Va. Beach launches small biz loan program
Initiative is city partnership with LISC of Hampton Roads
The Virginia Beach Small Business Capital Access Program is offering loans of $15,000 to $25,000 to small businesses, with no payments required for the first six months.
The program, which is a collaboration between the Virginia Beach Economic Development Department and the Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) of Hampton Roads, provides $400,000 in zero-interest loans to small businesses. It began accepting applications on Jan. 3.
Applicants must have been in operation for two years and incorporated as a business, hold a current business license in Virginia Beach and demonstrate an annual net profit between $50,000 and $1 million.
“We are pleased to announce this new program and feel that it can truly make a difference for small businesses in our community,” Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick Duhaney said in a statement. “Companies with fewer than 250 employees represent 99% of all businesses in Virginia Beach — so naturally the city wants to deploy resources to support them.”
The city is also providing help through its resource center for small businesses. In August 2021, the city opened The Hive, an entrepreneurial support hub in Virginia Beach Town Center designed to help businesses in the early stages of development get properly established by offering legal, fiscal, marketing, banking, workforce and other resources.
Program partner LISC opened its Hampton Roads chapter in early 2020, with a mission to bridge the gap between underserved and underinvested communities and organizations that have the capital, resources and willingness to help.
“LISC believes small businesses are critical to the health of the economy and are at the heart of our communities,” said Naomi Gunnell, deputy director of LISC Hampton Roads, in a statement. “Entrepreneurship and business ownership are important vehicles to develop community wealth for business owners and the people they employ.”