Richmond EDA to offer no-interest loans to small businesses hurt by crisis
Applications open April 6. Also, city no longer has to contribute funds in Redskins Training Camp contract
The Richmond Economic Development Authority announced Thursday it will begin offering no-interest loans up to $20,000 to small businesses harmed by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Richmond EDA has made $1 million available for the relief fund, according to the city’s economic development director, Leonard Sledge.
Businesses based within the city limits with fewer than 25 full-time employees can apply for six months of current employee wages or $20,000, whichever is less, according to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s office. Loan payments will be disbursed over six months and payment will be deferred for six months, followed by 48 months of no-interest payments. Businesses can apply for the loans beginning Monday, April 6, at richmondgov.com/covid19. Applications will be considered in the order they are submitted.
“Small businesses have made Richmond the thriving culture capital we love,” Stoney said in a statement. “They’ve been understanding, patient and selfless in adapting to the recent social distancing guidance, no matter the economic consequences for them. This loan program is one way we can help provide some relief and support in this tough time.”
In the weeks after Virginia’s first coronavirus case was announced March 7, hundreds of Richmond restaurants closed their dining rooms voluntarily to stop the spread of the virus. Some shifted to delivery and takeout only, but that model of business wasn’t sustainable for some, which have now closed their doors indefinitely.
Salons, barber shops, spas and many retail businesses also have closed, particularly since Gov. Ralph Northam placed restrictions on more than 10 people occupying an enclosed space and then issued a stay-at-home order this week.
Also, the mayor’s office announced that the city will not have to pay the Washington Redskins $661,767 for the 2019 and 2020 seasons at the Redskins Training Camp, in an adjustment to the city’s eight-year agreement with the NFL team, which will hold its training season in Richmond from late July through early August as the pre-season starts.
This is the last year of the pact signed in 2013, in which the Richmond EDA agreed to pay for the $10 million training facility — which is operated year-round by Bon Secours Mercy Health for primary care, sports medicine and physical therapy — and $500,000 each year to the team. The EDA owed $161,767.85 for 2019, according to the city’s news release.
The team can extend the agreement beyond the eight-year contract, but it does not obligate the city’s EDA to provide a cash contribution.