Category Archives: Announcement

ALERT: New COVID-19 Restrictions Announced by Governor

Commonwealth of Virginia

Office of Governor Ralph S. Northam

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE · November 13, 2020

As COVID-19 surges in states across the country, Governor Ralph Northam today announced new actions to mitigate the spread of the virus in Virginia. While the Commonwealth’s case count per capita and positivity rate remain comparatively low, all five health regions are experiencing increases in new COVID-19 cases, positive tests, and hospitalizations.

“COVID-19 is surging across the country, and while cases are not rising in Virginia as rapidly as in some other states, I do not intend to wait until they are. We are acting now to prevent this health crisis from getting worse,” said Governor Northam. “Everyone is tired of this pandemic and restrictions on our lives. I’m tired, and I know you are tired too. But as we saw earlier this year, these mitigation measures work. I am confident that we can come together as one Commonwealth to get this virus under control and save lives.”

Governor Northam shared a new video to update Virginians on the additional steps the Commonwealth is taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which is available here and below.

The following measures will take effect at midnight on Sunday, November 15:

  • Reduction in public and private gatherings: All public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals, down from the current cap of 250 people. This includes outdoor and indoor settings.
  • Expansion of mask mandate: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. This expands the current mask mandate, which has been in place in Virginia since May 29 and requires all individuals aged 10 and over to wear face coverings in indoor public settings.
  • Strengthened enforcement within essential retail businesses: All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must adhere to statewide guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning. While certain essential retail businesses have been required to adhere to these regulations as a best practice, violations will now be enforceable through the Virginia Department of Health as a Class One misdemeanor. 
  •  On-site alcohol curfew: The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol is prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight. Virginia law does not distinguish between restaurants and bars, however, under current restrictions, individuals that choose to consume alcohol prior to 10:00 p.m. must be served as in a restaurant and remain seated at tables six feet apart. 

Virginia is averaging 1,500 newly-reported COVID-19 cases per day, up from a statewide peak of approximately 1,200 in May. While Southwest Virginia has experienced a spike in the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases, all five of the Commonwealth’s health regions are currently reporting a positivity rate over five percent. Although hospital capacity remains stable, hospitalizations have increased statewide by more than 35 percent in the last four weeks.

On Tuesday, Governor Northam announced new contracts with three laboratories as part of the Commonwealth’s OneLabNetwork, which will significantly increase Virginia’s public health testing capacity. Contracts with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, and Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk will directly support high-priority outbreak investigations, community testing events, and testing in congregate settings, with a goal of being able to perform 7,000 per day by the end of the year.

The full text of amended Executive Order Sixty-Three and Order of Public Health Emergency Five and sixth amended Executive Order Sixty-Seven and Order of Public Health Emergency Seven will be made available here.

For information about COVID-19 in Virginia, visit vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.

View Full Release Here

 

Jim Carroll, executive director, SBDC of Hampton Roads, Inc., featured in Boulevard Holiday Issue

 

Check out the Viewpoint Article by Jim Carroll, executive director, SBDC of Hampton Roads, Inc., in The Holiday Issue of Boulevard Magazine.

▶️ https://blvdmedia.io/in-this-issue/, pages 41-42

Excerpt:

We have entrepreneurship in our DNA, our country, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Hampton Roads region. In America, unlike many other countries, we celebrate and treasure entrepreneurship.

Today, we cannot overstate the importance of entrepreneurship and small-business ownership in this region [Hampton Roads]. The majority of the businesses in this region , as well as in the country, are considered small businesses.

Since 1990, the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads and its staff have provided technical assistance, training and access to information to the small-business owners in the 18 cities and counties of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

While the risks facing today’s small business owner may pale in comparison to those faced by our first settlers, it is only prudent and correct that they all the tools and support needed for success. The chamber and the SBDC are and will remain here for them.

Jim Carroll, executive director, SBDC of Hampton Roads, Inc. and vice president of Small Business, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce

Opportunity Virginia’s OZ Webinar Series

Opportunity VA is hosting a series of virtual workshops November 10-19.

The workshops will focus on Opportunity Zone topics including equitable development, affordable housing, operating businesses, and economic development best practices.

The panel lineups are stellar and include experts and practitioners from Virginia and nationally-renowned organizations (LISC, EIG, Urban Institute, Accelerator for America).

For more information on the panels and to register for the workshop series, click HERE.

ALERT: Phishing Scam Targeting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Borrowers

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has discovered an email scam originating from sba-attorneys com that seeks to create alarm among Paycheck Protection Protection (PPP) loan borrowers. The email falsely warns that PPP funds were issued to the recipient in error, and that immediate action must be taken to avoid "potential criminal liability."

A sample of the scam appears below. If you receive such an email, consider marking the item as SPAM and deleting it from your inbox. Under no circumstances should you reply to the sender or click on any of the message's embedded links.

If you believe you have received a phishing email spoofing the U.S. Small Business Administration, please report it to the SBA's Office of the Inspector General: https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/oversight-advocacy/office-inspector-general or call the OIG Hotline Telephone Number (800) 767-0385

 

Holiday Retail Webinar Series

Marc Willson brings 40 years of experience to bear helping retail, restaurant and tourism-related small businesses refine and promote their concepts to the public. Marc joined the SBDC in 2009 as a Retail and Restaurant Industry Strategist developing into a small business revivalist. He has traveled throughout the country delivering over 500 seminars and assisting over 3000 retailers, restaurants and hospitality businesses.

Current Virginia County Grants

Stafford’s CARES Act Funds

Stafford County remains focused on providing support to our businesses as we continue to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic. As part of that continued support, the Stafford County Economic Development Authority (EDA) is launching three new small business assistance grants: StaySleep, and Safe in Stafford Business Grant(s). These grant programs are funded using $2.357M in federal CARES Act funds provided to the County of Stafford and will be administered by the Stafford County EDA. Learn More Here

Town of Leesburg Grant

The Town of Leesburg will begin accepting applications for a second phase of business relief grants, using federal CARES Act funding, beginning Tuesday September 8 at noon E.T. The application period will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

For Phase 2 of the grant program, the Town made several changes to the eligibility criteria, including:

  • Lowering the revenue loss threshold from 25% to 15%.
  • Changing the grant award tiers to $1,000; $2,000; $5,000; $10,000; and $15,000.
  • Expanding the annual revenue criteria to include businesses with as little as $2,500 to as much as $2.5 million in annual revenue.

 

The online application will be available beginning September 8, 2020 at www.leesburgva.gov/CARESGrants. For more information, or assistance with an application, you can contact Melanie Scoggins, Business Development and Retention Manager, at mscoggins@leesburgva.gov or 703-771-6676.

Rebuild! VA Grant

Businesses and non-profits that are approved for a Rebuild VA grant may receive up to 3 times their average monthly eligible expenses up to a maximum of $10,000. Learn More

Prince William County - Small Business Relief Micro-Grant Grants of up to $10,000 to qualified Prince William County small businesses and non-profits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

City of Manassas - Small Business Recovery Grant 

Businesses and non-profits that are approved for a Rebuild VA grant may receive up to 3 times their average monthly eligible expenses up to a maximum of $10,000. Learn More

Prince William County - Capital Investment and Innovation Grant

Grants of up to $200,000 for businesses and building owners that make physical improvements or innovate a business model to continue to serve customers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

Prince William County - Construction and Renovation Permit

Rebates of up to $2,000 for permitting fees for renovations and new construction projects. Application accepted on a rolling basis through June 30, 2021 (as long as funds remain). Learn More

 

For more information, visit our COVID Resource Center

Invention-Con 2020

Are you an independent inventor, entrepreneur, small business owner, or intellectual property (IP) professional? If so, mark your calendars now for Invention-Con 2020, coming Thursday – Saturday, August 20 – 22. This year’s theme is “Your IP: A power tool for building success.” Register now for this special event

At Invention-Con 2020, you’ll have the chance to:

  • Learn how to use your IP to achieve success from accomplished innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and business owners
  • Learn about resources available to assist you throughout the innovation ecosystem
  • Receive valuable information to assist with developing an IP strategy from IP and business experts
  • Learn about IP networks

For more information, or to ask questions about Invention-Con, email InventionCon@uspto.gov. Learn more about past Invention-Cons on the Invention-Con program webpage.

Register: https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/events/invention-con-2020#:~:text=(IP)%20professional%3F-,If%20so%2C%20mark%20your%20calendars%20now%20for%20Invention%2DCon%202020,now%20for%20this%20special%20event%20

*6/16* SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program Reopened

To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today, June 16.

“The SBA is strongly committed to working around the clock, providing dedicated emergency assistance to the small businesses and non-profits that are facing economic disruption due to the COVID-19 impact.  With the reopening of the EIDL assistance and EIDL Advance application portal to all new applicants, additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive these long-term, low interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts for their businesses, employees and communities they support,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “Since EIDL assistance due to the pandemic first became available to small businesses located in every state and territory, SBA has worked to provide the greatest amount of emergency economic relief possible.  To meet the unprecedented need, the SBA has made numerous improvements to the application and loan closing process, including deploying new technology and automated tools.”

 

For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.

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Virginia SBDC