RICHMOND, Va. -- COVID-19 has made owning a business in 2020 difficult for many people.
“COVID has had a devastating impact on Virginia’s tourism and hospitality industry,” said Rita McClenny, CEO, and president of the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
"We were told to stay home. The impact was devastating, and tourism is a big part of Virginia’s economy. It is the second-largest industry in the Commonwealth with $27 billion in revenue for Virginia," she added.
Governor Ralph Northam announced an expansion of the Rebuild Virginia Grant Fund to help with recovery efforts.
The fund was launched in August with $70 million from the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act. Northam is adding $30 million to expand the program and help more people.
“We are delighted to be able to help and support small businesses who need it at this time,” said McClenny.
The grant money is available to businesses with less than $10 million in gross revenue or fewer than 250 employees. The maximum award increases from $10,000 to $100,000, and the money can be used to cover a variety of expenses.
“It covers payroll, sick leave benefits, mortgage, rent, equipment, all the things that businesses have had to go out and procure because of the virus," said McClenny.
Small business and non-profit organizations that meet the requirements can apply online.
There is an application guide posted to help applicants and a way to track the application once it’s submitted. Recipients are expected to be chosen in December.
Virginia Together: The Rebound Richmond campaign is here to help. Find information on who is hiring, investigations into unemployment payment issues, financial advice on making ends meet, and mental health advice on managing the pressures. These stories will be featured often on CBS 6 News and can be found by clicking this link.