Biz Relief Grants Opened, Closed, to Reopen Wednesday

Strong demand saw applications for the county’s latest COVID-19 business relief grants on Dec. 1 opened, closed after just over an hour, and now will be reopened for only three hours on Dec. 8 starting at noon.

Businesses were invited to apply for grants from a $4.9 million pool of funding set aside by the Board of Supervisors from of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act funding. Applicants could request grants of up to $50,000 for projects making a business model change, implementing new technology, or otherwise reinventing their business model to cope with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Department of Economic Development, applications were to be considered on a rolling basis until funding was exhausted—and just over an hour after grant applications opened, the department closed them again, citing more demand for funding than money available. That left some business owners out who had hoped to apply in the cold. Department of Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer said within the first hour, they had received twice as many applications as they had funding available.

Two days later, on Dec. 3, Rizer announced the grant portal would reopen.

“$4.9 million may sound like a lot of money—I know it does to me—but it doesn’t go very far when trying to fund as many businesses as we have heard from. However, it was never our intention to create a situation where only the first people through the door would be considered,” Rizer said.

As before, to be eligible, businesses must be an appropriately licensed, for-profit business in Loudoun County; operational prior to March 1, 2020, and currently open for business; have between zero and 250 employees with no limit on 1099 contractors; show annual pre-COVID revenue of between $50,000 and $8 million; able to accept ACH payment; and must commit to maintain the funded project in Loudoun County for a minimum of 2 years post-award.

Applications will reopen on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at noon and stay open until 3 p.m., and must be fully completed and submitted by 3 p.m. to be considered.

Applications and more information including eligibility requirements are at LoudounBusinessFund.org. Applications are online-only.

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