By Randy Singleton
NJG Community Correspondent
Gov. Ralph Northam launched the “Rebuild Virginia” grant program and signed legislation banning offshore drilling and establish landmark protections for Virginia’s coastal and bay waters during two stops in downtown Phoebus on Monday (July 27).
The “Rebuild Virginia” grant program provides $70 million dollars from the CARES Act for small businesses and nonprofit organizations whose normal operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding for “Rebuild VA” will be administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), which is headed by Tracey G. Wiley. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis for 7,000 eligible small businesses and nonprofits. The program is aimed toward minority or woman-owned businesses, or those in low-income communities. Eligible businesses must be in good standing, have gross revenues of no more than $1.5 million and have no more than 25 employees. Grant applications will be available August 10 and can be found at https://www.governor.virginia.gov/rebuildva/.
“Small businesses and nonprofits are the backbone of the Virginia economy and the bedrock of our communities and they have been devastated by this ongoing health crisis,” said Gov. Northam, who later said during a question-and-answer session with the local media that he has been closely monitoring the increasing number of coronavirus cases in Hampton Roads ( over 12% for Hampton Roads, rest of state 7.5, 7.7) and will issue further guidelines this week, which may include a rollback to Phase 2, he warned.
“If we let these numbers continue to trend upward, it’s going to impact our ability to take care of individuals in our hospitals or nursing staff or equipment or ICU beds,” said Gov. Northam.
Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck, Senator Mamie Locke, Delegate Clinton Jenkins, and Delegate Jeion Ward attended the launch ceremony with Gov. Northam. Mayor Tuck and Delegate Jenkins extended greetings to Guide publisher Brenda Andrews and our readers.