In March 2020, life as we know it came to a grinding halt. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, schools shut down, telework replaced the office for many workers, and hundreds of non-essential businesses were forced to shut down temporarily or restrict operations. While the pandemic is not over, we have already begun the recovery process, and together, we will emerge stronger as a community.
The City of Lynchburg has received funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to assist in the relief and recovery efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lynchburg City Council has elected to use more than 27% of the funding received to directly support small businesses that were affected by pandemic, especially those that had to temporarily close or reduce services. Applications for funding open September 1, 2020 and close September 8, 2020.
“Our small businesses are the backbone of our community,” said Mayor Maryjane Dolan. “City Council is pleased that we could make this funding available to assist them during this stressful financial time. We understand that we must work together to remain Lynchburg Strong!”
What’s Included in the City of Lynchburg CARES Act Business Support Program?
The City of Lynchburg business community is the lifeblood of our city’s economy and a testament to the dreams and successes of this area’s many entrepreneurs, business leaders and stakeholders. The Office of Economic Development & Tourism is committed to doing all we can to help local businesses continue to find relief during this difficult time.
In order for a business to be eligible for the City’s CARES Act relief fund, it must:
- Be physically located in the City of Lynchburg
- Be in business from March 1, 2020 or prior
- Have at least $100,000 but no more than $5 million in annual gross revenues
- Have between 1 and 100 full time employees (or equivalent FTE) as of March 1, 2020
- List and provide a description of qualifying expenses
- Agree to release tax information
- Submit signed W-9
- Submit a scanned copy or photo of the 2020 City business license, if applicable
- Certify that business is currently open or plans to reopen
- Must be able to demonstrate a loss in revenue that can be attributed to COVID-19 by completing a Financial Statement of Impact form
- Be current on any and all City of Lynchburg taxes prior to grant disbursement
- Submit a copy of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (EIDL) applications, if applicable
Additionally, certain businesses will not be eligible for this fund, as directed by the Commissioner of Revenue. These include wholesalers, contractors, nonprofit organizations and retail businesses deemed “essential” by Executive Order 53.
Eligible businesses can receive anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 in aid, depending on their number of full-time employees (a minimum of 1 and maximum of 100). These funds can be used to pay for a number of expenses, including:
- Payroll, employee compensation and benefits
- Rent and lease payments
- Operations costs
- Business inventory and purchasing
- PPE and other protective equipment like plexiglass barriers
- Sanitation and disinfection materials
- Other critical operations expenses
“This has been an incredibly difficult time for all businesses in the City of Lynchburg,” said Marjette Upshur, director of Economic Development & Tourism. “We are grateful that Lynchburg City Council has elected to allocate more than a quarter of the City’s total CARES funding to directly support small businesses in the City of Lynchburg. We stand with you during this difficult time.”
Our top priority with this fund is to help local businesses continue to operate as normally and smoothly as possible, retaining employees, staying safe and clean, and implementing new ideas to enhance your business.
We intend to provide economic aid not only by disbursing relief funds, but also by offering opportunities for strategic business assistance. We have partnered with the Lynchburg Regional Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Centra Health, PCHP and Healthworks to provide business counseling, training and health and safety consultations. It is our hope that these services will not only help small businesses stay afloat, but will also empower them to thrive in spite of the ongoing pandemic.
More information about the CARES Act Business Support program and how the City of Lynchburg is using it to aid the local business community can be found at our CARES Act page. We want to thank all businesses in our city for continuing to operate in Lynchburg and for their ongoing dedication to their employees and this community. We’re grateful to be able to support you during this challenging time.