$70M Rebuild VA grant program opens August 10; PPP applications close August 8

Financial help is still available to eligible Fairfax County businesses and nonprofit organizations to stay in operation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A new program, Rebuild VA, will open for applications on August 10 to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations whose normal operations were disrupted by the economic emergency created by the pandemic. The federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been extended with the application deadline of August 8.

The application period is closed for two county initiatives, the Fairfax County Microloan Program and the Fairfax RISE grant program. Preliminary loan data on those two programs is available, along with the PPP allocations by the federal government, showing that a substantial number of Fairfax County businesses have received financial assistance to keep their businesses in operation during this unprecedented time.

“The Rebuild VA grant program is another example of public officials at every level stepping up in unprecedented ways to help businesses bridge this economic crisis,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). “Along with the federal programs and local initiatives such as the Fairfax RISE grant program, this new state effort is a great opportunity for eligible businesses obtain the help they need because of the disruption caused by the pandemic. This is another recovery tool for our small businesses that will make a difference, and the FCEDA business investment team stands ready to connect businesses to these programs and other resources.”

Click here to contact the FCEDA staff for assistance.

Rebuild! VA application process opens August 10

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the $70 million Rebuild VA program on July 27. Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to 7,000 applicants to cover eligible expenses.

Administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), eligible businesses must be in good standing, have annual gross revenues of no more than $1.5 million, and have no more than 25 employees who live in Virginia.

The program is available to businesses and nonprofits in sectors including food and beverage establishments, non-essential retail, exercise and fitness, entertainment and public amusement, personal care and personal grooming services, and private campground and overnight summer camps.

Eligible businesses must have not received federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds or other funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“Small businesses and nonprofits are the backbone of the Virginia economy and the bedrock of our communities, and they have been devastated by this ongoing health crisis,” Northam said. “Rebuild VA will help address the vast challenges that small businesses and nonprofits across our Commonwealth are facing as they work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Because many of the affected small businesses and nonprofits located in distressed and economically disadvantaged areas of Virginia, we are designating a portion of this funding to ensure they get the support they need.”

Half of the program funds will be distributed to eligible small businesses and nonprofits operating in low-income and economically disadvantaged communities to help to meet the needs of under-served businesses and nonprofits with broad geographic diversity, while ensuring there is adequate representation of minority- and woman-owned businesses, according to the announcement.

Rebuild VA funding may be utilized for the following eligible expenses:

  • Payroll support, including paid sick, medical, or family leave, and costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during those periods of leave;
  • Employee salaries;
  • Mortgage payments, rent, and utilities;
  • Principal and interest payments for any business loans from national or state-chartered banking, savings and loan institutions, or credit unions, that were incurred before or during the emergency; and,
  • Eligible personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfecting materials, or other working capital needed to address COVID-19 response.

SBSD will hold several webinars to review eligibility requirements and documentation needed to apply when the application opens August 10. A one-pager on Rebuild VA is available here and a video overview is here.

PPP loan program extended deadline: August 8

The Paycheck Protection Program resumed accepting applications on July 6 in response to extension legislation enacted for the program, with August 8 designated as the new deadline to apply for a PPP loan.

As of June 27, $519 billion had been allocated to PPP loans, and $134 billion remains available according to the SBA.

Established by the CARES Act, the PPP program is implemented by the Small Business Administration with support from the Department of the Treasury. The program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs, including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent and utilities.

The PPP loan is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses. Click here to read more about PPP loan forgiveness.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

Applications to the PPP program are made via an existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Click here to locate lenders participating in the PPP program.

Preliminary loan data on the PPP loans disbursed to date was announced by the SBA and the Treasury Department on July 7. Click here to view the data listed by state.

For more information on the PPP, visit the SBA website by clicking here.

Loan disbursement data for Fairfax County

At a Fairfax County Economic Advisory Commission meeting on July 21, Scott Sizer of the Department of Economic Initiatives presented an overview of federal PPP loan data specific to Fairfax County, as well as updates on the Fairfax County Microloan Program and Fairfax RISE grant program. Here are  key details from the presentation.

PPP: 21,100 loans approved in Fairfax County area

During the first round of the PPP loan program, according to data released on July 13 and that could be revised, 21,100 loans were approved in Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax and the City of Falls Church.

About 4,000 of the loans were for $150,000 or more, with 49 loans approved for between $5 million and $10 million. For these loans, the average approved amount was between $450,000 and $1.1 million. For those businesses that received more than $150,000, the SBA is reporting the businesses name, location and financial institution, but not the exact loan amount.

About 17,100 loans made were for less than $150,000, with the average loan in that range of $35,800.

Fairfax County Microloan Program

Fairfax County established the Fairfax County Microloan Program, a $2.5 million fund to support small business recovery, on April 14. Along with the Federal SBA loans and grants, the Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Fund and associated counseling provides help to the Fairfax County business community with needed relief. The program is administered by the Community Business Partnership. Application for entering the lottery for this program has closed.

Out of the total of 1,713 applications that were received about 50 percent of funds have been disbursed. The average loan amount has been about $19,000. Some businesses declined to move forward because they had received other sources of funding.

Fairfax RISE

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors established the Fairfax RISE Small Business and Nonprofit Grant Program on May 12 with $25 million in funding. The Board of Supervisors augmented that with a second round of funding by $20 million July 14, and the Town of Vienna added $1 million, for a total of $46 million. A minimum of 30 percent of the funding was designated for minority-owned, woman-owned, and veteran-owned businesses. This grant opportunity is now closed, selection updates have been completed and all applicants have been emailed their status, according to the county government.

Fairfax RISE grants, which do not need to be repaid, are restricted for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Grants are sized at $10,000, $15,000, or $20,000 based on the number of employees.

Fairfax RISE established a minimum allocation of 30 percent of the program’s total dollars toward awards for minority-owned, veteran-owned, and woman-owned businesses. Out of the 6,280 applications received in the first round between June 8-15, 83 percent were from businesses with between one and 10 employees. Meantime, 69 percent of applications came from woman-owned, minority-owned, and/or veteran-owned businesses.

Phase II documentation review is underway. The majority of awards are expected to be disbursed by the end of August.

Click here to learn more about COVID-19 resources and information for Fairfax County businesses.

July 30, 2020