VALDOSTA – Valdosta City Council has allocated funds for a grant to help small businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
The City of Valdosta, Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce, and the Black Business Alliance have partnered to support local small businesses. Valdosta City Council has allocated ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to create a COVID-19 Small Business Grant program that is administered by a committee of local business leaders appointed by the city council. This program helps small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Small business is the backbone of the American economy. The City has allocated $1,000,000 to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on small businesses in our community. The funding is made available through the American Rescue Plan Act. There will be public meetings to discuss the details of the application process. The time and location of these meetings can be found on the City’s website. The hope is that this funding will stabilize and sustain small businesses,” said City Manager Mark Barber.
To be eligible, businesses must be in the City of Valdosta and have maintained an active city business license since March 1, 2020. Corporate-owned or publicly traded businesses are not eligible to apply. The amount of the grant for which businesses are qualified is based on the amount of their annual gross receipts. Gross receipt data will be accepted from the following years: 2019-2021. Based on Federal ARPA Guidelines, applicants whose businesses are within the Qualified Census Tract (see below) will receive top funding priority, followed by minority-owned, women-owned, or veteran-owned businesses.
“Our community thrives due to the strength of our local small businesses. Many of these businesses experienced lasting negative impacts caused by the pandemic. It is the sincere hope of the chamber and committee that these grants will help fortify and restore these small businesses. We are grateful for the support the Valdosta City Council is providing the local business community and encourage all eligible businesses to apply,” said Christie Moore, president of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce.
The ARPA Small Business Grant Committee has worked diligently to ensure that all eligible applicants have the opportunity to be successfully funded. The eligibility criteria and the grant application are available in English and Spanish at www.valdostacity.com. Businesses may submit their application to be pre-reviewed to ensure completion before the determination deadline beginning now through September 21, 2022. Completed applications may be submitted for award determination from September 26, 2022 until noon on October 17, 2022. Applications may be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or hand-delivered to the accounting department in Valdosta City Hall at 216 E Central Avenue.
“I commend the City of Valdosta for its partnership. This is a model of teamwork and diversity for the benefit of our local business community. Our goal has been to implement a process that is easy to understand, to complete, and to receive equitable funding. We are looking forward to being able to provide relief for some of our hardest-hit businesses,” said DeWayne Johnson, president of the Black Business Alliance Valdosta.