Back in Business Grant Application
CARES Act Business Grant Application
Non-Profit Grant Application

Amherst Business Grants

Amherst County has two grants for local businesses – the CARES Act Small Business Grant and the Back in Business CDBG Grant – and both use federal funds that have specific guidelines. Many guidelines are the same, but there are some differences. Please carefully read through each set of grant guidelines to see if your business may qualify for one or both of the grants. The grants are 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.

 CARES Act Small Business GrantBack in Business Grant
Maximum Grant Award - $10,000 Amherst owned business with up to 20 employees
- $5,000 for Amherst business not locally owned
- $25,000 Amherst business with 21-100 employees
- $10,000 in utility and rent/mortgage relief
- $5,000 for retooling and technology activities
Eligibility Criteria- 1-100 Employees
- Locally/regionally/independently owned
- Demonstrate a 10% loss due to COVID-19
- Current on local taxes & current Amherst Town/County business license (if required)
- Operational since March 1, 2019
- 20 or fewer employees
- Locally or regionally owned
- Demonstrate a 10% loss due to COVID-19
- Current on local taxes & current Amherst Town/County business license (if required)
- Operational since March 1, 2019
- For-profit business with over $30,000 in gross receipts in 2019
Eligible Expenses- Rent/Mortgage
- Utilities
- Expenses paid to re-start business
- Marketing to promote business re-start or create online sales
- Costs associated with re-hiring or hiring new employees
- Rent or mortgage relief for 3-6 months
- Business non-public utility costs
- Touchless payment systems
- Purchase of PPE
- Cleaning and Sanitizing supplies
- Sneeze and cough guards
- Signs and materials for social distancing
- Barrier/benches/tables/chairs for social distancing
- Property improvements/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 your business is open/operating under modified conditions
Application Instructions- Applications accepted starting July 13, 2020, and will be awarded 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 and the notarized affidavit.
- Applications accepted starting July 27, 2020, and will be awarded 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 and the notarized affidavit.

CARES Act Small Business Grants

Amherst County is using some of its Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act federal funding to create a small business relief fund that aims to get direct funding to those businesses most impacted by COVID-19. The Board of Supervisors designated $300,000 in CARES Act funding for the grant program, which will be administered with the help of the Economic Development Authority of Amherst County (EDA). Locally-owned, for-profit businesses in the County, can begin applying July 13 awarded on a first-come basis with a complete application. A COVID-19 Grants Advisory Committee will review applications and make award recommendations as long as funds remain available. The first round of awards will end on Oct. 31, 2020. If there are funds remaining, the grant program may re-open for applications.

Maximum Grant

  • Up to $10,000 for Amherst owned and operated business with up to 20 employees.
  • Up to $5,000 for Amherst business not locally owned.
  • Up to $25,000 for Amherst business with 21-100 employees (franchise/chains are not eligible).

Criteria for Eligibility:

  • Has been in operation since March 1, 2019.
  • Business has a physical location in Amherst County.
  • Business must be current on taxes and have a current Amherst Town/County business license (if required).
  • Locally owned is defined as having one owner residing in Amherst County.
  • Business interruption caused by COVID-19 and/or required closure ordered by the Governor must exceed 10% difference compared to the same month/quarter as last year.
  • Town businesses may apply for County and/or town assistance. These will be coordinated to eliminate duplication of benefits.
  • Banks and financial institutions are ineligible to apply.

Expenses eligible for grant funds ff a business interruption is established:

  • Rent or mortgage payments.
  • Utilities (electric, water/sewer, gas, telephone, internet).
  • Expenses paid to re-start business.
  • Marketing – Advertising efforts to promote business re-start or to implement an online sales presence.
  • Compensation – Any costs associated with re-hiring or hiring new employees.

Applications are available at this link or can be picked up at the Amherst County Administration Offices, Finance Department at 153 Washington St., Amherst, VA 24521, between 8:30 am-5 pm Monday-Friday. Email completed applications to shwilkes@countyofamherst.com or drop them off at the County Finance Department.

Questions? Contact the Finance Department at 946-9304 shwilkes@countyofamherst.com or the Economic Development Authority at 946-5200 lsaunders.aeda@gmail.com Follow us on Facebook to receive business updates and information.

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.