The town of South Boston is now under contract with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to administer the Halifax County Small Business Recovery Assistance Fund (SBRAF).

The town has been awarded $500,000 to help eligible businesses in Halifax County meet their long-term business goals by adjusting to COVID-19 demands.  

This $500,000 grant is part of $8.4 million Community Development Block Grants announced Monday by Governor Ralph Northam.

The maximum benefit to any individual business is $10,000. This program will be operated on a reimbursement basis only.

Eligible expenses for the grant include retooling and technology activities and rent and mortgage.

The fund guidelines defines retooling and technology activities as space and technology upgrades that were completed to reopen the business and conduct business safely including purchases of furniture, barriers and technology such as laptops, software and touch-free credit card payment systems to accommodate social distancing.

Sanitization and job training, classes and/or technical assistance also are considered retooling and technology activities.

Rent and mortgage will be disbursed on a reimbursement basis once the business submits documentation of expenditures via mortgage statements, lease agreements and proof of payment dated no earlier than March 12.

All businesses will be eligible for rent/mortgage assistance up to six months.

Businesses applying must be locally or regionally owned; have 20 or fewer employees; been impacted by COVID-19; was open for business by March 12; and provides local or regional services in the areas of tourism, accommodations, restaurants/food services, professional services, cultural and educational services, arts, recreation, retail, nonprofit/social services, health practitioners and personal care.

If a business has received federal CARES Act assistance for COVID-19 relief, it is ineligible to receive Small Business Recovery Assistance Funds for the same purpose.

Non-profit organizations will be awarded at the end if funding allows. For-profit businesses will be offered first opportunity to apply.

The town will utilize Destination Downtown South Boston, a Virginia Main Street organization, to administer the funding for the county and provide wrap-around support.

Businesses interested in assistance can complete an application at downtownsobo.com. Look for the yellow box on the homepage titled “Halifax County Small Business Recovery Assistance Fund.”