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Bristol, Virginia offers COVID business grants
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Bristol, Virginia offers COVID business grants

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BRISTOL, Va. — The city of Bristol, Virginia on Monday formally announced a small business recovery grant program to assist firms impacted by COVID-19.

The program will provide federal CARES Act money to businesses that suffered lost jobs and revenues or were forced to invest new money due to the public health pandemic. The first round includes $100,000, according to a written statement.

"The city is wanting to do whatever we can to support our small businesses through this challenging time and we hope having this fund available will be helpful," city Economic Director Chris Wilcox said in the statement.

The city received $1.6 million during the first round of CARES Act funding. Last week, the City Council approved spending a portion of those funds.

Existing businesses in the city that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and meet other criteria established by the city are eligible to apply, according to the statement. Grants will be made up to a maximum of $20,000 per business, depending on the number of applications, the nature of the loss and the need described in the application.

Eligible businesses must have been established in the city since at least March 1, 2020; have no more than 10 full-time employees, and/or full-time equivalents; have an active city business license; be current with payment of all local taxes, for which applicant is responsible; associated with the business and the property on which it is located, including city taxes; and have filed a complete application by the deadline.

Those ineligible include individuals; nonprofit organizations or those not qualified under the federal CARES Act; sponsorships for conferences, golf tournaments, other events or as gifts or prizes; construction for buildings or remodeling, unless such construction or remodeling is specifically related to prevention of the spread of COVID-19; capital funding campaigns; tax payments; damages covered by insurance or reimbursed by any other program or grant and family members of City Council.

The criteria may be expanded if there is a subsequent round of funding, according to the city’s website.

All interested business owners are encouraged to apply, Wilcox said. The application deadline is 5 p.m. Sept. 30. All awarded grant funds must be spent by Dec. 30, 2020, under terms of the federal program. | 276-645-2532 | Twitter: @DMcGeeBHC

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