Bedford County launches $1M ‘Back to Business’ program

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 4:14 PM EDT
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BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Monday, Bedford County launched what it’s calling the ‘Back to Business’ program.

A $1 million investment, the county hopes to keep the wheels spinning for businesses hit by the pandemic.

“A lot of our small businesses have really suffered with the lack of traffic that they normally get, having to readjust things, so we believe that this grant comes just in time as they’re re-opening and getting back to business,” said Traci Blido, Bedford County economic development director.

Now, county businesses with fewer than 100 employees can start to apply for grants worth $5,000.

At that figure, up to 200 Bedford County businesses can get money, which comes through the CARES Act.

However, there are some qualifications.

“These are for small businesses that have experienced loss, so they’ll need to show us that they’ve had at least one month in the past five months where they’ve experienced a 20-percent loss or more,” said Blido.

Businesses also have to disclose any other CARES dollars they’ve received and not use this program’s funds for that same purpose.

If they’ve already gotten a Town of Bedford grant, they’re automatically disqualified.

“This is a Bedford County grant and knowing that the town also did a CARES grant for the town businesses, we wanted to make sure that the entire county would be helped,” said Blido.

If they do receive a grant, businesses can use it on things such as inventory, rent, utilities or insurance.

The program will be done on a first-come, first-serve basis until September 18, or until the funds run out.

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