NORFOLK, VA - The Norfolk City Council approved a Cooperation Agreement on July 14, 2020 to provide the Norfolk Economic Development Authority with $2.0 million in funding to administer and create a Coronavirus Relief Grant Fund. The funding was initially provided as part of the $21 Million awarded to the City from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund created by the U.S. Treasury. The EDA Board is expected to approve the agreement and overall program at their August 5, 2020 meeting.
"Small businesses are critical to Norfolk’s economy. Despite two rounds of federal funding for small business relief, many of our businesses have yet to receive any assistance. We are committed to helping these businesses which have served as neighborhood anchors, providing jobs and support to our communities," said Mayor Kenneth C. Alexander. "We applaud EDA’s innovative and equitable approach to addressing the ongoing economic crisis and helping our small businesses recover from COVID-19 interruptions."
The CORE Grant funds will be available to small for-profit businesses and nonprofits physically located in the City of Norfolk affected by COVID-19. Priority will be given to minority and women-owned businesses. Applicants will be required to demonstrate that they were operational pre-COVID-19, and that they are suffering negative impacts from COVID-19 closures. Funds are meant to reimburse businesses for the costs of business interruption caused by required closures due to COVID-19. Upon approval, applications will go live August 5th at www.NorfolkDevelopment.com.
“The creation of this new grant fund will allow the EDA to continue to support small businesses which are the backbone of Norfolk’s economy. The ongoing support and leadership of the Mayor and City Council will allow us to continue to provide some relief to our impacted businesses,” added Jared Chalk, Executive Director of the EDA.
The small business grants are structured in three tiers with funding amounts based on employee size. Awards of $5,000 for businesses with 0-5 employees, $15,000 for businesses with 6-24 employees, and $25,000 for businesses with 25 or more employees. Non-profits will be eligible for grants up to $15,000. There will be 4 rounds of funding (monthly) for August, September, October and November. Grants will be dispersed within 30 days of accepted applications.
This is the fourth grant program administered by the Department of Economic Development and the EDA since 2019. More than $620,000 in grants have been dispersed to 47 eligible small businesses throughout the city. The Department has connected with more than 1,000 businesses since COVID-19 Phase 1 to assist with COVID-19 programming needs.