Chesterfield's Back in Business program

Small Chesterfield County businesses that have been hurt by COVID-19 can begin applying next week for a grant of up to $10,000.

This is the second round of the $5 million Back in Business program, which was created by the county in partnership with the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce.

More businesses will be eligible to apply for grants during round two, including businesses that were previously ineligible because they’ve received federal assistance.

“During the first round of grants, we wanted to target businesses that haven’t received financial assistance from any other source,” said Karen Aylward, the assistant director of Chesterfield’s economic development department. “Now we’re able to target a broader range of businesses with the funding.”

Most Chesterfield businesses qualified for federal funding, but didn’t receive enough money to make up for the loss of revenue during the shutdown, Aylward said.

“Some of them got as little as $1,000, which isn’t really going to make a big impact if you’re still going to be unable to open back to your full capacity for another several weeks,” she said. “Some businesses aren’t ready to enter into Phase 3 because it’s going to require expenditures to reopen, to put in new cleaning protocols and to purchase safety equipment for their employees.”

Fifteen businesses were awarded grants during the first round.

In the second round, grants of between $5,000 and $10,000 will be awarded on a sliding scale based on the revenue of the business. The grants are funded through the federal CARES Act. The county’s Economic Development Authority is administering the grant program.

Businesses can apply for a grant online from noon Monday until noon Thursday.

Aylward expects that all of the remaining funding will be distributed during this round of grants.

To be eligible, a business must be for-profit, be located in Chesterfield, have been in business for at least two years, have annual gross revenues of between $30,000 and $3 million, and must demonstrate at least a 25% loss in revenue because of COVID-19.

Applicants must provide a financial statement of impact and other financial documents including copies of their tax returns from the past two years.

Franchises with headquarters in Chesterfield are eligible to apply. But they can receive only one grant, regardless of how many locations they have in the county.

The grants will be awarded by late July. Applications will be reviewed independently by both the county and the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce to determine eligibility. Recipients will be chosen by a random drawing of all eligible applications.

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