The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the global economy, and its effects are being felt in every community in Virginia. Counties are working in partnership with their local economic development agencies, Chambers of Commerce, and other members of their communities to assist local businesses in mitigating the economic impacts of the virus. Many localities are providing extended deadlines for tax and utility payments, and are taking other creative approaches to assist businesses. Below is a sampling of these ideas.
NOTE: The times are difficult, but counties are resilient and resourceful. VACo looks forward to showcasing the innovation of our members in future articles as counties respond to the economic, social, health, and other facets of the pandemic. Please share your creative strategies and programs with VACo!
- Fairfax County has established a website for affected businesses (https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/covid19/information-businesses-impacted-coronavirus/), which includes a dashboard where businesses can share information and best practices.
- Loudoun County’s website for affected businesses includes a page where residents can find information on how to support local businesses, including information on which restaurants are offering delivery or takeout, and various discounts and specials being offered by local businesses, including opportunities to purchase gift certificates.
- Henrico County plans to support locally-owned restaurants by purchasing meals for County first responders and other staff who are working extensive hours to lead the County’s COVID-19 response.
- James City County’s COVID-19 business resources page includes suggestions for record-keeping to assist with future applications for assistance from the Small Business Administration and information about a series of upcoming webinars.
- Arlington Economic Development’s “Resources for Small Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic” includes links to webinars and information on how to obtain resources from Arlington County Public Library.
- Chesterfield Economic Development recently launched “Chesterfield Eats To Go” in partnership with the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce and the support of the Board of Supervisors. This online map helps residents find restaurants near them that are open for takeout and delivery.
- Counties are working with the development community to ensure that their operations may continue even though many government buildings are closed to the public. For example, Chesterfield County has arranged for customers to drop off materials at a prearranged location, in addition to processing permit applications received by mail. Hanover County is accepting all planning applications electronically.
- Stafford County’s Economic Development Authority is providing grants to local small businesses to assist with payroll costs from a grant fund of $250,000.
VACo Contact: Katie Boyle