Town of Ashland Launches New Business Recovery Grant Program & Non-Profit and Business Support Organization Grant Program
Grants supporting Ashland businesses and non-profits promote economic activity and support for the community
ASHLAND, VA (September 3, 2020) – To support local businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the Town of Ashland is pleased to announce the launch of a business recovery grant program and a grant to support Ashland non-profit and business support organizations. These two new programs are in addition to the Town’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) Safety Enhancement Grant program and temporary changes to local regulations that will allow for expanded outdoor patio space at Town restaurants and retail establishments, and are funded with the Town’s CARES Act allocation.
The Business Recovery Grant (BRG) awards up to $10,000 per eligible business that has suffered at least a 25% reduction in average monthly gross revenues between 2019 and 2020 or a 25% reduction in 2020 monthly revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants will be more competitive if they can also prove an increase in their operational costs as a result of the pandemic. Awarded funds can be used for employee wages and benefits, rent and utilities for commercial workspace, or to provide working capital. The Town has allocated $450,000 for this grant program. A sliding scale will be used to determine the grant award amount if more than forty-five applications are received.
“Small businesses continue to struggle in this uncertain economy, so we’re happy to pass along a substantial portion of the Town’s CARES Act funds directly to them,” said Steve Trivett, Ashland’s Mayor. “Business owners and operators know best how to use these financial resources to make their operation successful, so our goal is to put it in their hands with as few strings as possible.”
In addition, the Non-Profit & Business Support Organization Grant (NP-BSO) awards up to $10,000 per eligible organization that can prove they have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be demonstrated by comparing revenues, donations, activities or other quantifiable information during a timeframe that includes the current pandemic to the same timeframe in 2019. The target for this program are non-profit organizations that are based in Ashland and provide programmatic services to the Ashland community, as well as organizations that support the Ashland business community. Awarded funds can be used to address the organization’s mission. The Town has allocated $100,000 for this grant program. A sliding scale will be used to determine the grant award amount if more than ten applications are received.
“While there are funding opportunities available from other sources, the Town felt it was important to show direct support for our local non-profit and business support community,” said Joshua Farrar, Ashland Town Manager. “We wanted to make it as easy as possible for non-profit and business support organizations to apply and be successful because these organizations have continued to serve the Ashland community while realizing their own financial hardship as a result of COVID.”
“The Town’s efforts are about supporting each corner of this community,” Trivett added. “For the Town to survive and recover, we need a healthy business and non-profit community. In addition to these efforts we continue to encourage people to eat, shop and spend in Ashland.”
Applications for both programs are due no later than September 30, 2020, and awardees will be notified by October 5. Applications received before September 24 will receive feedback from Town staff to help the applicants be competitive. Program descriptions and applications are available at http://ashlandva.gov/117/Incentives-Grants. For more information on the two grant programs contact Matt Reynal, Assistant Town Manager, at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 798-9219.