Grant funding is available for area small business owners in Strasburg who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding along with funding from other organizations, Community Development Director Michelle Bixler said Shenandoah County has acquired $1.75 million in grant funding available to small businesses.
Grant funds are reimbursed expenses, she told Town Council members at a Tuesday night meeting. Funding is available to those who apply for grant money and show how they’ve invested in their business during the pandemic.
Because it can be intimidating for business owners to apply for funding, Bixler said area entrepreneurs might inadvertently miss out on money that’s available to them.
The town website lists multiple entities that are contributing to the funding:
• The county Board of Supervisors recently allocated $500,000 through the CARES Act to the Shenandoah County Industrial Development Authority for small business grants as permitted by the U.S. Department of Treasury CARES Act guidance. The grant can assist small businesses with cash needed for rent or mortgage payments, reopening expenses, utilities, payroll, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business.
• Virginia Main Street aims to support small businesses with reopening plans through the Hartbeat of Main Street Grant Program. The program will fund solutions that help small business owners respond and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also help revitalize and strengthen older and historic downtown commercial districts. Grants of $5,000 to $15,000 will be awarded on a competitive and first-come, first-served basis.
• The Rebuild VA Grant Fund is a program to help small businesses and nonprofits whose operations were disrupted by COVID-19. The statewide Rebuild VA program will provide grants of up to three times the applicant’s average monthly eligible expenses up to a maximum award of $10,000.
• The IDA is offering interest-free disaster loans up to $5,000 to qualifying small businesses. The business must have less than 50 employees and under $1 million in annual revenues to apply. Funds are limited and will be evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis.
• Ogden Newspapers has established a $1,000,000 grant fund to assist locally owned businesses with marketing during the pandemic.
Bixler invites anyone who hasn’t applied yet to contact the town office and see if they qualify.
“There are additional funds available,” she said.
“We will figure out a way to help them. If we can’t help them, then we will find someone who will.”
Small business owners can learn more about their options at strasburgva.com/econ-dev/page/covid-19-business-resources or by calling the Town Office at 540-465-9197.
Also at the meeting, Mayor Brandy Hawkins Boies praised area volunteers for coming together to plan for events for the upcoming 'Tis the Season Christmas Parade scheduled for Dec. 5 and next year’s MayFest, slotted for May 14 and 15.
The Strasburg Business Alliance will meet from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday on the second floor of the Box Office Brewery. For more information or to register, visit shenandoahcountychamber.com/SBA.