Business Update on the Coronavirus: Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce

Business Update on the Coronavirus: Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce

The coronavirus continues to affect businesses throughout our community and accurate information can help businesses make good decisions. This update on recent governmental actions and opportunities may be of benefit to businesses and employees trying to navigate this situation.

If you have questions about this information, please feel free to reach out to me at 703-360-6925.

Rebuild VA Grants Expanded Eligibility

Rebuild VA Grant Fund has expanded its eligibility criteria to allow more small businesses and nonprofits to apply. Businesses with less than $10 million in gross revenue or fewer than 250 employees will be eligible under the new criteria, and the maximum grant award will increase from $10,000 to $100,000.

Rebuild VA is now open to all types of Virginia small businesses that meet size and other eligibility requirements, from restaurants and summer camps, to farmers and retail shops. Businesses that previously received a Rebuild VA grant will receive a second award correlated with the updated guidelines.

Scholarships for Workers Impacted by Covid-19

The Re-employ Virginia, or REV Initiative provides scholarships to COVID Impacted Workers. Virginia is allocating $30 million in federal CARES Act dollars to help those whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19.

These individuals are eligible to enroll in a workforce or community college program in five essential industries, including health care, information technology, skilled trades, public safety, and early childhood education.

The initiative will provide one-time scholarships of $3,000 to register in a qualifying full-time workforce program and $1,500 to register part-time or in a short-term, noncredit training program.

Restaurants & Outdoor Activities During Winter

Fairfax County has passed an ordinance to facilitate outdoor dining and fitness during colder months. The ordinance allows for businesses to have tents that are closed on one or more sides and adds provisions regarding the use of heaters.

With Governor Northam's COVID-19 Executive Orders still in effect, this action helps businesses encourage safer socially distanced, outdoor activity through a streamlined county process. The full county ordinance with the new closed tent allowance is available on page 52 of the board meeting agenda.

PPP Forgiveness Applications Not Due Oct. 31

SBA forms 3508, 3508EZ, and 3508S displaying an expiration date of ‘10/31/2020’ in the upper-right corner have caused some confusion among business owners regarding when to apply for PPP forgiveness; however, that date only refers to the form and not to the loan process.

According to SBA guidance, borrowers may submit a loan forgiveness application any time before the maturity date of the loan and loan payments are deferred only until 10 months after the last day of each borrower’s loan forgiveness covered period.

Outbreaks in Schools Dashboard

Virginia has started a “coronavirus outbreaks in schools” dashboard to help inform local communities about the impact of COVID-19 in K-12 schools.

This dashboard lists public and private K-12 schools that are currently experiencing or have experienced a COVID-19 outbreak and can help employers know how to support their employees through this difficult time.

Coronavirus Vaccine

While drug companies are receiving positive results on vaccines for the coronavirus, it is important to also know that Virginia has allocated $22 million received in federal CARES Act funds to distribute vaccines once they are approved for public use.

The Virginia Department of Health submitted a draft vaccination plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier in October for review. VDH is currently collecting information on health care providers who intend to administer a Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available.