For your safety & the safety of our employees the City of Roanoke Department of Economic Development will operate by appointment only at this time. Please call us at 540-853-2715 or email us with details of how we can assist you & the appropriate Economic Development Specialist will contact you.
COVID-19 recovery continues as vaccinations increase in the Commonwealth. This page is designed to provide a synopsis of resources for businesses impacted by COVID-19. On April 1, 2021, the following public health restrictions were eased while mitigating the spread of the virus:
- The maximum number of people permitted in an indoor social gathering increased to 50.
- The maximum number of people permitted in an outdoor gathering increased to 100.
- The number of spectators allowed at indoor recreational sporting events increased from 25 to 100 per field, or 30% of the venue capacity, whichever is less. Attendees must wear masks and follow other guidelines and safety protocols to ensure proper distancing.
- The number of spectators allowed at outdoor recreational sporting events increased from 250 to 500 per field, or 30% of the venue capacity, whichever is less. Attendees must wear masks and follow other guidelines and safety protocols to ensure proper distancing.
All Virginians age five and older are required to wear face coverings in indoor spaces, outside of their places of residence, and outdoor spaces where six feet of distance cannot be maintained. Employees who can telework are encouraged to do so.
All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies must adhere to guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning. The Virginia Department of Health will enforce violations of the guidelines. Violations are a Class One misdemeanor.
The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol is prohibited between midnight and 5 a.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. Alcoholic beverages may continue to be sold for delivery and take out between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. as permitted by the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Authority. Governor Ralph Northam has directed teams comprised of health departments, VA ABC, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and other licensing agencies to conduct unannounced visits to businesses to ensure COVID-19 restriction compliance.
Overnight summer camps will be allowed to open with restriction starting May 1, 2021. For additional guidelines click on the link below.
Rebuild VA Grants
Governor Ralph Northam has allocated an additional $20 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to the Rebuild VA economic recovery fund. This allocation is designed to meet the demand for the program and fulfill pending grant applications. Rebuild VA assists small businesses in losses and costs related to COVID-19 by providing grants of up to 3 times the applicant’s average monthly eligible expenses, not to exceed $100,000. Learn more about this opportunity.
Informational Flyers in Multiple Languages:
Additional Grant Opportunities
SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund: Registration for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) will begin Friday, April 30 at 9 a.m. EDT and SBA will begin accepting applications via the application portal on Monday, May 3 at 12 p.m. EDT. The application portal will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.
For more information, read the press release here.
LISC Small Business Relief Grant: Awards will be made to qualified businesses, and eligibility is based on accurate and complete submission. Priority will be given especially to entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served places who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. LISC Small Business Relief Grant FAQ’s and Application
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant – The Shuttered Venues Operators Grant Program (SVOG) opened April 8, 2021 and was created when the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act was signed into law in late December 2020. The program provides grants to eligible applicants with grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, up to a maximum of $10 million. For more information on this program see U.S. Small Business Administration or SBA’s website.
Local Business Loan Opportunity
The City of Roanoke, Roanoke Economic Development Authority, and Total Action for Progress (TAP) partner to offer small business loans. Applications can be found on TAP’s website.
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program provides loans for payroll expenses if businesses under 500 employees retain their workers, and the program has been extended until May 31, 2021. The Small Business Administration (SBA) will forgive loans if all employees remain on the payroll for eight weeks and the loan is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. If employees have already been terminated, business owners can apply for a loan if the employees are rehired. Loan payments are deferred at least six months and up to one year. Applications requesting loan forgiveness can be submitted eight weeks after loan approval. Loans are available through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any participating federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, Farm Credit System institution, and other regulated lenders enrolled in the program. Find a Participating Lender
For more information on this round of the program see the U.S. SBA’s website and a recorded presentation by the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center with accompanying presentation slides.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
The SBA is increasing the maximum eligible amounts for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL’s), which provide economic support through loans to small businesses to help recover the temporary loss of revenue experienced by COVID19. Beginning April 6, 2021 recipients, including those who previously received an EIDL, can access up to $500,000, an increase from the previous limit of $150,000. This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees, private non-profit organizations, 501(c)(19) veterans organizations, or tribal businesses. Business owners can receive an advance of up to $10,000, a portion of the loan which is forgivable. For more information see the U.S. SBA’s website.
What are your needs?
We know, you, our business owners are trying to determine how to maintain during this difficult time, and your time is valuable. The surveys below are offered by the Roanoke Department of Economic Development and Roanoke Regional Partnership. Please take a few minutes to complete the surveys. This information will help determine your needs.
Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge also has a survey to assess the needs of businesses in the hospitality industry. Again, please take the time to complete this survey if it pertains to your business. This information is valuable in determining the path to recovery.
Open a Bank Account
During this time, it is crucial for citizens to have bank accounts. A bank account allows citizens quicker access to their wealth through direct deposit of payroll checks, direct deposit of state and federal tax refunds, and direct deposit of stimulus checks. If your employees do not have a bank account or do not have a bank account that meets their financial needs, they are encouraged to visit the link below, which includes information about the Bank On Roanoke Valley (BORV) Program. BORV offers bank accounts with nominal or no fees, and can assist customers who may have difficulty attaining bank accounts due to a barrier such as poor credit history.
Citizens who have bank accounts, but did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019 can enter their bank account information to receive stimulus checks electronically, giving them quicker access to their wealth.