ChamberRVA announces small business relief fund
Facebook is seeding the effort with a $250k donation.
Richmond’s regional chamber of commerce, ChamberRVA, on Wednesday launched its RVA Small Business Relief Fund to provide grants to eligible small businesses in the Richmond region that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The effort is a partnership with Facebook Inc., which seeded the fund with $250,000 to be used in the first round of grants, which will be split evenly among 100 recipients.
“Small businesses are essential to the local economy, and we are pleased to partner with ChamberRVA to support grants for local businesses in the greater Richmond community,” Facebook Community Development Regional Manager Amber Tillman said in a statement. “Henrico is our home, and we hope that these grants will help provide relief to small businesses dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.” (One of Facebook’s data centers is located in Henrico County.)
Eligible applicants must be based in the Richmond region, which includes Richmond and the town of Ashland as well as Chesterfield, Powhatan, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Charles City counties. Businesses must have between two and 25 full-time employees; have demonstrated a negative financial impact from COVID-19; have demonstrated a need for capital to support payroll, rent, mortgage, utility, or other similar expenses; and have demonstrated a focus on reopening as COVID-19 guidance and restrictions change. Sole proprietors are not eligible to apply.
The fund aims to provide small businesses grants to be used for rent, employee salaries and operating costs.
ChamberRVA anticipates that the fund will distribute grants in multiple funding rounds as donations allow, according to a release.
The Greater Richmond Chamber Foundation will act as an adviser during the grant application and dispersion progress. A grant advisory committee will review the applications and make decisions regarding awards.
Applications will be open for less than a week — opening on May 13 and closing on May 19. All applications will receive a decision by May 27.