Loudoun Announces Grants for Smallest Businesses

Loudoun County will make $5,000 grants to 400 lucky small businesses with two or fewer employees, in a new round of Business Interruption Fund grants.

With the infusion of $36 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act funding into Loudoun, in addition to repaying the county government for the money it already spent on business relief grants, supervisors sent an additional $5.7 million for new Business Interruption Fund Grants.

That will include $2 million for $5,000 grants for 400 of Loudoun’s smallest businesses, those with two or fewer employees.

Like the first round of grants from the fund, the window to apply will be open for 72 hours, this time opening at noon on Wednesday, June 3 and closing at noon on Saturday, June 6.

To qualify, applicants must have between zero and two W-2 employees, with no limit on 1099 contractors; have less than $2.5 million in gross annual receipts; have at least a 25-percent loss in revenue that can be attributed to COVID-19; and be licensed and operational in Loudoun County.

Once again, applications will be verified by the Department of Economic Development, the Treasurer’s Office, the Commissioner of the Revenue, the county finance division, and placed into a pool for a random drawing.

Businesses that were disqualified in the first round of Business Interruption Fund grants simply for having too few employees will not need to apply again. However, businesses that did receive funding in that round may not apply again.

More information is at LoudounBusinessFund.org.

The first round of funding offered $1.4 million to businesses, selecting 201 grant winners at random from among a pool of qualified applicants. However, that round offered limited help to very small businesses—to qualify, they either had to have three or more employees, or be in the Department of Economic Development’s Loudoun Made, Loudoun Grown program.

The federal money from the CARES Act means every business that was not selected for funding in that random drawing but made a qualifying application will now get a grant after all.

“The Board of Supervisors wanted to be responsive to the feedback we received from solo entrepreneurs and small enterprises that were left out of the first round of funding,” stated Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large).

The first round of funding, which excluded the smallest businesses to cut down on the work needed to screen those businesses and get the grants out quickly, was criticized for leaving those businesses out.

“We know that many in our community are hurting as a result of COVID-19, but I’m pleased that the county is now able to help hundreds of more businesses as a result of this additional allocation by the Board of Supervisors to our Business Interruption Fund,” stated Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) who chairs the board’s finance committee. “I’m proud of the work that our Economic Development team has done to assist our business community as much as possible during this unprecedented time, including all their efforts to directly distribute grants to those that need them.”

“The COVID-19 outbreak has had a significant and widespread impact on our economy, and we have tried to be as equally impactful in our response,” stated Loudoun Economic Development Executive Buddy Rizer. “The Business Interruption Fund is helping businesses to bridge the gap between closure and survival, and we’re excited to extend that opportunity to almost 900 more businesses.”

In all, after the June round of grants, the county will have distributed funding to more than 1,000 businesses. More could be yet to come; supervisors have also set aside another $1.15 million for future recovery programs.

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