A week after awarding $1 million in grants to help Fairfax City’s small businesses, its Economic Development Authority (EDA) is doing even more. Of the total 153 ReConnected Grants, 105 are for $5,000 – but 48 will be for $10,000.
These enhanced grants were awarded after a competitive selection process. The businesses receiving them have demonstrated innovative or creative best practices and techniques to adapt to new health and safety procedures.
Funding the grants is part of the CARES Act money Fairfax City received from the Commonwealth. And some 70 percent of all the City’s recipient businesses are owned by minorities, women or veterans.
“Part of what makes Fairfax City so extraordinary is its vibrant and diverse local business community,” said EDA Vice Chair Kathleen Paley. “Thanks to the Mayor and City Council's vision, the ReConnected Grant program will assist scores of the City’s businesses as they retool and reinvent themselves in the COVID era. These businesses have developed innovative strategies to serve the public during a challenging time, and we look forward to watching them thrive.”
Some of their proposals include launching new, e-commerce infrastructure; establishing permanent outdoor dining; and updating business models for minimal, person-to-person service beyond COVID-19. Other plans are to provide online classes, workshops and other consumer-engagement opportunities; and to create robust marketing campaigns guaranteeing that customers know the health and safety guidelines.
“The $10,000 recipients have presented the strongest proposals deemed most effective for a safe and healthy reopening of businesses.”
—Fairfax Mayor David Meyer
And the businesses receiving these enhanced grants deeply appreciate the help, as well as the City’s faith in them to succeed. Just ask Wendy Wong, owner of The Standard Barbershop on Main Street.
“During this hectic and chaotic time, like many other local businesses, we were unsure of how we would sustain our operations during the pandemic,” she explained. “With this enhanced ReConnected grant, we are able to provide our staff the tools necessary to feel safe returning back to work, and to create a sense of normalcy for our patrons during a time of chaos. For that, we are grateful to be chosen by the Fairfax City EDA and the ReConnected team for this generous grant.”
Fairfax Mayor David Meyer is pleased, as well, that the City is lending an extra hand to the 48 businesses selected. “The $10,000 recipients have presented the strongest proposals deemed most effective for a safe and healthy reopening of businesses,” he said. “These are pillar businesses within the community, and their focus and commitment to building back stronger than ever does not go unnoticed. I thank our Economic Development teams and, in particular, our committee of Commissioners for their leadership with this program.”