Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Covid Grant Money Still Available To James City County Businesses

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JAMES CITY – Small businesses in James City County still have time to apply for a covid-relief grant of up to $15,000.

Scott Stevens, the county administrator, said the county received a Virginia Community Development Block grant of $700,000 in the spring. As of June 17, more than $377,000 had been issued to 27 businesses.

“We’ve had a really good response from the business community in terms of submitting grants that appear to be fundable,” he said.

Among the stipulations are: it must be a small business, which is defined as 20 or fewer full-time employees (two part-time employees who work a combined 40 hours count as one full-time employee); it must have had a business license on file with James City County for 2020, 2021 and 2022; the business was operating before March 12, 2020; and the money can be used only for six months of rent or six months of utilities incurred during the pandemic.

“The list I saw was a pretty good variety from salons to restaurants to chiropractors offices to lawyers offices,” Stevens said of businesses approved for the grant. “I think it’s getting a good mix of small businesses.”

He stressed this is not for start-ups. It’s for existing businesses only.

“Hopefully, we’re touching those businesses that covid really put a strain on, and, while they’ve made it this far, this will help maybe relieve some of the stress they felt financially to get them back strong and viable for years to come,” he said.

Stevens said while approximately $400,000 in checks has been sent out, a total of $600,000 has been earmarked for 60 businesses. He said it can take up to six weeks from the time the application is received to the time the check is sent to the business.

“I think the six-week timeframe is certainly a good goal for us,” he said. “But I think that will get quicker as we get a little more efficient.”

Technically, there is no deadline for applications. However, the county must spend the grant money by September 30. He also is hearing if the county does spend all the money, a second grant might follow.

“We will take applicants until we get to the point that we spent the $700,000,” he said.

If another grant does come through, Stevens said his office will keep on file those applications received after the original money was appropriated.

“Thus far, it’s been well-received,” he said of the grant program. “I feel really good about it. I’ve been very pleased with the response in the two months that it’s been out there.”

For more information, go to News Flash • James City County, VA • CivicEngage (

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