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    City Expands CARES Business Recovery Program

    In August, the City of Lynchburg launched the CARES Small Business Recovery Grant Program, a fund to provide financial assistance to businesses whose operations have been closed or restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic. On September 11, 2020 applications for the program will reopen with new eligibility criteria to reach more businesses in the City of Lynchburg. 
    Click here for the application and a full description of the program. Grant amounts will range from $1,000-$10,000 per business, depending on the number of full-time equivalent employees. 
    New eligibility criteria will reach more small businesses with at least $50,000 but no more than $5 million in annual gross revenues. Retail businesses deemed “essential” by the Governor’s Executive Order 53 are now eligible but will need to prove that they meet all other eligibility criteria. 
    Nonprofit organizations are also now eligible for the recovery program. Grant amounts for nonprofits will range from $1,000 to $10,000 per organization based on operating budget, revenue loss, number of employees and audience served. A separate application and eligibility criteria will be posted here.   
    Businesses and organizations should review all eligibility requirements and submit an online application by September 25, 2020. Applicants will be required to demonstrate and certify that they are eligible, that they were operational as of March 1, 2020 and that they are suffering negative business impacts from COVID-19.
    In addition, the Office of Economic Development & Tourism has partnered with the Small Business Development Center – Lynchburg Region and Centra Health/PCHP/HealthWorks to provide wrap around services and support to participating businesses and organizations, including opportunities for one-on-one business counseling, industry specific training and health and safety consultations. 
    Lynchburg City Council elected to use part of its allocation from the federal CARES Act to directly support small businesses in the City of Lynchburg. The program is administered by the Economic Development Authority of the City of Lynchburg and the Office of Economic Development & Tourism. 
    “Our small businesses are the backbone of our community,” said Mayor Maryjane Dolan. “City Council is pleased that we could make this funding available to assist them during this stressful financial time. We understand that we must work together to remain Lynchburg Strong!” 
    “This has been an incredibly difficult time for all businesses in the City of Lynchburg,” said Marjette Upshur, Director of Economic Development & Tourism. “We are grateful that Lynchburg City Council has elected to allocate more than a quarter of the City’s total CARES funding to directly support small businesses in the City of Lynchburg. We stand with you during this difficult time.”