The Arlington County Board voted 5-0 today to approve the Small Business GRANT 2.0 program, which will provide direct financial assistance to small businesses as they continue to recover from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The GRANT 2.0 program will provide immediate funds to businesses and nonprofits to aid in their short-term recovery and will focus on hard-to-reach businesses, as well as those industries most affected by the Governor’s Stay at Home orders who were not eligible or could not quickly pivot to respond to other grant opportunities. A total of $2 million is being allocated to the program through the American Rescue Plan Act.
“I know that many of us are tired of COVID, but from a health and economic standpoint, the pandemic is not over. It continues to be a significant source of challenges for our small businesses,” said Matt de Ferranti, Chair of the Arlington County Board. “This assistance targets small businesses that have not received federal or state assistance and gives special consideration to businesses that have vaccinated their employees and/or will commit to do so. These small, $10,000 grants for businesses with 50 or fewer employees are exactly the type of commitment to shopping local that our business community needs.”
The GRANT 2.0 program will provide 200 grants of $10,000 each to eligible businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 50 employees and that have not received federal or state funding for COVID-19 relief — though Arlington businesses that received funding through Arlington’s previous Small Business Emergency Grant program last year are eligible. Businesses may use the grants for employee salary and benefits, as well as for other business capital and operating expenses directly related to the impacts of COVID-19. Special consideration will be given to those businesses whose staff is fully vaccinated or that follow COVID-19 testing protocols.
“Eighteen months into this global pandemic, and we are still seeing the effects it has on our business community,” said Arlington Economic Development Director Telly Tucker. “While many of our businesses were hit hard, it’s our small businesses that have suffered the biggest impact. This grant targets not only those industries that were most affected but also those that did not previously receive state or federal funding.”
Eligibility and Applications Process
Eligible businesses and nonprofits must be in the following industry sectors: Arts and Entertainment, Child Care, Hotel and Accommodations, Personal Services, Restaurants and Food Service (including food trucks) and Retail, have their primary location in Arlington County, operate from a physical brick-and-mortar location in a commercially zoned area, have a current 2021 Arlington business license and be current on their tax obligations. Applications will need to be submitted electronically. Grants will be awarded at random to eligible businesses. The goal is to have the application process up and running in early October.
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Arlington Economic Development continues to provide resources to assist local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including ReLaunch and a Marketing toolkit. Visit www.arlingtoneconomicdevelopment.com/covid-19 to become familiar with available resources and learn about Arlington businesses offering online services and special services.