Back in Business Grant Application
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Amherst County Business COVID-19 Grant

Amherst County has a grant for local businesses – the Back in Business CDBG Grant. Please carefully read through the guidelines to see if your business qualifies. The grant is specifically designed to provide financial help for our hurting local businesses because we recognize how important your business is to Amherst County. NOTE: Businesses cannot use funding from any other local, state, or federal assistance program for the same expenses for the same time period that they are requesting reimbursement or rent/mortgage relief under these Amherst County grants.

Back In Business Grant 

The Economic Development Authority of Amherst County (EDA) has received a Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for small business recovery assistance. This application is for locally owned Amherst County small businesses ranging from 1-20 employees who have suffered economic interruptions due to COVID-19 and State mandates.   

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Locally or regionally owned (Corporately-owned national chains are not eligible)
  • 20 or fewer employees
  • Demonstrate a loss of 10% from COVID-19
  • Must be up to date on local taxes and have a current Amherst Town/County business license (if required)
  • Operational since March 1, 2019
  • For-profit business with over $20,000 in gross receipts in 2019

Each business may receive up to $20,000 to reopen and conduct business safely in a COVID-19 environment. In no case may a business receive more than 6 months of rent or mortgage assistance with this funding.

Examples of Acceptable Uses of Grant Funds: 

Approvable expenses are those that are directly related to the reopening of the business per the State of Virginia’s reopening guidelines specific to your industry, as well as rent/mortgage and/or utility relief.

  • Rent or mortgage relief for up to 6 months
  • Business non-public utility costs 
  • Touchless payment systems
  • Purchase of protective supplies (masks for employees/customers), tools, or equipment 
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing supplies: sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, etc.
  • Modifications for limiting entering and exiting the business
  • Sneeze and cough guards
  • Signs and marking materials related to social distancing requirements 
  • Barriers, benches, or tables/chairs to facilitate social distancing 
  • Property improvements or renovations to accommodate social distancing and/or outdoor dining, recreation, etc.  
  • Software/Hardware expenses for delivery, online payments, online reservations, etc.  
  • Signage, advertising, marketing expenses, etc. to promote that your business is open/operating under modified conditions, to promote proper distancing/sanitization, etc.

NOTE: Businesses must certify that they have not received funding from any other local, state, or federal assistance program for the same expenses for the same time period that they are requesting reimbursement or rent/mortgage relief under this Amherst County program. 

Ineligible Activities

Under the program, businesses cannot be reimbursed for the following costs:

  • Loss of revenue
  • Payroll costs 
  • Relief from employer payroll taxes
  • Costs of daily business operations
  • Regular maintenance of the facility or equipment

Other Requirements: COVID- 19 has presented new challenges to every business and the EDA wants to provide free access to assessment tools and consultants so each business can be successful in this new environment. As part of this grant and at no cost to the business, business owners/managers are strongly encouraged to meet with a local consultant for individual business needs assessment and/or training.

Application Instructions: Applications will be accepted starting July 27, 2020, and will be awarded on a first come first serve basis until funds are depleted. Applications are available:

  • Online at https://amherstvabusiness.com/ and emailed to shwilkes@countyofamherst.com
  • Picked up and dropped off at the Finance Department at 153 Washington St., Amherst, VA 24521, between 8:30 am-5 pm Monday-Friday.
  • A complete application includes the application form, all required attachments (listed below), and the notarized affidavit. 

Please include with your application:

  • Proof of loss of 10% loss in revenue in revenue or increase of expenses.   The following are methods from which you can choose to prove loss:
  • Profit and Loss Statement from March, April, and May 2020 and 2019 or
    any consecutive 3-month between March 1 – December 31, 2020 and 2019
  • 90-day average sales for March, April, and May 2019 and 2020 or any
    consecutive 3-month window between March 1 – December 31, 2020 and
    2019
  • If seeking rent or mortgage relief a copy of your lease or mortgage payment AND proof of payment
  1. a copy of the canceled check (front & back) or 
  2. online confirmation of payment or 
  3. signed receipt of payment from your landlord
  • Detailed paid receipts/invoices for each service, item, or project for which you are requesting reimbursement with a brief explanation of the item. (Bank statements, canceled checks, and/or credit card receipts may also be acceptable.) 
  • A signed application and sworn affidavit submitted with this application (attached). Notaries are available at the County Administration Building.
  • A copy of your current Amherst County/Town business license (if applicable)
  • Completed IRS Form W-9 (attached)

The maximum benefit to any individual business is $20,000 to reopen and conduct business safely in a COVID-19 environment. In no case may a business receive more than 6 months of rent or mortgage assistance with this funding. 

Please note that the EDA may also require additional information before finalizing its review for eligibility. The EDA reserves the right to award or deny a grant to any business for any reason.

Questions? Contact the EDA at (434) 946-5200, lsaunders.aeda@gmail.com

Other COVID-Related Links and Resources

Recovery Assistance for Small Businesses

As businesses begin to look at reopening and/or planning to transition to the ‘new normal,’ there are a number of factors to consider and decisions to be made. The Virginia SBDC recommends using the process below no matter what stage you are in to determine your next steps. This checklist is meant to help guide you through those important questions as you look to reimagine your business and find success in the post-crisis world. Wherever your business may be currently, we suggest starting at the very beginning of the checklist and working your way through.

Please check back regularly as this information will continue to be updated. At any point in this process, please reach out to your local SBDC office to schedule a one-on-one counseling session with an Advisor.

Lynchburg Region COVID -19 Information

Lynchburg region – We are in this together and will get through this together. Please take advantage of the resources compiled below and reach out to us about how we can help you and your business in these unprecedented times. We will continue to add to this page as announcements are made.

Small Business Development Center

If you need a business counselor to help guide you through this uncertain time, you can turn to your local SBDC Center for individual counseling and webinar series.