County revises business grant rules

The county eased restrictions on who can get a coronavirus relief grant after only seven businesses asked for help during the two-week application period.

Andy Wade, the county’s economic development director, asked the board of supervisors on Sept. 8 to allow businesses with gross receipts of less than $2 million per year to be eligible for the $10,000 grants. That’s double the previous ceiling of $1 million.

Wade said county staff will open a new two-week application period starting Sept. 9. The county has $750,000 in grants available to businesses through the federal CARES Act, passed last spring as the coronavirus forced many stores, restaurants and service-related businesses to close their doors or reduce hours.

Some business owners were confused by one of the county’s criteria for the grants, Wade said. It says that they must have been forced to close due to Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive orders, or have a minimum of three full-time employees in Louisa County. Some thought they were subject to both requirements, not one or the other.

Wade said two part-time employees, each working a minimum of 20 hours per week, will now equal one full-time equivalent.

Other changes include eliminating the rule that a business must have sustained a 25 percent revenue loss due to COVID-19. The revised criterion is that they have seen a revenue loss, but not a specific amount. Instead of requiring a business to have operated for two years, the county now says they must have operated in Louisa on or before Jan. 1 of this year.  

The board approved the changes unanimously.

Read more about the program and find out how to apply at this link: https://www.louisacounty.com/2354/Small-Business-Opportunity-Fund

Note: This article was revised on Sept. 14 to correct an error that appeared previously. Only for-profit businesses are eligible for the grants.

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