Northam commits additional $20M to economic recovery fund
Extra funding will aid 300+ small businesses and nonprofits
Gov. Ralph Northam has allocated an additional $20 million in federal CARES Act funding to assist more than 300 small businesses and nonprofits through the Rebuild VA economic recovery fund.
The new funding will meet demand for the Rebuild VA program and fulfill pending grant applications for small businesses and nonprofits that applied before the last round of funding was exhausted in early December. This funding will bring the program total to $120 million. Eligible applicants still in the pipeline have been notified via email that their applications have been reopened.
“Small businesses and nonprofits are among those hit hardest by the pandemic, and many are bracing for an uncertain few months ahead as the virus surges and we await the widespread availability of the vaccines,” said Northam in a statement. “Virginia’s small business community remains diligent in protecting the health and safety of their employees and customers, and we must continue to support them in every way we can. With Congress finally acting on a long-overdue relief package, I am also grateful that Virginia businesses will now have another opportunity to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program in the near future.”
In early December, Northam announced that Rebuild VA had fully committed $100 million in federal funds that had previously been allocated to the program, which provided grants to 2,500 small businesses and nonprofits disrupted by the pandemic. More than 45% of that funding was awarded to nearly 1,000 small businesses and nonprofits located in low-income and economically disadvantaged communities; about $50 million was awarded to women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses. To date, Rebuild VA has received nearly 20,000 applications. The average grant award was $35,636.
Administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), Rebuild VA launched in August with $70 million in CARES Act funding. Northam directed an additional $30 million to the program in October and SBSD expanded eligibility so that businesses with less than $10 million in gross revenue or fewer than 250 employees could apply.
“Getting these dollars to more small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by COVID-19 is a top priority for our administration,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball in a statement. “The large number of applicants still in the pipeline for Rebuild VA funding demonstrates the tremendous need for this and additional financial support.”