Share your Story: Virginia Small Businesses’ Resiliency During COVID-19
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses have faced difficult challenges. Since the onset of the pandemic, I've successfully pushed to pass legislation to help small businesses - including the CARES Act, the December 2020 government funding bill, which included COVID-19 relief, the American Rescue Plan (ARP), and the March 2022 government funding bill, which included small business support.
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.
The ARP that I helped pass also included $7.2 billion for state and local governments in Virginia, which local governments can use to help small businesses. Additionally, the FY22 government spending bill includes $1 billion to help underserved small businesses access capital and contracting opportunities.
As I've traveled around Virginia, I've heard from many small business owners about how this federal COVID relief has helped them get through the pandemic – including restaurants that expanded outdoor seating or retail shops that expanded to e-commerce.
I recently launched an initiative to shine a spotlight on examples of Virginia small businesses that have come up with innovative ways to make it through the pandemic and support their communities. The portal is now closed. I’m grateful to those who took the time to share your story or nominate a small business in your community.