This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
Recently, the Arlington County Board approved the creation of the special Arlington Small Business Emergency GRANT Program.
In Arlington Economic Development, we’ve been reaching out to the business community since this pandemic began, and what we heard was needed most was access to capital. We wanted to do something to help. And now, with additional contributions from the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) as well as the Rosslyn and Crystal City BIDs, the fund is at more than $1 million.
It’s a countywide effort for a good cause — supporting the small businesses that make up the character of Arlington County.
The Arlington Small Business Emergency GRANT (Giving Resiliency Assets Near Term) Program will offer competitive grants of up to $10K to Arlington companies that have been directly affected by COVID-19. To be eligible, businesses must have an Arlington County business license, be in good standing on Arlington County taxes and have fewer than 50 employees.
To apply, businesses also need to demonstrate that they’ve experienced at least 35% of revenue decline because of the pandemic and provide details on how grant funds will be used to support employee salary and benefits and other business capital and operating expenses directly related to the immediate impacts of COVID-19. A diverse panel will review the grant proposals and consider a variety of criteria, including need, business sustainability, and level of business disruption from the pandemic to ensure we can assist as many businesses as possible.
Applications will open in early May, and the application process will be open for two weeks. In the meantime, individuals can sign up to be notified as soon as the application goes live online.
Arlington Economic Development’s outreach has shown that more than 90% of Arlington’s small businesses have reported that the closures and modifications associated with the pandemic have been significantly disruptive to their businesses, and the GRANT program is just one way Arlington Economic Development and its BizLaunch team are working to help Arlington’s business community weather this crisis.
In the coming week, additional Information will be available regarding the GRANT in English, Spanish and Amharic with the application itself also available in multiple languages. We have counselors available for one-on-one virtual sessions.
More information is available on the COVID-19 Support section of the AED website, or those with questions can call us at 703-228-0808.
We’ve all learned a lot in the last few weeks, but what this pandemic has shown us more than ever is that Arlington’s business community is innovative, resilient and above all, ready to do whatever it takes to remain strong. We’re going to be here to do all we can to help make that happen.