Northam announces millions in COVID-19 grants for central, southwest Virginia

Coronavirus

(File Photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — More money will soon flow to local organizations to help small businesses and communities deal with the economic fallout and health impacts from coronavirus.

A total of $8.4 million in community development block grants (CDBG) for 14 projects will be distributed across Virginia, including in several locations across central and southwest Virginia.

“Our administration remains committed to investing in rural communities during this unprecedented health crisis and as we work to rebuild Virginia’s economy,” said Governor Northam. “This funding will go a long way to address the immediate needs of Virginia families and provide relief to small businesses, so they are better prepared for economic growth despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic.”

The following local projects are included in grants:

  • Small Business Recovery Assistance
    $1,600,000
    Alleghany County
    Alleghany County, along with the city of Covington and the towns of Clifton Forge and Iron Gate, will utilize CDBG funds to assist small businesses in the Alleghany Highlands region with a small business recovery assistance program. The localities will allow up to $5,000 per business to reimburse the costs incurred to reopen the business in accordance with state guidelines, as well as provide up to $8,400 in commercial rent relief for affected businesses. CDBG funding will assist approximately 150 businesses in the area, many of which are small retailers or tourism-related businesses that have remained closed during the pandemic. Alleghany County will be the lead applicant and administer the business recovery grant in partnership with Clifton Forge and Iron Gate.
  • Amherst County Urgent Need
    $569,650
    Amherst County
    A local Amherst County business, Swissomation, has been contracted by General Motors to increase production of components for ventilators in the midst of the pandemic. The CDBG funding will help with the purchase of specialty equipment as it expands business operations to meet this crucial need for the nation. Swissomation specializes in micromachining small parts, usually smaller than the size of a dime, with extreme accuracy.
  • Millstone Kitchen Food Program
    $126,586
    Montgomery County
    Montgomery County, in partnership the local nonprofit organization Live Work Eat Gather, will utilize the Millstone Kitchen to bolster and expand meal delivery services.. This program will organize local caterers operating out of the Millstone Kitchen, a commercial, shared-use kitchen that is a part of the Old School at Prices Fork, to prepare and deliver at least 600 meals per week to six community-based organizations for six months. CDBG funding will provide a managing director for this operation, reliable contract work for caterers, and the delivery of meals to vulnerable populations in the area.
  • Halifax County Small Business Recovery Assistance
    $550,000
    Town of South Boston
    The town of South Boston will partner with Halifax County to assist businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The town will award businesses up to $5,000 for retooling and technology activities and up to $10,000 for three to six months of rent or mortgage relief. The town will utilize Destination Downtown South Boston, a Virginia Main Street organization, to administer the funding for the county and provide wrap-around support.

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