Fredericksburg’s Economic Development Authority established a $50,000 grant fund to help the city’s small businesses weather the storm of the COVID-19 outbreak.
It unanimously designated a task force during a special meeting Monday that will develop rules for the fund, including criteria for eligibility and approved uses for grant funds.
The requirements are expected to be posted on the Fredericksburg Economic Development and Tourism’s website, fredericsburgva.com, by early next week. The task force will likely start accepting applications April 1.
Fredericksburg officials are expected to provide a $50,000 match for the grant fund by appropriating that amount from its Economic Development Opportunity Fund. City Council will be asked to appropriate the funds at its next meeting, which is scheduled for April 14.
The EDA also has a separate loan program for small businesses, InvestFXBG, which it launched in February to support small and growing businesses in Fredericksburg. It offers loans of $15,000 to $50,000 for up to four years to businesses in the 22401 ZIP code that are in critical stages of growth and meet the EDA’s goals. It will consider loans that fall outside those guidelines in certain circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
“The EDA hopes that the establishment of the grant fund will inspire others in the community to find ways to help Fredericksburg businesses while practicing responsible social distancing—for example ordering takeout and delivery food from our restaurants, shopping online at local businesses and more,” Fredericksburg Economic Development and Tourism Director Bill Freehling said in a blog post.
Additional resources are available on the COVID-19 page on federal, state and local governments’ websites. These include:
• Small Business Administration, sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
• Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity: virginiasbdc.org/covid-19/
• University of Mary Washington’s Center for Economic Development, https://economicdevelopment.umw.edu/covid-19-resources/
• Fredericksburg Economic Development and Tourism Department, fredericksburgva.com/303/Coronavirus-Business-Assistance
• Stafford County Economic Development, https://gostaffordva.com/coronavirus/
• Spotsylvania County Economic Development: spotsylvania.va.us/1719/COVID-19-Information.