Local businesses and nonprofits may get some financial help from the Town of Leesburg, thanks to a Town Council vote Tuesday night.
The council authorized funding criteria for grants for local businesses and nonprofits from monies the town has received by way of the CARES Act federal stimulus legislation. The $4.7 million awarded to Leesburg from Loudoun County will support a little more than $3 million in grants to town businesses; $1 million in support to nonprofits that serve the Leesburg community; and just under $800,000 in funding for town government expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The criteria set by the council differed a bit from town staff’s original recommendation presented to the council during Monday’s worksession. It lowers the bar to allow businesses with smaller annual gross earnings, to include those with earnings between $25,000 to $50,000 annually. Businesses with gross earnings between $25,000 to $100,000 will be eligible to apply for a one-time grant of $2,500. Businesses with earnings between $100,001 and $1 million will be eligible for $5,000 grants. Eligible businesses must demonstrate at least a 25 percent or greater decline in sales; have between zero to 50 employees, allowing for sole proprietorships to be considered for funding; and be in good standing with the town as of March 1.
Nonprofit organizations will be eligible for a max grant of $50,000. Deputy Town Manager Keith Markel said town staff members will work with a panel of community leaders to establish criteria for how nonprofits will be considered for funding.
The application period for businesses and nonprofits to be considered for funding is expected to open later this month, with money awarded in July.
Funding for government operations related to the pandemic will include reimbursements for technology purchases and upgrades needed to support teleworking and virtual meetings; marketing support for town businesses; the purchase of personal protective equipment for town employees; and building modifications to adhere to social distancing.