Richmond small business relief fund accepting applicants

Posted at 4:14 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 18:09:19-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A new relief fund for Richmond-area small businesses will provide immediate financial support to qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19.

On Wednesday, ChamberRVA and Facebook announced the creation of the RVA Small Business Relief Fund, which will provide immediate grants to qualifying small businesses.

The Relief Fund received initial seed funding of $250,000 from Facebook and is open to additional contributions.

"Our goal is to provide immediate relief to our region’s small businesses in the form of unrestricted grants as a stop-gap relief pending the release and distribution of anticipated federal and state aid. The process is designed to be quick, as small business owners work to keep employees on board in the near term. We intend to stand up a series of funding rounds and to disburse funds in phases as they become available. Funding rounds will distribute available funds to qualifying applicants in equal amounts."

The Greater Richmond Chamber Foundation will act as the fiscal agent for the Relief Fund and will manage all contributions. A grant advisory committee will monitor the unbiased process of awarding grants.

For-profit businesses that fit the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  1. Based in Richmond Region and have been operating at least one year
  2. Employ between 2 to 25 FTE (full time equivalent) employees
  3. Have demonstrated negative financial impact from COVID-19
  4. Have demonstrated need for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business
  5. Have demonstrated a focus on reopening as COVID-19 guidance and restrictions change

Applications for Round One of grants will open Wednesday, May 13 at 9 a.m. and close Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 5 p.m.
In order to move resources quickly, businesses can share their needs through a simple application form, which will be reviewed by the grant advisory committee. All applicants will be informed of a decision by Wednesday, May 27, 2020.