What is the purpose of the Henrico County Microenterprise Relief Fund (HCMRF)?
The HCMRF provides grants to microenterprises in Henrico County suffering economic harm from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is a microenterprise?
A microenterprise is a commercial enterprise with five (5) or fewer employees, including both full-time and part-time employees, and one (1) of whom owns the enterprise.
What can the grant be used for?
Grant funds provided by the HCMRF can be used for:
- Payroll: costs only for employees (full-time and part-time), not contract labor;
- Rent payments: rent between March 16, 2020 and the application date;
- Utility payments: utility payments between March 16, 2020 and the application date;
- Vendor bills: for goods already purchased that are unable to be sold, returned, or used due to circumstances caused by the COIVD-19 pandemic;
- Response and Recovery: including items already purchased to operate safely during the COIVD-19 pandemic. For example, personal protection equipment (PPE), retrofits to your physical establishment, etc.
The grantee shall fully comply with all applicable federal, state, local (and any other governmental) laws, executive orders, rules, and regulations in connection with its use of grant funds.
What are the sizes of the grant awards?
Grant awards will be between $3,000 and $10,000, depending on each applicant’s demonstrated needs.
What is the application deadline?
Starting Monday, October 19, applications for the HCMRF will be accepted on a rolling bases. Applicants will be served on a first-come, first-serve basis. The grant portal will close after all funds have been disbursed.
What are the eligibility requirements for this grant?
- Microenterprise: 2-5 employees, one of whom is the owner.
- Income: Owner’s household income is at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI). Please use the table below to verify your household income level.
- Years of operation: The business must have been in operation as of or before March 16, 2019.
- Business License: Possess a valid Henrico County business license.
- Financial Obligations: Be current on all financial obligations to Henrico County as of March 16, 2020, including utilities, property taxes, real estate taxes, and meals tax, where applicable. If you are not current on all financial obligations, assistance can be provided.
- Zoning: Be in compliance with Henrico County zoning regulations, including restrictions on home businesses. See https://henrico.us/business/starting-a-business/#2 for more information.
Maximum Household Income Level
What types of small businesses are ineligible for HCMRF?
- Any business where entry or sales of primary goods is limited to persons 18 or 21 years of age or older
- Payday lenders, credit unions, banks, check cashing, and other financial institutions
- Fortune and palm readers
- Bed and breakfasts, including Airbnb or other property or vacation rentals
- Real estate and property management companies
- Insurance companies
- Financial advisors
- Accounting and mangement firms and law offices
- Pyramid Business structures
- Nonprofit organizations
Are businesses that received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Funding or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) eligible for HCMRF?
Recipients of PPP, EIDL, or any other government or private COVID relief funding are eligible to receive HCMRF. However, HCMRF funds cannot be used to pay for any direct costs already covered by another relief fund.
For example, you can use HCMRF funds to pay for July and August rent even if you already used PPP funds to pay for April and May rent. But, you may not use HCMRF funds to pay for July and August rent if you already used PPP funds to pay for July and August rent.
How does an applicant know if their application has been successfully submitted?
Every applicant receives a confirmation screen that follows after clicking “submit.”
How will I be contacted or know if my grant application was approved?
LISC will primarily utilize email to communicate with all applicants. Be sure to check email regularly, including spam folders. Email updates to all applicants will come from Virginia Small Business (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Selected applicants will be notified by email and must respond promptly. The return of any grantee notification message or document as undeliverable may result in disqualification of the applicable grantee, the forfeiture of his or her interest in the grant and the selection of a substitute from among all remaining eligible finalists.
What does it mean to be a “selected applicant” and will there be additional documentation required?
If your application is approved, you will be notified via email. Being selected does not guarantee you will receive a grant. As a selected applicant, additional documentation will be required to screen and verify business information for due diligence, parameters of which are required by the funding source. This may include a background search that LISC will conduct at our expense and submission of additional information to include verification information such as date of birth, SSN, TIN/ITIN, EIN, W-9 and appropriate banking information in order to receive funds via ACH if awarded. The background verification does not involve a credit check or credit score pull.
Virginia LISC recommends that applicants begin collecting the following information. If your business is deemed eligible for this grant, you will be required to submit the following documentation before receiving the grant award:
- Proposed use of funds up to $10,000 itemized by type and amount dedicated.
- Explanation of how the business has been impacted by the COVID-19 national emergency and how grant funding will be used to stabilize operations.
- Documentation that establishes the microenterprise majority business owner as being a member of a low- to moderate-income family as determined by HUD area median income standards based on income and family size. Please see the table below for specific details.
- Most recent two years personal tax return establishing annual income and number of household members as well as business tax returns.
- Year-to-date Profit and Loss statement supported by documentation of revenue stream (i.e. Business Bank Statements, PayPal/Square Accounts) calculated to show anticipated annual.
- Upon review, additional information may be requested.
How will I be contacted if my grant application was denied?
Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email once all the funds have been deployed.
After I receive a grant award, what do I need to do?
After you submitted proper documentation and have received your grant award, businesses must retain adequate documentation for inspection by either Virginia LISC, Henrico County, or the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that documents the grant funds were spent on the expenses for which grant funding was provided for a period of one (1) year following receipt of grant funds.
Does anything need to be repaid?
No, these grants do not need to be repaid. However, all taxes associated with the acceptance and/or uses of cash awarded are the sole responsibility of the individual grantee. Cash awarded will be reported by LISC to the IRS as LISC deems necessary according to applicable law. It is further the policy of LISC that all LISC grantees be advised to consult with their own tax professionals and/or legal counsel to ascertain the tax impact of the cash awards. LISC will issue a Form 1099 for any grant of $600 or more.
Will receiving a grant impact other federal assistance or unemployment insurance eligibility?
A grant may affect your unemployment insurance claim if the grant is used to pay payroll expenses during the period you receive unemployment benefits. The amount of unemployment assistance is usually determined by recent earnings, and most likely, you will have to certify on a weekly basis to any income received the previous week as wages. Please consult the Virginia Employment Commission for more information about unemployment insurance claims.
The awarding of a grant by LISC will not affect the ability of a business to apply for and receive an SBA PPP loan or other federal assistance available under the CARES Act. However, grantees are advised that the same business expenses cannot be funded by a LISC grant and federal funds. Recipients of PPP loans or other funding under the CARES Act must be prepared to demonstrate, upon request by the SBA or other government agency or as a component of an application for forgiveness of a PPP loan, that no other funding source was used to pay for the same costs as those paid for by the PPP loan or CARES Act funding.
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Who do I contact with additional questions?
We are monitoring inquiries sent to email@example.com and will be posting answers and updates on this landing page in an effort to support transparency and equal access to information for all applicants.