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 3/3/2022
BIPOC Small Business Program
FEBRUARY 13, 2023 STATEMENT FROM THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA
Over the past several months, the City has worked to develop a grant program to meet the needs of our diverse small business community – an important foundation of Alexandria’s continued economic development. A lawsuit challenging the BIPOC small business grant program was filed in federal court in January. Upon review of the lawsuit and the program, we have decided we will not launch the program as currently proposed. Instead, we will review options to use this funding to meet the needs of our diverse small business community in a more comprehensive and sustainable way, and look forward to launching a program that achieves that goal. Our City remains committed to serving all Alexandrians and focused on our responsibility to find equitable solutions to address the challenges they face. More details will become available on the new program over the coming months.
JANUARY 24, 2023 STATEMENT FROM THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA
We are currently reviewing the details of a lawsuit challenging the BIPOC Small Business Grant Program. The suit was filed in Federal Court and details can be found through the PACER resource. As we evaluate the lawsuit, the Program will be put on hold. However, we want to reiterate the City is committed to serving all Alexandrians; we also remain focused on our responsibility to find equitable solutions that address the needs of our diverse small business community. We will provide more details about the status of the Program as we are able. Please send all inquiries to BIPOC@alexandriava.gov.
To be notified about any later related news or announcements via text or email, please sign up for Alexandria eNews and subscribe to “BIPOC Small Business Information & Updates.”
EIDL – Economic Injury Disaster Loan
The COVID EIDL program has ended, if you have questions regarding your COVID EIDL or PPP case please call the Processing Center for EIDL/PPP in the Mid-Atlantic Region at 205-209-7107. This processing center will be the best contact to handle your questions.
This closure ends all existing federal government COVID relief efforts that commenced in March 2020.
Managing your EIDL – Hardship Accommodation Plan
SBA is offering a Hardship Accommodation Plan for borrowers experiencing short-term financial challenges. Borrowers eligible for this plan may make reduced payments for six months. Interest will continue to accrue, which may increase (or create) a balloon payment due at the end of the loan term.
Learn more about the Hardship Accommodation Plan here.
COVID 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.
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 March 31st, 2023
- $10,000 cash grant, 6-month program, and mentoring
- Open to women- and non-binary-owned consumer packaged goods businesses—selling items like food and beverages, household goods, apparel, and more—with an annual gross revenue between $100,000 and $499,000
- Applicant must be a woman or non-binary founder or co-founder of the company.
- Applicant must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States or a US territory.
- Applicant must be 21 years or older.
- Application closes March 31, 2023
Mastercard’s Fearless Strivers
- $20,000 grants and one-on-one mentorship
- Woman of color-led: At least one woman of color co-founder with significant equity in the company.
- Led by a high quality, resilient management team with at least one full-time founder.
- Have a sustainable competitive advantage.
- Established C-Corporations (or LLCs on path to incorporation).
- Ability to scale rapidly and achieve strong returns for investors.
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
The Small Business Readiness for Resiliency Program
- Based on a partnership between the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation and FedEx
- Intends to make more than 100 grants of $5,000 each to small businesses between 06/22 and 05/23 to help businesses recover from a natural disaster
Information & Application: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/small-business-readiness-resiliency-program
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
Additional Grant Opportunities in Virginia
There are also some additional grant opportunities that can be viewed on Venturize here: https://venturize.org/resources/covid-19-emergency-loans?state-natl=1&state=Virginia
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.
Check out the updated guidance for alcohol beverage delivery from ABC.
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.
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
Need help exploring VSBFA loan programs? Connect with us.
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-to-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.