Covid-19 Resources

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Contents

The Alexandria Economic Development Partnership and our partner organizations are committed to ensuring Alexandria’s business community has the latest information on the impacts of COVID-19 and resources to help businesses respond.

Alexandria Back to Business Information

ALX B2B Grants

The Alexandria Back to Business (ALX B2B) grant program is a partnership of the AEDP and City of Alexandria that aims to accelerate the recovery and profitability of small businesses in Alexandria, Virginia that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ALX B2B grant program completed two rounds, with an additional program for winterization, and is currently closed.

Business Reopening Information

As Northern Virginia, including the City of Alexandria, moves out of Phase Zero and into subsequent Phases of the Forward Virginia plan, AEDP will provide updated information on State and Local procedures and processes.

Disaster Assistance for Businesses

Alexandria Small Business Development Center

The Alexandria Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is here to help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. More information can be found at the SBDC’s COVID-19 webpage


Commonwealth of Virginia

Applications for the Rebuild VA Small Business Grants Program are closed. All available funds have been exhausted at this time.

More information can be found on the Rebuild VA website, along with FAQs, recordings of webinars about the program, and other additional information. 

U.S. Small Business Administration

Alexandria businesses are eligible for disaster assistance through multiple programs administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. A helpful summary and infographic highlight key programs available to small businesses. For assistance applying for these programs please visit the Alexandria SBDC’s COVID-19 webpage or email help@alexandriasbdc.org.

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners, including agricultural businesses, and nonprofit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19.
    • SBA is currently accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications from all qualified small businesses, including agricultural businesses, and private nonprofit organizations.
    • For more information, please visit the SBA’s website
    • To apply, visit the SBA’s online portal
    • For assistance with applying to this program email help@alexandriasbdc.org.
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. SBA is currently offering:
  • Small Business Debt Relief Program: This program will provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the President signing the bill into law. For more information, please visit the SBA website.
  • Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit: provides a fully refundable 50% credit on the employer’s share of payroll taxes on wages of up to $10,000 per employee. For more information, please visit the IRS website.
  • Delayed Payment of Employer Tax Credit: defers payment of employer payroll taxes through the end of this year until December 31, 2021 (50% due) and December 31, 2022 (remaining 50% due). For more information, please visit the IRS website.

Utilities

  • Dominion Energy Energy Assistance Programs: For the first time, Dominion Energy has extended its bill assistance EnergyShare program with the new Small Business Relief Program. Starting Sept. 1, small businesses, nonprofits and houses of worship can apply to receive up to $1,000 from a $500,000 program. When the money runs out, it’s gone.
    • Small Business Relief Program: For the first time small business customers can apply for EnergyShare funding in partnership with the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Dominion contributed $500,000 to the Small Business Relief Program, which will offer one-time assistance of up to $1,000 toward unpaid Dominion Energy Virginia electric bills that may have accrued during the pandemic to small businesses, nonprofits, and houses of worship. Small business applications begin 9/1 and continue until the $500K is gone. The application can be found here. For more information, you can download the handout here.

U.S. Department of Labor

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the second federal stimulus bill) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for COVID-19 related reasons. The Department of Labor has released guidance and FAQs to explain who is covered and for how long.


Grant opportunities

“Help Main Street” Businesses- 4/30/20

Status – OPEN to add individual business listings

@HelpMainStreet are a team of 100% volunteers from NY and CO sending 100% of proceeds to local businesses. Their solution: a “gift card” is actually the best no-interest loan, a “first principles” way to put cash into merchant bank accounts ASAP. After a bit of research, they determined there was no comprehensive destination or aggregator for merchant gift cards so they decided to build it.

If you’re a merchant with a gift card program, please jump on helpmainstreet.com and see if your venue is listed. If it isn’t, click the “Don’t see your favorite business?” button and fill out your details. You should see your venue listed shortly or someone will be back to you within 48 hours.

If you’re a merchant without a gift card program, you can set up your own gift card (at Square for example) and then do the above.

Virginia 30 Day Fund – 4/6/2020

Status: Applications OPEN

The non-profit Virginia 30 Day Fund provides forgivable loans of up to $3,000 for Virginia-based small businesses. The forgivable loan is intended to provide immediate financial assistance (within a maximum three days) to meet payroll, preserve healthcare coverage for employees and save jobs while they await recently approved federal funding. The Virginia 30 Day Fund is designed to be quick, easy, and free of red tape, as small business owners work to keep employees on board in the near term. More details online here.

Closed Grants

FACEBOOK SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS PROGRAM FOR BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES – 8/20/20

STATUS: Applications CLOSED

The grants program is a part of Facebook’s overall commitment to invest $100 million this year in the Black community. In order to apply and receive a grant from Facebook, your business must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a majority Black-owned for-profit business
  • Be legally registered in a US State or the District of Columbia (US territories are excluded)
  • Have between 1 and 50 employees
  • Have been in business for over a year Have experienced challenges from COVID-19
  • Plan to use the grant funds to support the business and community

Prior Facebook Small Business Grants Program applicants may re-apply, but prior grant recipients are ineligible. You do not have to use Facebook Inc. products to be eligible. The business owner must be at least 18 years old.  

VIRGINIA VISUAL ARTIST RELIEF PROGRAM – 6/16/20

STATUS: Applications CLOSED

Grant applications are now closed for the Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program, a brand-new special program announced by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, First Lady Pamela Northam, and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) Director and CEO Alex Nyerges. This program was created to assist visual artists impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forty (40) visual artists from the Commonwealth will be selected to each receive a $5,000 grant. To be eligible, applicants must live and work in Virginia, be 21 years of age or older, and derive a significant part of their income from their artwork including sales and lectures. Applications were accepted online between June 16, 2020 and July 10, 2020. Recipients will be notified of grand awards on July 24, 2020. Complete eligibility requirements and the application can be found on the museum’s website at www.VMFA.museum.

Red Backpack Fund for Women Entrepreneurs- 5/8/2020

STATUS: Applications CLOSED

Since its inception, Spanx and The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation have been dedicated to elevating and supporting women through entrepreneurship. Knowing the ripple effect that empowering women can have to strengthen neighborhoods, cities and countries, The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving will be overseeing the fund, making at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis.

Salon & Spa Relief Fund- 5/8/2020

Status: Applications CLOSED

The Salon & Spa Relief Fund is a non-profit organization established to help salon and spa owners and their employees rebuild their lives and businesses. Since 2005, we have distributed over $200,000 in grants and 100% of the funds received are available to help people in the salon and spa industry. The Salon & Spa Relief Fund will be offering grants of: $2,500 for salons with revenues under $1M, and $5,000 for salons with revenues $1M or greater. Apply online here.

Booz Allen Foundation Innovation Fund- 5/4/2020

Status: Applications CLOSED

The Booz Allen Foundation established a $1 million Innovation Fund to help nonprofits, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, innovators at colleges and universities, and startups and small businesses harness the power of data, technology, and diverse intellectual capital to improve COVID-19 relief efforts and make a difference. They want to surface the most innovative solutions and empower the individuals and organizations behind those solutions to drive their development and implementation.

The Foundation accepted applications from April 30 through June 5, 2020. Nonprofits can apply for grants of up to $100,000. Individuals, teams of individuals, and eligible for-profit organizations can apply for microgrants of up to $10,000. Certain eligibility requirements apply. Through the Innovation Fund, the Foundation is specifically targeting solutions and projects that will build lasting community resilience through protecting vulnerable populations and frontline workers or providing for the safe return to work.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Grant Program- 4/16/2020

Status: Applications CLOSED “due to overwhelming demand”

The Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking initiative offering $5,000 grants to provide short-term relief for small employers. To qualify a business must:

  • Employ between 3 and 20 people
  • Be located in an economically vulnerable community (program is limited to businesses in zip codes 22302, 22304, 22305, 22311 & 22312)
  • Have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic

More details online here.

National Restaurant Association Restaurant Employee Relief- 4/1/2020

Status: Applications CLOSED “due to an overwhelming response of 60,000 applications to date”

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation began accepting applications for their Restaurant Employee Relief Fund on April 2, 2020.  The fund provides grants to restaurant industry employees who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19, financially, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment.  Applications opened 4/2/20, and are a one-time $500 grant disbursed directly to the applicant to be used to pay rent, transportation, utilities, student loans, child care, groceries or medical bills. Applicants have to provide a pay stub from a restaurant, dated before December 10, 2019 and one after March 10, 2020 and/or a letter of termination or unemployment claim.  More information online here.

Natural Capital Investment Fund / Truist Small Business Grant Program- 3/27/20

Status: Applications CLOSED “due to overwhelming demand”

Truist Bank (formerly Suntrust and BB&T) are offering grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 through their Natural Capital Investment Fund. To be eligible, business must have: been in operation as of August 1, 2019, no more than 10 FTEs (300 hours/week) and no more than $1 million in annual gross revenue, and experienced at least a 15% reduction in sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Virginia businesses are eligible.  Funds are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis. For more information, visit the Truist – NCIFund Grant Program website.

CARES Act Program Info and Q&A: Alexandria, VA Session


Tax & Regulatory Changes

EXECUTIVE ORDER 72 EXTENDED: BUSINESSES AND GATHERINGS REMAIN RESTRICTED UNTIL 2/28

Effective immediately, Governor Northam has extended Executive Order 72 through February 28th. 

As a reminder, Executive Order 72 includes: 

  • Modified Stay at Home Order: All individuals in Virginia must remain at their place of residence between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Exceptions include obtaining food and goods, traveling to and from work, and seeking medical attention.
  • Universal mask requirement: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors within six feet of another person. This order expands the current statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since May 29, and requires all individuals aged five and over to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor public settings outside of their own household. These changes are consistent with new CDC guidelines, released December 4, which recommend universal wearing of face coverings.
  • Reduction in social gatherings: All social gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals, down from the current cap of 25 people. Social gatherings include, but are not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, regardless of whether they occur indoors or outdoors. This does not apply to religious services, employment settings, or educational settings. Restaurants and retail stores are already governed by strict social distancing requirements, and are not included in this limit.
  • Continued limits on dining establishments: Virginia restaurants are currently governed by strict social distancing and sanitization requirements, which remain in place. The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol remains prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight.
  • Teleworking: Employees that can telework are strongly encouraged to do so.

Virginia ABC Delivery/Take-Out of Mixed Drinks and License Renewal

  • Guidance for Delivery/Take-Out of Mixed Drinks: restaurants with mixed beverage licenses and distilleries with approved tasting rooms are now able to provide delivery services and take-out mixed drinks. This temporary privilege, effective April 10. Virginia ABC issued the restrictions and specifics regarding this policy that can be found here.
  • Deferment of Annual ABC Licensee Renewal Fees: The Governor directed Virginia ABC to defer license renewal fees for 90 days from original expiration date for establishments with licenses expiring in March, April, May and June. Additional details can be found here.

Updated Guidance for Food Establishments

For the most current guidance and mandates for Virginia food establishments, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website.

Alexandria Business Tax Changes

Pursuant to the Code of Virginia and the Virginia Administrative Code, extraordinary COVID-19 loans/grants such as Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, and AEDP Back-2-Business (B2B) and Weather grants can be excluded from taxable gross receipts when filing the City’s Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax returns.

Details can be found on the City’s Finance Department website. Affected business owners with specific questions about these changes are encouraged to contact the City’s Revenue Division by email at Businesstax@alexandriava.gov.

Restaurant Operations

Until further notice, the City has suspended enforcement of certain regulations and special use permit conditions that limit hours of operation, deliveries, off-premises alcohol sales, and outdoor sales and dining.

State Taxation

The Virginia Department of Taxation is extending the due date of payment of Virginia individuals and corporate income taxes. While filing deadlines remain the same, the due date for individual and corporate income tax will now be June 1, 2020. Please note that interest will still accrue, so taxpayers who are able to pay by the original deadlines should do so.


Support for Affected WOrkers

Unemployment Benefits

If you are a worker who has been totally or partially separated from your job due to COVID-19, go to the Virginia Employment Commission to determine if you are eligible for unemployment insurance or call 866-832-2363 Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm.

Additional Benefits

To apply for benefits like SNAP, TANF, or Medicaid go to the Virginia Department of Social Services or call 855-635-4370 (to renew your Medicaid by phone call 855-242-8282).


Government

  • The City of Alexandria has a dedicated COVID-19 webpage with updates and links to information on the local response to COVID-19. 
  • For information on the State’s response, visit Commonwealth’s COVID-19 website
    • Click here for the latest press releases from Governor Ralph Northam.

How to Support ALX small Businesses

  • Visit Alexandria launched a new community resource, ALX at Home, to keep locals and those in the nearby region connected to ways they can still support our local businesses from the comfort of their own home. From curbside pickup at restaurants to virtual ghost tours; from FaceTime shopping to virtual fitness classes, local restaurants, shops and attractions are tapping into their creativity to find new ways to bring their businesses to the community. 
  • The Chamber ALX is updating their COVID-19 page with updates from their members to track updates, delivery methods, specials, and more information.

Support, Questions, and Recommendations

If you have a question or are a struggling business owner, we want to hear from you. Email us and one of our staff members will respond.

We also want recommendations on how we can better serve the business community- please feel free to send us your suggestions


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