ALEXANDRIA, VA — The Alexandria Economic Development Partnership is preparing to launch a second round of funding for the Alexandria Back to Business small business and nonprofit grant program. Grants are geared toward qualifying small businesses and nonprofits to help with costs related to reopening and rescaling business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second round comes after Alexandria City Council approved an additional $2.4 million for the grant program through the city’s portion of federal CARES Act funds on Sept. 8. Applications will open at 8 a.m. on Sept. 30 and close at 12 p.m. on Oct. 5.
This time around, criteria has expanded so additional business types and nonprofit child care providers will be eligible to apply. Grant amounts will range from $5,000 to $20,000 based on the number of employees. For example, independent contractors can receive $5,000, and businesses with 50 to 100 employees can receive $20,000.
Grants can be used for personal protective equipment, other equipment and supplies to promote health and safety, technology for e-commerce or virtual business, professional services for designing or constructing an environment with physical distancing as well as costs of the changes; cleaning and disinfection services before reopening, or rent and mortgage costs required to reopen.
Criteria includes having a physical location in the City of Alexandria, being locally owned and operated, having up to 100 employees, intending to remain in Alexandria through Dec. 31, 2020, having 25 percent negative revenue impact due to the COVID-19 health emergency, being in operation as of March 14, 2020, and being current on local business taxes or in a payment plan, and not being involved in business bankruptcy proceedings.
Ineligible business types are home-based businesses (aside from childcare providers), financial institutions, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and businesses awarded a grant in the first round of the Alexandria Back to Business program.
In the first round, 303 eligible small businesses of 353 applicants received grants totaling $3.495 million. Businesses with two to 24 employees received 77 percent of grants. Minority-owned businesses represented 37 percent, and veteran-owned businesses represented 8 percent. All types of physical businesses were represented, including restaurants, retail locations, doctors, dentists, salons, daycares, fitness studios and more. Over 60 percent of the eligible applications were from the 22314 ZIP code in Old Town, around 15 percent were from 22304 in the West End, and less than 10 percent were from 22301 in the Del Ray area.