Press Release: CIC Facilitates Nearly $12 Million Dollars in Grants & $680k in Loans to Small Businesses Throughout RegionDecember 8, 2020
For Immediate Release
CIC FACILITATES NEARLY $12 MILLION DOLLARS IN GRANTS AND $680,000 IN LOANS TO SMALL BUSINESSES THROUGHOUT REGION
Partnerships with 11 area municipalities provide a conduit for delivering CARES Act funding to businesses and nonprofits
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — Through partnerships with 11 area municipalities, Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) has provided $11,625,364, in capital to small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting in May and June, CIC, the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and a private funder came together to create the Business Recovery Fund that would provide very low-interest loans to 70 businesses impacted at the beginning of the pandemic. Fluvanna County also reallocated existing CIC loan funds to create the Fluvanna Recovery Fund. Altogether, $660,000 in loans were made across these funds. These loans had six month grace periods before payments began to provide the businesses with the flexibility to weather the health restrictions put in place as a result of the pandemic.
Beginning in July, CIC partnered with ten area municipalities to develop and launch business grant programs utilizing funds provided to the localities as a part of the federal CARES Act. The programs provided 721 grants totaling $11,625,364 to businesses and organizations. The grant programs and partners include:
- Culpeper CARES – Town of Culpeper and Culpeper County
- FROM: Fluvanna Grants – Fluvanna County
- Albemarle Business Lift – Albemarle County business grants
- Albemarle Community Lift – Albemarle County nonprofit grants
- Albemarle Safe Spaces and Places – Albemarle business grants
- Bounce Back Orange – Orange County
- Greene County Business Grants – Greene County
- Powhatan CARES – Powhatan County
- Scottsville CARES – Town of Scottsville
- Gordonsville CARES – Town of Gordonsville
- Fauquier CARES – Fauquier County
- Rappahannock CARES – Rappahannock County
- Microenterprise Grants – City of Charlottesville (program launching in late November)
The grant programs specifically provided funding to businesses and organizations that could demonstrate economic injury through revenue loss and/or expenses incurred to the business as a result of COVID-19. Grants awarded could be used to support business operations and expenses as allowed by the CARES Act, allowing them to stay open, retain employees, and adapt to working in the pandemic environment.
“In these challenging times, small business owners are being stressed to the limit, as they are having to juggle the roles of business owner, manager, and worker. CIC has greatly helped us by facilitating the loan application process, so we can access the much-needed loans and grants to keep our business solvent through these tough times” said Riki Tanabe, Owner, Mochiko Cville.
“CIC was founded to create access to capital for under-resourced entrepreneurs,” said Stephen Davis, President of CIC. He continued “All local governments in the region were able to deploy some of their CARES Act funding to support small businesses in this way. CIC had the staff and technology resources to be able to efficiently collect and review applications and then administer grants on behalf of our local government partners throughout the region.”
Over a four-month period, CIC received 1,780 inquiries for the various grant programs and reviewed 1,012 applications before funding 721 grants to businesses and organizations. Each municipality set its own criteria for funding that was compliant with the federal CARES Act.
“We could not have made funds available to our community quickly and comply with regulations without CIC. Their team is connected to the business community, competent, understands CARES, and possesses the technology to administer these programs,” said Roger Johnson, Director of Economic Development for Albemarle County.
The Batesville Market in Albemarle County received the Business Lift Grant. Owner Kristen Rabourdin shared her experience: “The Business Lift grant funding has made the difference between staying open and closing shop. We are also now able to pay employees instead of relying on volunteers and favors. This funding will give us the stability needed to make strategic decisions to regroup and recover from the economic impact of COVID. Small business is the backbone of this country; without the funding, and organizations like CIC who facilitated a potentially overwhelming and confusing process, even more, small businesses, particularly minority and women-owned, were at a greater risk of shuttering. I just found out earlier today that I was granted funding from the Albemarle County LIFT grant program. I sobbed with shock and relief. The funding means everything to me, my family, and my team who have struggled for every penny, pivoting time and time again, as we serve our rural community while trying to keep the business afloat. We are incredibly grateful.”
Eric Agee, Owner of Agee’s Catering in Fluvanna County shared, “The FROM Fluvanna grant has allowed me to continue building my brand and maintaining my reputation in the community with my business. The funds have allowed me to get the equipment I needed to ensure I could operate efficiently and effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Nonprofit organizations are also drivers of the local economy and many counties included them as eligible recipients of the grant programs. LiveArts received an Albemarle Community Lift Grant. Anne Hunter, Executive Director, said “When COVID-19 hit, we were forced to cancel our plays and move our entire education program online. That worked in the early months of the pandemic, but as kids grew weary of screen time, their interest in digital workshops and camps waned. So did our education revenues. The Community Lift Grant helped us recover part of those lost revenues so we had the resources to mount a reimagined online season this fall. Thanks to Community Lift, and the support of 800 passionate donors, we are able to forge ahead at a time when most community theaters had to close.”
Fluvanna Meals on Wheels received a FROM Fluvanna Nonprofit grant, Lisa Hines, Executive Director shared how it helped their organization, “The CARES Act grant came at such a time as our organization had incurred substantial expenditures that were not budgeted for. Since our mission is to serve homebound seniors and disabled adults a hot lunchtime meal, our clients were very vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure as were our volunteers that are mostly retired. We had to expend money on PPE for both our volunteers and our clients in order to keep them all safe and to keep us up and running. Our meal costs due to supply and demand during the pandemic also substantially increased and the grant helped us offset those costs in addition to the added clients that were necessary due to a high number of seniors unable to grocery shop due to underlying health conditions. For Fluvanna Meals on Wheels, we serve a population that needed our services more than ever during this time and the grant allowed us the funding to continue delivering and to add additional clients as well.”
The current CARES Act funding used in these grants expires in December 2020. CIC does not anticipate further grants through these programs but promotes COVID-19 related funding opportunities and resources on its website at www.cicville.org.
All small business owners and nonprofit directors are available to share more information about their business and the impact of the grants. Please contact Waverly Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) was founded in 2011. Its mission is to strengthen our community and contribute to economic development by fueling the success of under-resourced entrepreneurs through education, mentoring, financing, and networking. Learn more about CIC at www.cicville.org.