The “Work Hard. Work Smart. Work Safe” Shenandoah Valley Guide to Re-Opening Businesses is a thoughtful collaborative effort designed to provide specific measures for businesses across multiple categories to safely reopen during these dynamic times. It will be updated as needed. We are thankful to our partners, and know that we are all #StrongerTogether! View the guide here.
VA Chamber Blueprint for Getting Virginians Back To Work
The Virginia Chamber of Commerce released its “Blueprint for Getting Virginians Back to Work” plan – a business-led effort to quickly provide guidance on how to get the Virginia economy moving again.
The Blueprint for Getting Virginians Back to Work provides guidance for businesses and policymakers as the Commonwealth moves beyond the term ‘essential business’ to fully reopen the economy. Intentionally named to complement the Chamber’s long-term business plan for Virginia – Blueprint Virginia 2025 – the Blueprint for Getting Virginians Back to Work provides a path forward that helps businesses with their immediate needs.
The final plan, along with a host of other important resources for businesses, are available on the Chamber’s newly launched website www.GetVaBackToWork.com.
Community Business & Customer Survey
The Chamber of Commerce Serving Lexington, Buena Vista and Rockbridge County, would like to help our business owners best serve our community as we enter into a recovery phase. Your feedback will help businesses know what is most important to you as they reopen and transition into Phase II. All questions are optional and this survey is anonymous. We appreciate your participation. Take the survey here.
CDC: Start with the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the go to source for everything coronavirus/COVID 19.
Rebuild VA Small Business Grant Program
The Rebuild VA Grant Fund is a program to help small businesses and non-profits whose normal operations were disrupted by COVID-19, including restaurants, brick and mortar retail, exercise and fitness facilities, personal care and personal grooming services, entertainment and public amusement establishments, and campgrounds.
Businesses and non-profits that are approved for a Rebuild VA grant may receive up to 3 times their average monthly eligible expenses up to a maximum of $10,000. Details and application here.
Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020
The law provides increased flexibility to those business who borrowed under the PPP loans program.
- The PPP Flexibility Act amends the Paycheck Protection Program to give borrowers more time to spend loan funds and still obtain forgiveness.
- Borrowers now have 24 weeks to spend loan proceeds, up from 8 weeks.
- The Act also reduces mandatory payroll spending from 75% to 60%.
- Two new exceptions let borrowers obtain full forgiveness even without fully restoring their workforce.
- Time to pay off the loan has been extended to five years from the original two.
- The Act now lets businesses delay paying payroll taxes even if they took a PPP loan.
The June 30, 2020 application deadline for a PPP loan remains in effect and was not changed under the new law.
View the bill in entirety here.
County of Rockbridge Office of Community Development
Rockbridge County’s Department of Economic Development is working overtime to support our businesses. Visit their COVID 19 Resource Page for information and resources.
If you are a small business owner located in Rockbridge County and need assistance, please contact Brandy Flint at 540-464-9662 or via email.
Rockbridge County COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program
The County received funding from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The U.S. Department of Treasury guidance allows the CARES Act funds to be used for costs and expenses incurred because of the COVID-19 public health emergency, specifically mentioning the making of grants to small businesses. More details here.
City of Lexington Government: The City of Lexington has added a page to their website to share updates and pertinent information.
City of Buena Vista Government: The City of Buena Vista has added a page to their website to share updates and pertinent information.
Other great resources include:
- Commonwealth of Virginia Corona Virus Updates
- Virginia Employment Commission
- Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity
Community Foundation for Rockbridge, Bath and Alleghany
CFRBA CARES COVID 19 Fund:
The Community Foundation for Rockbridge, Bath, and Alleghany has been requested by the cities of Lexington and Buena Vista, as well as Rockbridge County to administer the distribution of grants to not for profit agencies adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding for the grants comes from the federal government via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress in March.
Download the application and find more details here. Please contact CFRBA directly if you have any questions.
PO Box 20
7 East Washington Street
Lexington, VA 24450
|Virginia Small Business Development Center: Tom Tanner with the|
Roanoke Valley SBDC presented amini-workshop where you can get
down and dirty with the forgiveness calculations needed for your PPP.
The workshop gives a solid understanding of how to calculate
forgiveness, and walk away with a spreadsheet that will make filling out
the forgiveness worksheets a breeze.
Link to PPP Loan Forgiveness Slide Presentation
Click here for PPP Forgiveness Worksheet
Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center: Your best resource for information on accessing and obtaining Federal loans, grants and assistance, including expert business counseling. Check out their COVID 19 page here and main web site here.
Lexington & Rockbridge Area Tourism: In addition to up-to-date information on local attractions, events, and travel advisories, our tourism bureau and partners have created the SOAR (Supporting Outdoor Activities in Rockbridge) Facebook page.
HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program
Main Street America, in partnership with The Hartford Small Business Insurance has created The HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program that will fund solutions to help small business owners respond and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also help to revitalize and strengthen older and historic downtown commercial districts. Grants of $5,000 to $15,000 will be awarded on a competitive and first-come, first-served basis. A minimum of 50 percent of grants will benefit diverse-owned businesses, as defined by the Small Business Administration as minority, woman, veteran, disabled, and/or LGBTQ-owned. This grant is now open and will close on August 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm PT or until 500 applications have been submitted, whichever is sooner.
Businesses must meet the following criteria to apply:
- The business must be a business entity in good standing in the state in which it was formed and the state in which it does business.
- The applicant’s business has a “brick-and-mortar” location and operates in an older or historic main street, downtown or commercial district in the U.S.
- The applicant’s business employs 20 or fewer full time employees, including the owner.
- The applicant’s business has been in operation since January 1, 2019.
- The applicant is an owner of the business and is 18 years of age or older.
Eligible grant expenses include but are not limited to:
- Physical improvements to business space to meet relevant reopening requirements implemented because of COVID-19
- Equipment to comply with public health and safety guidelines (i.e., touchless payment methods, automatic door open sensors, or disposable menus)
- Fees associated with expanding the business to e-commerce sales
- Other professional services, such as business plan modifications
- Rent, payroll, and other operating expenses
More details and application available online.
Wells Fargo Open for Business Grants: Wells Fargo will donate processing fees generated from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support nonprofits, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), helping small businesses recover from the economic, health and social crises of 2020. We anticipate awarding approximately $250 million in grants to CDFIs, CDFI intermediaries and special‐purpose funds formed by CDFIs for rapid response to small business. The size of grants will depend on an organization’s capacity, geographic scope and alignment with the program selection criteria as provided below. Grants, generally ranging from $250,000 up to $5,000,000 will be awarded. More details available online.
Maury Express Service Update
The Maury Express transportation system will return to operation on June 10th, 2020, operating on a schedule that runs 8 am to 6pm Monday through Thursday. Per VDRPT guidelines, we can only transport three passengers at a time. Per executive order 63 (2020) of the commonwealth of Virginia. All patrons of public transportation shall be required to wear a face covering to use the services. This order will be in place for radar services effective 5/29/2020 at 0500 hours. Changes will be made to this order per the commonwealth of Virginia. If you have an underlying medical condition which prevents you from wearing a mask, please advise your operator of this and/or dispatcher when scheduling your trips so that it may be noted. You will not be denied service if you are (medically) unable to wear a mask.
For the safety of our operators and passengers, the operators will continue disinfecting and sanitizing the vehicles during their morning vehicle inspection, as well as spot cleaning throughout the day as time permits. We ask that passengers continue to help practice social distancing by spacing out on the vehicle.
Any changes to service level will be distributed by normal means (Facebook, tv, radio, etc.). We will continue to closely monitor the ongoing developments and safety information related to the coronavirus (covid-19).
For more information, please contact Joseph Baker, Director of Regional Transit, RADAR at (800) 964-5707 Ext. 125 or visit RADAR’s website – www.radartransit.org.
Rockbridge Hunger Coalition: The Rockbridge Area Relief Association is working with partner organizations and volunteers in our area to meet the food and nutrition needs of citizens. Visit their website for updates. The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is also seeking monetary donations to purchase food for future needs during this time. An updated list of food distribution, meal delivery and grocery services can be found here.
Rockbridge Area Health Center: Rockbridge Area Health Center has Emergency Preparedness Plans and Processes in place to activate when the need arises. Visit their website for some Quick Facts which may be helpful during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Is there something that you think would be beneficial to add to this page? Please reach out to a Chamber staff member to let us know.