Ahead of National Small Business Week, Kaine Announces Initiative to Highlight Virginia Small Business Success Stories
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine announced that his office is launching an initiative to highlight small business success stories from across the Commonwealth during National Small Business Week (May 1-7), a week dedicated to supporting small businesses across the United States.
“Amid COVID-19, many small businesses have faced difficult challenges, and Congress responded by providing them with federal support,” said Senator Kaine. “As I’ve traveled around Virginia, I’ve heard from many small business owners about how federal COVID relief has helped them get through the pandemic – including restaurants that expanded outdoor seating or retail shops that expanded to e-commerce. As we approach National Small Business Week in May, I want to share more positive stories about the resilience of small businesses that have adapted to the pandemic, kept workers employed, and supported their communities. I encourage Virginians to nominate a small business to be featured on my website during National Small Business Week to shine a spotlight on Virginia success stories and highlight the importance of supporting our small businesses.”
The ‘Virginia Small Business COVID Success Stories’ portal is now open and Virginians can nominate a small business to be highlighted here. Senator Kaine will share these success stories on his website on National Small Business Week.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Senator Kaine has successfully pushed to pass legislation to help small businesses, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the December 2020 government funding bill, which included COVID-19 relief, and the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
Thanks to these COVID relief bills, around 155,000 Virginia small businesses and nonprofits received at least one Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, totaling more than $18 billion, to keep workers on the payroll, and more than 78,000 Virginia small businesses received more than $7.6 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) loans. Through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, 378 Virginia businesses received over $200 million in funding. Through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, more than 2,700 Virginia businesses received over $650 million in funding. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) also created the Community Navigator Pilot Program to improve access to federal support for underserved small businesses. Senator Kaine also pushed for permanent authorization of the Minority Business Development Administration, including his Reaching America’s Rural Minority Businesses Act, as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The ARP that Kaine helped pass in March 2021 also included $7.2 billion for state and local governments in Virginia. This flexible funding is being used by many localities to support small businesses as well.