Economic Development

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OED Announces Marketing Leverage Grant

The Office of Economic Development is pleased to offer another round of support for City-based businesses recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of OED’s Recovery Roadmap initiative, businesses will have the opportunity to leverage OED funding to increase marketing presence and awareness. Businesses may choose from one of the listed options below. The application period will open on Wednesday, September 15th at 9:00am. If you have specific questions about your business’s application, please contact OED staff: Jason Ness, nessj@charlottesville.gov, 434.953.0208.

 Option 1: Building Your Brand – Business owners who are interested in building a marketing program would receive one-on-one assistance to include: logo design, website support, creating a marketing calendar and other foundational parts of building or expanding a successful marketing strategy.

 Option 2: Digital Advertising Package – Businesses interested in three-month, targeted digital advertising campaign would work one-on-one with a digital marketing expert to create and execute a campaign to help increase brand awareness. Options include social media advertising, video pre-roll or display advertising. A three-month minimum commitment is required with a business match of at least $500 per month.

Option 3: Marketing Leverage Match – Businesses with a current marketing campaign would receive matching funds, on a reimbursement basis. Current marketing campaigns that utilize local, regional, and state advertising mediums would be given preference. Match would be up to $3,000 on a 50% match basis.

 Additionally, all businesses must meet the following basic criteria:

  • Current City business license and up-to-date on taxes (real estate, business tangible property tax, BPOL).
  • Current physical location in the City of Charlottesville (PO Boxes are not acceptable)
  • If a franchise business, must be locally owned
  • Must be for-profit business or a non-profit organization that is focused on hospitality, tourism, or supporting economic development/business causes.
  • Minimum of at least 6 months in business within the City of Charlottesville prior to March 1, 2021
  • Must be able to demonstrate a business revenue loss attributable to COVID-19 (through documents such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, business bank account statements, and/or other financial documents)
  • Must open for business as of October 1st, 2021
  • Business/Organization must be able to produce required documentation for number of employees, financial loss, and other eligibility requirements
  • Must become a registered vendor with the City of Charlottesville
  • Must agree to a follow-up with OED staff in six months 

Applications will be evaluated by information provided within this application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to include as much detail as needed to articulate clear answers to help staff process the applications.

Application for the Marketing Leverage Grant is now available.

OED Awards BRACE Grants to City Businesses

As part of its Recovery Roadmap programming, the Office of Economic Development has awarded 31 grants to City-based businesses and organizations through Building Resiliency Among Charlottesville Entrepreneurs (BRACE) grant program. These $2,500 grants were targeted to businesses that demonstrated the ability to adapt from the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses applied through a competitive grant application in July and grant funding was issued within 10 business days after acceptance. Funding for this grant was provided by the Charlottesville Economic Development Authority (CEDA). Future grant offerings will focus on marketing and workforce assistance which will be announced in the near future. Additionally, one final round of BRACE will be offered in the upcoming months as well.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant is scheduled to open in early April.  There are some advanced steps that businesses may need to do now to better prepare for the application process.  Watch this video for more details.  Check the Small Business Administration website for the most up-to-date information.

Southern Opportunity And Resilience (SOAR) Fund

SOAR Fund provides flexible, affordable capital and free business support services to small businesses and nonprofits across the south and southeast to help them navigate and rebuild from the Covid-19 economic crisis.  Get all the details at SOAR website

City Delivers $750,000 in Relief to Small Businesses

The City of Charlottesville Office of Economic Development (OED) is pleased to announce that 128 small businesses have received funds from the Small Business Relief Grant (SBRG) program. 

Project Rebound

Project Rebound, a local economic recovery initiative for our area, recently released "A Blueprint for Economic Resiliency and Reinvention in Greater Charlottesville Region". The report, produced by KPMG LLP, maps out economic recovery action steps for the business community.  The recommended actions are based on data from stakeholder meetings and follow-up interviews with more than 300 local participants. The project was led by the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce with support from the City, County and University economic development efforts. Click to see the full Blueprint report.

Disaster Preparedness for Small Businesses

Anticipating business interferences, crises and debacles is an essential part of maintaining a business.  Engaging the business community in Risk Reduction for Business Resilience whether it be a hurricane, tornado or outbreak like COVID-19, is imperative.  Studies show that more than 40% of small businesses close permanently after a disaster.  Among those that reopen, another 25% fail within a year.  The Disaster Preparedness for Small Business guide extensively illustrates and highlights the best tips and resources to guide entrepreneurs in their business recovery and continuity plan.

SBA Disaster Assistance

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and EIDL Advance program portal to further meet the needs of small businesses impacted by COVID-19.  See the SBA Disaster Assistance website for all the details and to apply.

Links to Assistance for Businesses During COVID-19

Financial Resources

Additional Information

  • Charlottesville restaurants and stores  currently "open" for business: CVILLESHOPS 

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The Office of Economic Development is the catalyst for public and private initiatives that create employment opportunities and a vibrant and sustainable economy.

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