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Economic Development

Posted on: March 17, 2020

COVID-19 Business Resources

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The Office of Economic Development has compiled a list of resources for businesses in James City County. This list will be updated as new resources are available.

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in James City County, please visit the County website.

Grant and Funding Opportunities

Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund

There is a new financial opportunity for local businesses. The Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund will provide forgivable loans to businesses located in the Greater Williamsburg region. 
More information:

Rebuild! Virginia Economic Recovery Fund

The Governor of Virginia announced a new grant program, Rebuild! Virginia, for small businesses. Find out if your small business is eligible. Applications open on Monday, Aug. 10.

Newsletter Updates

The Office of Economic Development has an emergency newsletter and sends email updates as needed. You may subscribe online:

You may view previously sent messages online:

Personal Protective Equipment for Manufacturers and Businesses

Free Cloth Masks and Thermometers Available – If you are a County business owner and need masks for your employees, please send an email to us at  We have free cloth masks provided by FEMA. Please provide your name, business name, phone number and the number of masks you would like to receive. Masks will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

Manufacturers and businesses may need resources for purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to protect their employees. We have compiled a list of resources that may be of assistance if your business needs PPE.

Small Business Resources

Small Business Administration (SBA)
COVID-19 Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Economic Injury Disaster Loan 
A disaster declaration was approved by the SBA for a number of Virginia localities including James City County. The declaration can be viewed online. 

On June 15, the Small Business Administration began accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications from qualified small businesses and U.S. agricultural businesses. Find more information online.

Payroll Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.

Guidance on forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program loans is now available online from the Small Business Administration:

The Treasury Department has additional resources on their website:

PPP Scams: The Hampton Roads SBDC notes that many companies are offering to process PPP loans, but this is a scam. The only institutions authorized to participate in this program are banks and credit unions that are approved by the SBA.
Approved lenders: 

Express Bridge Loans
SBA Express Bridge Loans enable small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

Debt Relief
The SBA Debt Relief program will provide a reprieve to small businesses as they overcome the challenges created by this health crisis.

Under this program:

  • The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
  • The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.

SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. SBA.

SCORE has compiled tips for small businesses in “What to Do NOW to Save Your Small Business from COVID-19.”

Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
The Virginia SBDC has a great resource page on their website.

As businesses begin to look at reopening and/or planning to transition to the ’new normal,’ there are a number of factors to consider and decisions to be made. The Virginia SBDC recommends reviewing the guidance they have compiled in their Recovery Resource Center to determine your next steps. Wherever your business may be currently, the Virginia SBDC suggests starting at the very beginning of the checklist and working your way through. 

The Virginia SBDC has compiled “Guidance for Specific Business.” There are individual webpages for the following industries:

Hampton Roads SBDC (HRSBDC)
The HRSBDC has guidance on their website.

You may also find that America’s Small Business Development Center also has helpful resources including a Business Resiliency Guide.

Scams & Fraud

The Small Business Administration encourages business owners to be aware about scams tied to SBA loans and grants.

The Federal Trade Commission encourages businesses to be familiar with the seven types of scams targeted towards businesses.

The Federal Trade Commission recommends small businesses be aware of scams and go directly to the Small Business Administration for information about relief programs.

More information about scams is available on the JCC website.

Tourism Businesses

The Virginia Tourism Corporation has also compiled a list resources for tourism businesses.

Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association resources and news are available on their website.

The Williamsburg Tourism Council has set up a resource guide for tourism businesses on their website.

The U.S. Travel Association (USTA) has news and information for travel businesses on their website. 

USTA also produced a document, "Travel in the New Normal: Industry Guidance for the Health and Safety of All Travelers."

Local Chambers of Commerce and Retail Alliance

The Greater Williamsburg Business Council has a variety of resources on their website. 

The Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has a COVID-19 newsletter. It can be viewed on their website.

Hampton Roads Retail Alliance

State Resources

Virginia Department of Emergency Management
Businesses are encouraged to join the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Private Sector Portal. This portal provides useful information to businesses in the private sector.

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) 
VDACS has established a Coronavirus (COVID-19) website to provide relevant and up-to-date guidance and resources related to agriculture and agribusiness concerns.

Virginia ABC Laws
On April 8, Governor Northam issued an Executive Directive authorizing Virginia ABC to take actions to help alleviate conditions caused by COVID-19. As of Friday April 10, mixed beverage restaurants, limited mixed beverage restaurants, distillers and limited distillers with an agreement with ABC will be able to sell product samples and cocktails to go or for delivery, subject to limitations imposed by Virginia ABC. Additionally, this directive allows ABC to defer license renewal fees for 90 days from original expiration date for licenses expiring in March, April, May and June. These deferrals will allow businesses to continue to operate without concern over choosing between keeping an employee or renewing a license. Previously, ABC laws were modified to allow take out and delivery beer and wine. More information is available online:

Restaurant owners are encouraged to review the Virginia ABC guidance on outside dining areas to follow regulations for Phase One of Forward Virginia.

From the Governor of Virginia
Latest information:

The Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade has created a compilation of resources and information for Virginia businesses in relation to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity has resources on the website and have been providing regular updates.

The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation has information on their website.

The Virginia Department of Taxation has information online for businesses:

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has guidance and resources for businesses on their website.

This includes:

Federal Resources

CARES Act Summary
To view a summary of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, please click here. The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship created this document.

The Treasury Department has compiled information on their website about the CARES Act. 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from April 1 through December 31, 2020. More information is available at

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses

The IRS has compiled relevant tax relief information on their website.

The IRS is offering an Employee Retention Credit as part of the CARES Act. Information is available on their website and includes other FAQs.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA has a variety of resources on their website for workplaces and they also have a publication,

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has released best practices for retail food stores, restaurants and food pick-up and delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is a great infographic from the FDA online.

The FDA has released a new checklist for restaurants reopening: There is also a PDF checklist available:

The FDA also has addition resources on their website:

Center for Disease Control
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has issued COVID-19 guidance for businesses:

Other Resources

Port of Virginia
Information about the Port of Virginia is available on their website.

The Better Business Bureau has compiled information for businesses.

The COVID-19 Business Recovery Forum 757 is a resource set up the the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance. 

GENEDGE is Virginia’s best public resource to help manufacturing and industry innovate, compete and grow. They have information for manufacturers on their website. 

The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission has information about the impacts of COVID-19 on their website.

Virginia Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Resources

U.S. Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Resources

They have also put together a guide and checklist on their website.

Nation Restaurant Association – COVID-19 Reopening Guidance wants to do everything possible to connect restaurant owners to resources and information that will help them make informed decisions and take appropriate, proactive steps to protect themselves, their staffs and their customers. has compiled a list of best practices during COVID-19 for independent restaurants.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association has a blueprint for shopping safely on their website that may be a good resource for retail businesses.
A downloadable PDF is also available.

The National Retail Federation has an "Operation Open Doors" checklist on their website.

U.S. Economic Development Administration and the International Economic Development Council have compiled multiple resources for different sectors including fitness facilities, manufacturing and retail.

William & Mary - Raymond A. Mason School of Business
Need support services during COVID-19? Ask the experts! MBA students at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary are offering small business crisis services. A team of students backed by faculty and volunteers is offering support to locally owned small businesses (more than one and less than 100 employees) for free.They are offering services on a first-come, first-served rolling basis. Send an email to

Assistance with E-Commerce
Do you need e-commerce assistance? Check out for resources on how to quickly pivot your business model to online. Many resources are free at this time. is a community-led, cross-platform initiative to support businesses in ramping up their e-commerce efforts in the wake of COVID-19 by connecting merchants with the resources, developers, platforms and partners they need to take action. The initiative brings together nearly 1,000 technologists, designers, writers, marketers, PR professionals, as well as industry leaders from all over the world in the e-commerce space, working with platforms such as BigCommerce, Magento and Shopify.

Last update July 29, 10:23 a.m.

Contact Information
James City County Office of Economic Development