As Main Street communities, localities, businesses, and others continue to face difficulties during the ever-developing COVID-19 pandemic, we will be compiling resources that are shared and updating this page regularly.
Rebuild! VA: Small Business Grant Program
The Commonwealth of Virginia has created a new grant program to assist small businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout the state who have faced unprecedented economic distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The statewide Rebuild! VA program will provide grants of up to three times the applicant’s average monthly eligible expenses up to a maximum award of $10,000. The program will be capitalized with $70 million, and half of the proceeds will be directed toward small businesses and nonprofits located in economically disadvantaged areas, including ensuring adequate representation of women-owned and minority-owned businesses.
The Rebuild! VA grant application will be available starting on August 10, 2020. More details about the new program, including eligibility criteria, covered expenses, how to submit and more, can be found here. It is highly recommended that interested applicants register for the “How to Apply” webinars to review eligibility requirements and documentation needed to apply when the application opens to the public.
Update: The Rebuild! VA program has expanded its eligibility criteria to allow more small businesses to apply and receive needed assistance! Small supply chain partners of businesses forced to close under Executive Order 53 or 55, as well as businesses that received Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding, are now eligible to receive a $10,000 Rebuild! VA grant. Businesses that have received CARES Act funding shall certify that they will only use the Rebuild! VA grant for recurring expenses. Grant funds will not be used to cover the same expenses as the other CARES Act funds. Click here to learn more about the program, including eligibility criteria!
Translated FAQ pages:
Forward Virginia: Phase 3 (Beginning July 1st)
The Phase 3 guidelines released include mandatory requirements and best practices for restaurants and beverage services, farmers markets, brick and mortar retail, fitness and exercise facilities, personal care and grooming, campgrounds, religious services, and more. The Governor’s phased approach is grounded in science and data and includes mitigation strategies to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus through enhanced safety practices.
To help the business community address customer questions on EO63, which compels citizens to wear face coverings in many public settings, the state designed a helpful sign that businesses may use to encourage folks to wear a face covering for public safety. Check out the images here!
CARES Act Provides Assistance for State, Local, and Tribal Governments
Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the CARES Act provides for payments to State, Local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more here and view frequently asked questions!
Congress has replenished the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)!
Your organization may be eligible for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This loan can assist in covering payroll for eight weeks, as well as other overhead expenses. SBA may forgive these loans if used for eligible purposes!
Need assistance? Consider applying for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s PPP with Virginia Community Capital (VCC), an SBA-approved lender. They will be processing applications on a first-come, first-served basis. You can download the PPP application here.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) & Advances: The SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the EIDL COVID-19 related assistance program, including EIDL Advances, based on available appropriations funding. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Virginia Main Street (VMS):
View the Training Resources tab for webinar recordings, presentation handouts and more helpful resources!
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.
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)
Thinking about projects that inspire change and improve communities for people of all ages? Check out AARP’s Pop-Up Placemaking Took Kit!
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: 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):
CERF+ Emergency Assistance:
Learn more about grants to established artists working in a craft discipline.
Comcast has launched a new grant program designed to help small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) that have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and impacted at a higher rate. The newly developed Comcast Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment (RISE) program offers marketing and technology makeovers that may include media placements, marketing consultation, commercial creative production services or technology services such as computer equipment, internet, voice and cybersecurity from Effectv and Comcast Business. Originally available to only Black small business owners, Comcast RISE will be open to all BIPOC small business owners beginning on Nov. 28th. Comcast Rise will offer grants of up to $10,000.
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
Freelance Artist Resources:
The COVID-19 freelance artist resources page, specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community. This includes, but is not limited to, actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, craft artists, teaching artists, dancers, writers & playwrights, photographers, etc.
HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program:
The HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program will fund solutions that help small business owners respond and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also help to revitalize and strengthen older and historic downtown commercial districts.
Excitingly, Main Street America (MSA) announced that a second round of the Hartbeat on Main Street Grant Program will open on Thursday, October 22, 2020. In partnership with The Hartford, the program will continue to fund solutions that help merchants respond and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as helping to revitalize and strengthen older and historic downtown commercial districts.
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.
Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR):
Infographic: Help Your Local Businesses Weather COVID-19
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC):
LISC has mobilized to support the people and communities hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rural Relief Small Business Grants: Click here to learn more and apply!
Click here to learn more about additional small business assistance and other resources!
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 Click here to learn more!
Miscellaneous Suggestions: Businesses
Sustainability + Planning
You don’t have a business continuity plan? Take These 4 Steps
Marketing + Promotion
Google is providing ad credits to small and medium businesses that advertised on Google during 2019.
Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program: Borrow up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes (existing banking relationship).
You can be eligible for payroll tax credits if you keep your employees on payroll, if you paid COVID-19-related sick leave for employees, or if you had to suspend operations. Learn more about Employee Retention Credits.
Miscellaneous Suggestions: Nonprofits
Sustainability + Planning:
Good planning finds the most effective ways to deploy your organization’s resources – and meet your overall objectives. Materials here include help with budgeting, cost calculations, cash projections, and much more!
In these unprecedented times, nonprofit organizations can be challenged by unstable staffing structures, sudden changes in service delivery or capacity, or loss of revenue in the short- and long-term. This webinar by Fiscal Management Associates (FMA) addresses these and other challenges, identifying key areas for organizations to focus on, and more!
Responding to the Coronavirus Outbreak: Resources to Help Nonprofits
Event Cancellations: What You Need to Know
Did you know? Nonprofits are eligible for SBA Disaster loans. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75%. SBA also offers the Paycheck Protection Program — a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses and nonprofits to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
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 Click here to 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 Development Council (NDC):
Join NDC for a discussion on short term and long-term recovery solutions for small businesses following the COVID-19 Pandemic. This FREE webinar will discuss immediate assistance available, as well as SBA 7(a) loans for long-term, low-rate financing to sustain and grow your business. The session will provide an overview of the SBA 7(a) Loan Program as well as give you insight into what a loan officer is looking for when underwriting a SBA 7(a) Loan in our current environment.
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 Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC):
National Restaurant Association (NRA):
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 Retail Federation (NRF):
Open for Business – A Blueprint for Shopping Safe
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:
How To Move Forward Safely (Salon Management)
Save Small Business Fund:
To extend a helping hand to small businesses suffering from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation – in partnership with Vistaprint and a coalition of companies, foundations, and philanthropic donors – is working to provide financial relief through the Save Small Business Fund. The Fund is providing $5,000 in short-term relief to employers across the United States, including chambers of commerce. These one-time supplemental cash grants are for businesses that have between three and 20 employees and operate in an economically vulnerable community. Due to overwhelming demand, applications are now closed.
The Pandemic Relaunch Toolkit for Restaurants + Bars contains capital management tactics, operational guidance to relaunch, and resources to help future-proof your restaurant.
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.
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):
The Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses and nonprofits with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses and nonprofits. Learn more.
SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses and nonprofits to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. 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’s DHCD Podcast: Community Revitalization Strategies & COVID-19 (featuring Rebecca Rowe)
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):
Road to Recovery (Video)