmond Fed: COVID-19 Resources Page
Through Investment Connection, organizations with community and economic development proposals in parts of Virginia (Northern, Southside, Central and the Hampton Roads regions) that support low- and moderate-income populations have an opportunity to connect with bankers, CDFIs, foundations and other funding entities whose support can help fulfill their missions to serve vulnerable communities and small businesses. A select number of proposals submitted to the Richmond Fed’s online database between now and May 1 will be highlighted for consideration by multiple potential funders. Learn more on the Investment Connection webpage. This year, in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, projects focused on immediate needs such as emergency housing, food provision, digital access and workforce services will be given particular consideration.
The coronavirus pandemic puts all Virginia households under economic stress. This is more acute for families and individuals who are lower income and housing insecure. View COVID-19’s impact on affordable housing in Virginia.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS):
The IRS has posted answers to frequently asked questions on the filing and payment tax relief provided in response to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. These questions and answers will be updated periodically.
International Economic Development Council (IEDC):
Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency
Intuit QuickBooks + GoFundMe:
Check out the Small Business Initiative as Intuit QuickBooks and GoFundMe join forces to support small business across the country! There’s also great information on how to prepare your business and employees during the COVID-19 crisis.
MainVest announced its new Main Street Initiative: a $2,000, 0% interest, 120 day loan for restaurants or other brick and mortars affected by the shutdown caused by the COVID-19 crisis (Learn more)
Miscellaneous Suggestions: Businesses
Sustainability + Planning
No Business Continuity Plan? Take These 4 Steps
The Downtown Lynchburg Association (DLA) hosted a great informational session about the CARES Act, specifically reviewing two business support efforts (EIDL + PPP) within the relief package! Ashley and other panelists do an excellent job reviewing these grant programs, answering common questions throughout the webinar. Check it out!
Marketing + Promotion
Comment Sold: Convert social media comments into sales, automatically invoice shoppers, and manage all aspects of your business with the #1 comment selling platform and total e-commerce solution.
Miscellaneous Suggestions: Nonprofits
Sustainability + Planning:
Responding to the Coronavirus Outbreak: Resources to Help Nonprofits
Event Cancellations: What You Need to Know
The State of Georgia (GA) hosted a great webinar, focused on the need/how to be ready to respond to a crisis, as well as the importance of effective communication. The lessons can be applied to numerous groups and/or entities.
Recommendations + Advocacy
Example: Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR) has developed an excellent business survey to help inform Main Street organizations about the current issues that small businesses are facing during these difficult times.
Consider working with small businesses and property owners to negotiate reduced rents for a certain period of time, especially if emergencies or lock downs occur downtown. Property owners are expecting income, but small businesses maintain a tighter margin. How can Main Street organizations and other nonprofits help facilitate these discussions?
The COVID-19 crisis may present an opportunity for Main Street professionals and nonprofits to ask legislators and/or executives for support, specifically not counting layoffs of employees against a business’s unemployment insurance rate.
GoFundMe or other campaigns might be useful to establish emergency funds. Local campaigns can help residents feel a part of the process, helping small businesses in their community continue to thrive and recover from any hardship.
How will downtown farmers markets be affected during the COVID-19 crisis? Some farmers markets are moving indoors, rather than being located outside. Given CDC and newly announced state guidelines, perhaps delivery options could be developed to curtail the amount of the people gathered in one central place and/or area?
Collaborate with lending institutions to create a low to no-interest loan pool for businesses. This option may be more expedient than SBA offerings, as well as serve as an additional local tool for recovery.
Partner alongside local delivery services to offer support to local businesses that may not have the means to it themselves.
Local governments should be advised to delay tax payments, as well as eliminate penalties during the crisis. The measure could help provide short term liquidity (Learn more)
National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC):
Along with anxieties about contracting and spreading disease, millions of people who were already struggling or living paycheck-to-paycheck face new uncertainties about their financial security. Many organizations and governments have responded with resources and services to help individuals, small businesses and institutions cope with these challenges. Here is some information about how and where to obtain these resources.
National Council of Nonprofits:
The National Center of Nonprofits has created a great resource page for nonprofits that are seeking to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB)
As small businesses across the country are grappling with the current and potential impacts associated with COVID-19, NFIB is continuing to track the latest developments from healthcare officials, congress and the administration. Check out the NFIB resource page that features a great Small Business FAQs section for those seeking answers to a multitude of important questions.
National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF)
The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund was created to help restaurant industry employees experiencing extraordinary hardship in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Check it out!
National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC):
National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP):
The mission of the NTHP is to enrich lives by saving our past, and now more than ever, we look to our history for courage, comfort, and inspiration. Check out their resource page for more information!
Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF):
Learn more about the NCIF COVID-19 business grants here!
NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center:
Downtown + Community Leaders: Tips & Resources (Apply to Your Program)
Small Businesses Need Customers: Tips to Support the Local Economy
Small Business: Tips & Resources (Apply to Your Program)
Fact Sheet: Marketing Downtown from 6ft Away
Restore Your Economy:
United Way of Southwest Virginia:
United Way of Southwest Virginia is accepting donations to establish the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a resiliency and social innovation initiative. A regional community organization focused on improving health, education, and economic mobility, United Way of Southwest Virginia will respond to the needs of our communities experiencing detrimental economic effects related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit urban areas hardest, with research emerging on the disparate impacts on communities of color. Urban commercial districts are responding to social and economic challenges through direct policy interventions with municipalities to retain vitality. Yet, many businesses in distressed districts were already “behind the curve” relative to retail strategies and will be more significantly impacted by the shutdown. Join this UrbanMain webinar to hear how neighborhood commercial district managers are quickly responding with local policy initiatives, small business e-commerce tools, and grants to meet the needs of their communities.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has compiled the CDC’s COVID-19 recommendations for businesses and workers through this response toolkit. Check it out!
Guidance for Employers: Plan & Respond to COVID-19
Coronavirus Emergency Loans: Small Business Guide & Checklist
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):
USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses, and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more about the Rural Development COVID-19 Response.
U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD):
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA):
Disaster Loan Assistance: Federal Disaster Loans for Businesses, Private Nonprofits, Homeowners, and Renters
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by directing $349 billion towards job retention and business operating expenses. Learn more here! Download a sample application form to see the information that will be requested from you.
Virginia 30 Day Fund:
The VA 30 Day Fund seeks to help save as many Virginia jobs as possible while small businesses await recently approved federal funding. Learn more here!
Virginia Community Capital (VCC):
VCC has added a great COVID-19 resources page to their website. Check it out!
Virginia Community Capital is partnering with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and Virginia Small Business Development Center Network to host multiple weekly update webinars and office hours, announce new programs and resources , and to assist Virginia’s business community. On Fridays and Tuesdays, starting April 3 at noon and April 7 at 6PM, businesses will have an opportunity to receive updates from state leaders on new resources; receive management, finance, and marketing tips; and ask questions regarding programs to support Virginia’s entrepreneurs. This program will run through May 2020. Click here to learn more!
Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE):
VCE: COVID-19 Resources
Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD):
DHCD is closely monitoring the COVID-19 progress and continuing to review the need to cancel or reschedule in-person meetings, events, trainings, and more as necessary. Click here for the full list of events, updates on grants and other important changes.
Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA):
Virginia Municipal League (VML):
Message from VML Executive Director, Michelle Gowdy (Read Here)
Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC):
SBDC Video (Lynchburg Region): Five Easy Tips for Maintaining Customers While You are Closed
Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC):
Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) will be offering weekly briefing calls to share the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, sharing how VTC will be addressing the impact of the virus on daily life and travel throughout the commonwealth. Meetings will be held via Zoom every Monday afternoon at 3 p.m.
Meeting ID: 249727335
One Tap Mobile: +1 929-205-6099 | Pin: 249727335# (New York)
One Tap Mobile: +1 669-900-6833 | Pin: 249727335# (San Jose)
Virginia’s Farmers Market Association (VAFMA):
VAFMA: Farmers Market Guidance