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Small business support program enacted

Small businesses in Buckingham County negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic can now apply to the Buckingham County Business Support Program (BCBSP).

At the Monday, July 13, Buckingham County Board of Supervisors meeting, the board voted to allocate $30,000 of CARES Act funding to the program. Money awarded through the program can be used to offset financial difficulties related to the pandemic.

BCBSP applications will be accepted until Friday, Aug. 15, at 4:30 p.m.

In order to be eligible to receive funding, businesses must have been in business for at least six months prior to March 1, 2020. Grants are only available to brick-and-mortar businesses, and the owner/ owners must be the ones to apply.

Recipients must demonstrate significant impact as a result of the pandemic, such as a reduction in sales and service. Businesses that apply must be located in Buckingham County.

Additionally, recipients must be a small business, defined as 20 or fewer employees, whether full-time of part-time equivalents.

Applicants must be current on real estate and personal property taxes due prior to March, April, May, June or July of this year.

If an applicant owns more than one business, they may only apply for one business. If a business has multiple owners, only one grant will be allocated to the business.

Funds received can be used for rent, mortgage or utility payments for March – July of this year, purchasing inventory needed to restart business, to make up for loss of sales revenue or purchasing personal protective equipment or supplies for cleaning and sterilization of buildings and equipment. Funding will end by Sept. 15 or when funds are depleted.

District 4 Supervisor Thomas Jordan Miles III said Monday, July 20, there is currently no limit to the number of businesses the county hopes to assist with the grant opportunity. County Administrator Rebecca Carter added depending on the number of qualified applications the county receives, the board may possibly consider adding more money to the $30,000 allocated to the program.

Miles, who serves on the BCBSP committee, expressed a desire that assistance through the program not be available to small businesses eligible to receive or are already receiving federal funding.

“Because there have been other opportunities from the state and federal governments for business assistance, I would like to see businesses apply which have not received other state or federal relief funding, and there are many of those in the county,” he said.

“This is a great opportunity that the Board of Supervisors has developed to assist small businesses in our county to muster through COVID-19 and the economic effects it has brought with it.”

A copy of the qualification criteria and grant application can be found at www.buckinghamcountyva.org, by calling (434) 969- 4242 or by visiting the County Administrator’s Office at 13360 West James Anderson Hwy, Buckingham, Virginia. It is important that all required supporting documentation be submitted with the application.