Falls Church Urges Local Businesses to Utilize Expanded Relief Program

The City of Falls Church is encouraging businesses to prepare for winter and apply for COVID-19 relief grants worth up to $100,000.

More businesses may be eligible for increased sums of relief money under Gov. Ralph Northam’s expanded criteria for Rebuild VA grants. The changes were announced last Thursday.

Under the new criteria, businesses that have less than $10 million in gross revenue or fewer than 250 employees will be eligible to receive up to $100,000, which is 10 times the original grant maximum.

The Rebuild VA Grant Fund is a program to help small businesses and non-profits whose operations were disrupted by COVID-19. Rebuild VA will now be open to all types of Virginia small businesses that meet size and other eligibility requirements, from restaurants and summer camps to farmers and retail shops.

This is in addition to the $250,000 that the City of Falls Church agreed to appropriate last week from the city’s CARES Act funding to give to small businesses. Businesses that previously received a Rebuild VA grant will receive a second award in line with the updated guidelines.

Falls Church City spokesperson Susan Finarelli says the Rebuild VA program expansion is especially welcome as the cooling weather could present extra challenges to local businesses.

“The City of Falls Church is trying to help City businesses succeed through the pandemic with grants, special permits, and sharing resources and information,” Finarelli said in an email. “…The more businesses and non-profits than can benefit, the better for the entire community.”

Approved Rebuild VA applicants may receive grants of three times their average monthly recurring eligible operating expenses, plus COVID-related expenses, up to a maximum of $100,000. Applicants who have received CARES Act funding are not eligible to receive reimbursement for COVID-related expenses under the Rebuild VA grant.

Eligible recurring operating expenses include:

  • Payroll and benefits
  • Mortgage payments
  • Rent or Lease payments
  • Utilities
  • Principal and interest payments for business loans incurred before or during the emergency

Eligible COVID-related operating expenses, made on or after March 24, include:

  • Expenses to comply with safety standards relating to COVID-19 prevention
  • Expenses to reconfigure business facilities to comply with physical distancing standards, including the installation of drive-through windows
  • Expenses for using or phasing-in touch-free technology or equipment
  • Purchase of equipment, infrastructure, technology or other services to prepare for and respond to coronavirus
  • Purchase of equipment, infrastructure, technology or other capital assets to prevent transmission and provide a healthy and safe work environment

An application guide can be viewed here. A list of required documents can be viewed here.

Photo via Governor of Virginia/Facebook

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