Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday announced the launch of the new Virginia Small Business Resiliency Fund program and more than $9.7 million in grants awarded for 12 projects throughout the Commonwealth. The funding will assist organizations to create programs and products that will expand access to capital and provide technical assistance for COVID-19 impacted small businesses.
Patrick County is among the localities included in the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project’s Virginia Small Business Resiliency Fund, which has a total of $589,180
“Small businesses are the backbone of the Virginia economy and the bedrock of our communities,” said Northam. “These grants will provide needed support to our businesses to face the challenges of the pandemic. In addition to its tremendous work supporting affordable housing, community development, and other priorities, DHCD has led our programs to keep people in their homes and support small businesses during the pandemic. I want to thank DHCD Director Erik Johnson for his superb leadership of the agency, especially during the past 22 months. He has led an outstanding and creative team in finding innovative ways to help people during a challenging time.”
The Department of Housing and Community Development developed the Virginia Small Business Resiliency Fund with the purpose of supporting Virginia-based community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to build their capacity and increase economic activity in distressed communities throughout the Commonwealth. VSBRF goals include serving small businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on those sectors which have been disproportionately impacted or have been economically disadvantaged. In addition, this program is expected to increase economic activity in distressed communities around the Commonwealth and to increase the capacity of the CDFI sector to serve those target markers in Virginia.
The General Assembly allocated $10,000,000 in FY2022 to establish a special, non-reverting fund that would provide grants to CDFIs, community development enterprises, or other such similar entities as permitted by law, whose primary purpose is to provide financing to small businesses in Virginia. CDFIs are private financial institutions certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury to deliver responsible, affordable financing to historically underbanked and underserved people, small businesses, and communities.
“Access to capital remains a challenge for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This funding will help meet the needs of and provide services to underserved businesses so they can thrive in their communities.”