COVID-19 Business Grant

Application Information

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Applications for this program were due June 1, 2020. Email the Williamsburg Economic Authority or call 757-220-6129 for more information.


The purpose of this program is to financially assist city businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. City businesses have generally suffered severe negative economic impacts from the restrictions contained in the Governor of Virginia's Executive Order 53 and the Governor's stay-home order, imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Business Grant Program is administered by the Williamsburg Economic Development Authority (EDA). Each qualifying business shall receive a monetary grant equal to one-half of the business's business license (BPOL) payment the business made to the City of Williamsburg for the gross receipts the business received in the calendar year 2019 to include any City portion of ABC fees. This BPOL payment was due March 1, 2020, and is calculated on the gross receipts the business earned during the calendar year 2019.

Business Eligibility

Businesses must meet the following general and loss criteria to qualify.

General Criteria 

Businesses must meet all four of these general criteria to qualify for the grant:

  1. Must be physically located in the City;
  2. The business must be locally owned. To that end, if the business is part of a franchise or encompasses multiple locations (including the location in the City of Williamsburg), the principal office address of the corporation, limited liability company, general or limited partnership or sole proprietor, etc., owning the business in Williamsburg must also be located within 50 miles of the City limits);
  3. Must be current on all City tax obligations;
  4. Business agrees to allow the Commissioner of the Revenue to confirm BPOL and sales/meals/room tax information provided in the grant application to the Finance Department for 2019 and 2020 to confirm gross receipts and taxes paid. No proprietary information shall be released to the public.

Loss Criteria

This grant program is designed to assist those businesses most in need of relief from the financial impacts of COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Qualifying businesses shall meet one of the following criteria for loss:

  1. The business is currently not permitted to operate in person due to the restrictions in Governor's Executive Order Number 53 (EO53) and for which telephonic, electronic, virtual, or social distancing operations are not feasible or
  2. The business operations satisfy both:
    1. Are significantly limited due to the restrictions provided in EO53 and the Governor's stay at home order; and
    2. Whose April 2020 gross receipts have been reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19 when compared to April 2019 gross receipts.

Procedural Guidelines

  1. Businesses must apply by June 1, 2020.
  2. Grants will be awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis (contingent upon receipt of a completed application).
  3. Total grants funds available for award are limited to $1,000,000.
  4. All unawarded grant funds as of August 31, 2020 shall be returned to the City Council.
  5. The program requirements shall be interpreted liberally in favor of business qualification.
  6. Prior to the distribution of any grant monies, all delinquent fees to the City of Williamsburg must be paid in full:
    1. BPOL
    2. Fines
    3. License fees
    4. Personal property
    5. Real property
    6. Sales
    7. Transient occupancy or meals taxes
    8. Utility charges
    9. Any other amounts owed by the applicant and property owner

Publicity & Acknowledgement

Applicants agree to public recognition for participating in the program.

Confidential proprietary records provided by a business as part of this application, including financial information, shall be maintained as confidential by the City of Williamsburg and are not subject to disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Code of Virginia §2.2-3705.6(a)(3).