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On April 22, the General Assembly approved the governor’s plan to amend provisions of the Small Business Jobs Fund (which had been slated for dissolution) to allow the approximately $750,000 in remaining monies in that fund to be used for a grant program. The eligibility provisions were laid out in the governor’s amendments and are as follows:
- A small business must demonstrate financial stress from the emergency;
- be established before March 12, 2020;
- be in good standing;
- have annual gross revenues of no more than $1.5 million in its most recent fiscal year;
- have no more than 25 employees, all of whom are employed within the Commonwealth; and
- otherwise meet the requirements of a “small business” as that term is defined in subsection A of § 2.2-1616 of the Code of Virginia – the criteria of which are:
- (i) a corporation, pass-through entity, or other entity that (i) has annual gross revenues of no more than $5 million in its most recent fiscal year;
- (ii) has its principal office or facility in the Commonwealth;
- (iii) is engaged in business primarily in or does substantially all of its production in the Commonwealth;
- (iv) has not obtained during its existence more than $5 million in aggregate gross cash proceeds from the issuance of its equity or debt investments, not including commercial loans from national or state-chartered banking or savings and loan institutions; and
- (v) has no more than 50 employees who are employed within the Commonwealth;
Recipients may then receive a grant of up to $5,000 for the following eligible expenses:
- payroll support, including paid sick, medical, or family leave, and costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during those periods of leave;
- employee salaries;
- mortgage payments;
- rent (including rent under a lease agreement);
- utilities; and
- principal and interest payments for any business loans from national or state-chartered banking, savings and loan institutions, or credit unions, that were incurred before or during the emergency.
Applications have yet to be developed, along with program rules, however, we will provide further updates in the future as this information becomes available.
The General Assembly has also approved the governor’s proposed creation of a COVID-19 Relief Fund supported by taxes on electronic skills games which had been banned by the 2020 General Assembly. This fund could total $150 million and would be available for affordable housing, healthcare facilities, and small businesses. No application material or criteria for this potential fund are known at this time. Additional information will be provided if the program is approved and once criteria are established.