We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty and many questions at this time. There are still some resources and information coming out. In order to best serve the small businesses of Alexandria, we will be compiling information and resources for small businesses on this page.
Updated as of 8/3/2022
EIDL – Economic Injury Disaster Loan
The program has ended, if you received COVID EIDL funding and have questions about next steps please request an appointment with us.
This closure ends all existing federal government COVID relief efforts that commenced in March 2020.
Signage for Alexandria Small Businesses
The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department have produced information products in multiple languages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All items are available for distribution or printing by residents, businesses and organizations. The guidance in each item was current as of the date indicated, but newer guidance may now be available. (Includes signage regarding masks, vaccinations, handwashing and other guidance). Click here to view the free signage.
While the Federal/State and local grant programs put in place during the pandemic have ended, there are some private grant programs that have appeared. Many of these are nationwide programs, so given the limited amount of funding and the probability of many applicants, acceptance may be unlikely. Nonetheless, we will continue to post these grant opportunities as we become aware of them. Note that many have special requirements to apply or industries that they are targeting.
(VTC) Microbusiness Marketing Leverage Program
Reimbursable grant program to leverage existing marketing funds. Requires a targeted and research-based marketing plan. Marketing Focus: Small business and shoulder season marketing.
- Who is eligible: Small tourism-related businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees including boutique retail, restaurants, food trucks, small attractions, craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, boutique lodging and B&Bs, and events focused on shoulder season visitation.
- DMOs and NGOs, such as PDCs and Main Street organizations, may apply but the application must support microbusinesses and/or shoulder season visitation with a robust marketing plan.
- Match: 1:1 cash or in-kind marketing match
- Opens: August 4, 2022 at 9 a.m. Closes: September 20, 2022 at 5 p.m.
- Max Award: $5,000
- How: Online application portal
- For information and questions, please email VTCMLPGrant@virginia.org
Venmo Small Business Grant
The grant is intended to provide funding for new and emerging small businesses. Each of the 20 successful grantees will receive $10,000 and the awards could be used for multiple uses, including:
- Helping to digitize and promoting their businesses
- Special consideration will be given to applicants from underrepresented communities
In addition to cash awards, recipients will receive:
Technical assistance and mentorship on a range of topics, including:
- Legal services
- Financial analysis
- Digital marketing
Applicants must set up a Venmo Business Profile and complete an online application, and the deadline is August 11, 2022.
The Amber Grant
- Awards range from $4,000 – $30,000 and are made monthly
- In addition, they offer “year-end” grants of $25,000
- Applicant businesses must be women-owned, and owners must be able to explain how the business will use the funds
- The application cutoff for the next $10,000 Amber Grant is August 31, 2022
HelloAlice Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund
- Must be experiencing hardship due to a state or federally declared natural disaster
- Must be independently owned
- Must have a brick and mortar location, with 3 stores or fewer currently operating
- Must have revenues of $3M or less per location in the last 12 months
- Must employ 50 people or fewer per store
SoGal Foundation Grants
- $5,000 and $10,000 grant awards
- Awarded on a rolling basis
- Awardees are black women or black nonbinary entrepreneurs
- Businesses must offer a scalable solution or idea and plan to seek investor financing in the future
American Seed Funding
- Funding source is the National Science Foundation
- Early-stage funding to companies that need to prove their technology and find their market potential
- 3,400 recipients since 2012
- 153 have exited program and have received $9.1 billion in private investment
- Total of $200 million per year eligible recipients
- For assistance with this funding, ask us about our ICAP Program
The Barstool Fund
- To date more than $41 million has been raised
- 231,000 individual contributors
- 443 recipient businesses to date
- Must be in restaurant/bar industry
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) SBA Direct Forgiveness For Loans of $150,000 or Less
If you have spent your PPP funds, this is an appropriate time to consider applying for Forgiveness (you must apply within 10 months of spending the funds during your Covered Period). It is suggested that you first check with your lender of record to find out if they opted to use the SBA’s portal. If so, these borrowers may find the session(s) listed below to be helpful to them. In general, most large-bank lenders did not opt to join the portal and have instead, set up their own forgiveness portals, whereas small-banks opted in.
PPP Direct Forgiveness Borrower Portal Training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdJU4eJtqgM
PPP Forgiveness Factsheet can be found here.
Virginia’s “Return to Earn” Grant Program – This program ended 12/31/2021
Virginia ABC Laws
New ABC License Effective July 1, 2022 Looks to Ensure a Safe Means for Alcoholic Beverage Delivery: A new license designed to ensure a safe and secure way for licensed businesses to deliver alcoholic beverages will take effect on July 1. The new third-party delivery license, which was part of legislation passed by Virginia’s General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Youngkin, requires delivery personnel to pass an alcohol delivery safety and responsibility training course. Read more about the third-party license here.
Changes of to-go cocktails as of July 1, 2022:
- As of July 1, 2022, all cocktails and mixed beverages must be served in a closed container provided by the licensee marked with the phrase “contains alcoholic beverages”.
- Container should NOT contain straw, sipping holes or other openings and is sealed in a manner that allows a person to readily discern whether the container has been opened or tampered with subsequent to its original closure.
Miscellaneous Tax Policy
Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Update: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act ended the ERTC retroactively to October 1st, 2021 which would reduce the maximum credit available from $28,000 to $21,000 per employee. This also means that employers that had already taken this credit for the 4th quarter will need to pay back the payroll taxes retained.
The one exception to the adjusted expiry date is for “Recovery Start Up Businesses” (a/k/a RSBs), which is defined as a business that meets the following criteria:
- Started in operation after February 15, 2020
- Generated average annual gross receipts of $1 million or less
- Employs 1 or more non-owner
- Does not qualify for the ERTC
If you have any questions concerning the ERTC it is highly recommended that you seek input from a qualified tax consultant.
COVID-19 Relief Legislation details are worth following closely, and we’re encouraging business owners to:
- Sign up for webinars – we have links for upcoming programs and for recordings of past programs here
- Contact your banker
- Consult with your accountant
- Keep checking this Alexandria SBDC webpage for updated information
REBUILD! VA Grant Program – CLOSED 12/9/2020
The Rebuild VA Grant Fund is a program to help small businesses and non-profits whose normal operations were disrupted by COVID-19. It is currently not accepting new applications.
Legislature allocated $250 million in new funds to this program in August 2021 but the priority is to provide awards to applicants in the approval queue. These applicants will be notified by the end of October 2021 that they are eligible for funding and that process could take 6-9 months to complete. Currently there is no plan to issue any public announcements concerning additional funds. If there are surplus funds available after the approval queue is funded, or if additional funds are allocated from the Commonwealth, the portal will be re-opened to new applications.
Any business who believes they are in the approval queue should access their portal account to confirm that they are in fact, in the queue. If not, it is suggested that businesses seek other funding sources given the protracted approval/funding horizon for new applications. Beyond Rebuild! VA, Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA) has several direct loan programs, including:
- Economic Development
RECOVERY RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
As Virginia businesses and communities look forward to safely reopen, the Virginia SBDC network and Alexandria SBDC have developed the Business Recovery webpage to help owners carefully plan for and execute their businesses’ new strategy.
These detailed guidelines cover a broad range of critical considerations. While business owners can use them by themselves, they were designed to ideally be used in collaboration with Alexandria SBDC’s Business Analysts. The guidelines are set forth in three sections: REVIEW, RESET, AND REVIVE. As a first step, we encourage you to carefully examine the questions and resources under each section. At that point, contact Alexandria SBDC at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a virtual meeting with an Alexandria SBDC expert consultant for objective feedback on your questions and ideas. As a reminder, all services of Alexandria SBDC are without cost.
The Alexandria SBDC’s confidential one-2-one consultations have a solid track record of helping business owners through such deliberations. We also have contacts in the community that can help you make opportune connections.