Round One Recipients Awarded!

Thousands of businesses across the region are deeply impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19. As part of our dedication to building a thriving regional community, ChamberRVA in partnership with Facebook (Round One) created RVA Small Business Relief Fund, a program intended to provide immediate grants to qualifying small businesses in the region impacted by COVID-19.

RVA Small Business Relief Fund Grant Recipient Stories

Hear how the RVA Small Business Relief Fund has positively impacted small businesses in the Greater Richmond Region.

Your Massage Therapist, LLC


“My company, Minima, provides in-person home and workspace organization services. I’ve had the business for 10 years and it has grown steadily up until COVID hit. Because of social distancing precautions, we have not been able to provide our normal in-person organization services since March. I have pivoted to virtual organization services, which have been successful given the relative newness of the offering. However, the revenue doesn’t come anywhere near our in-person services. I have one employee in addition to myself, Alex Coleburn, and a team of organizing assistants who help on bigger jobs as needed in a subcontractor capacity. I was able to obtain a PPP loan (which I plan to have forgiven) to use for mine and Alex’s salary while Virginia was under stay at home orders. We officially reopened on June 10 and the PPP loan expires on June 18. We are seeing some existing clients booking with us again and some new ones reaching out, but I think it will take several months to get back to where we were—if that happens (I am remaining hopeful). The grant from ChamberRVA will help sustain us during this transitional time. Thank you, I am so grateful!” – Kristen Ziegler

Ohh My Nailz & Spa

“Thank you for the grant as it has helped tremendously since the salon came to its last cash flow. Apologies for the late reply as we have been preparing to re-open. We are very grateful. Our salon business was established a little over two years ago and is still in the process of paying off the original loans we took out to start the business back in 2017. COVID-19 hit us just when we started seeing some positive progress and it pushed us on the brink to the bottom of our cash flow heading towards being bankrupt.We just reopened on Monday 06/15 and also thank you so much for all the PPE stuff in the FORWARD RVA care package. RVA small business relief fund helped give us a temporary lifeline and hope. It also gave us motivation to fight during this pandemic. With this grant, we were able to pay off some utility bills that were due since March. A portion also went towards rent. Overall, we wouldn’t be able to reopen without the help from Chamber RVA since picking up business again is slow.” – Trang Huynh

Speech Connections

“Thank you Chamber RVA! Kathy and I are the owners and speech language pathologists at Speech Connections and were so honored to receive the Chamber RVA Grant. Speech Connections, Inc. was significantly impacted by Covid-19 and had to furlough 6 people in March 2020 due to the closing of businesses. We were fortunate that we were already providing teletherapy services and were able to pick up 10% of our business as on-line sessions. As insurances began to cover on-line therapy, we increased our sessions to approximately 20% of our previous business. We are happy to say we are opening our doors, very slowly. We had a soft opening the week of June 8th and are looking forward to seeing more clients in our offices.With this generous grant from Chamber RVA, we were able to bring our office manager back to work allowing Kathy and I to focus on providing services and re-building our business. Speech Connections, Inc. has been providing speech therapy services to the Richmond community for 13 year and we are looking forward to our re-opening with hope and determination.Thank you again for your support as we open our doors.” –  JoAnn Cullop

S&S Painting

“I am so thankful to Chamber RVA for awarding S&S Painting a grant and for providing us with a ‘We’re Open’ kit!  We had to completely close our doors for 6 weeks.  I knew it would be difficult to start back up, but was determined to do so.  Through lots of planning, I know I needed to get the word out that we were open.  When I was awarded the grant I immediately called Cary Moore (Local Hanover resident) of BVM and asked her to run a campaign for me.  She jumped right in and I have been flooded with phone calls.  I am so grateful that Chamber RVA was able to help as much as they did!  Our chamber really helps the small businesses!!” – Stacey Spear

RVA Relief Fund Q&A

The nine localities of the greater Richmond Region include Ashland, Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan and Richmond.

No, small businesses must have at least 2 FTE (full time equivalent) employees to be eligible for grant funding.

$250,000 seeded by Facebook is available for funding Round One. The fund hopes to have successive funding rounds as money is contributed. Contributions are actively solicited.

No. You may apply anytime during the application window of May 13 – May 19, 2020. The timing of your submission during this window will not affect your ability to be awarded a grant.

Unfortunately, we expect the need is far greater than the amount of funds that will be disbursed in Round One. If applicants don’t receive funding in Round One, they will be eligible for it in subsequent rounds.

There will be 100 grant recipients in Round One.

Round One grant awards are $2,500.

Grants are unrestricted and are intended as a stop-gap relief to help support rent, employee salaries, and operating costs, pending the release and distribution of anticipated federal and state aid.

The RVA Small Business Relief Fund aims to provide immediate financial assistance to Richmond Region’shardest hit small businesses, and those suffering especially from social distancing and stay home, stay healthy directives. A committee of impartial evaluators will review applications and make awards based on their assessment of impact and need.

Under current tax laws, payments to for-profit businesses are generally considered taxable income, and ChamberRVA will be required to report these payments via Form 1099 to all recipients as well as tax authorities at the end of 2020. It is the responsibility of grant recipients to record business transactions and file tax documents.

Please know that ChamberRVA and other business advocacy organizations are urging lawmakers to amend certain taxation rules in light of the current extraordinary economic conditions.

You can call 804.783.9362 and leave a voicemail with your question. Questions will be answered in the order they are received.

Donate to the RVA Small Business Relief Fund

The RVA Small Business Relief Fund is designed to support the critical needs of our small business community when they need it most – right now. Small business owners are the leaders, job creators, community builders, and the engines of our economy. Please join us in helping them.

The Relief Fund intends to release multiple rounds of funding — but this goal is dependent on contributions. Can you help us raise the next round of funds?

All contributions are charitable and tax-deductible. Thank you for helping us to respond quickly to this crisis with funds to support the relief effort.

Online donations are easy and secure. You may also donate by mailing a check. Please indicate in the memo section “Designated for RVA Small Business Relief Fund” and send to:

Chamber Foundation
ATTN: Rob Anderson
919 E. Main Street, Suite 1700
Richmond, VA 23219

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