The County of Halifax recognizes that tourism based businesses are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To encourage businesses to continue their operations and help mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic, the County, through the Halifax IDA, has established a system to award monetary grants to assist tourism-based businesses with costs incurred during the pandemic. These grants are intended to provide immediate financial relief for expenses already incurred by the businesses and are funded through an allocation of the Coronavirus Relief Funds provided through the Federal CARES ACT.
For the purpose of this grant, tourism based businesses are defined as retail, hospitality, entertainment, employment and administrative services, or operating within a travel-related sector.
Receipts will be required for expenses that may include loss of revenues tied to events, Protective Personal Equipment, IT and non-IT equipment, IT and non-IT services, professional services, workplace modification, indoor and outdoor furniture and fixtures, training, staffing or other unanticipated expenditures needed to deal with the impact of COVID-19 business interruptions. Expenses must be qualifiable through historic documentation of past performance. Requests will total the value of submitted qualified receipts not to exceed seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000).
Applications will be accepted through the Halifax IDA office and will be processed in the order received. Applications will be accepted through October 31, 2020. At the conclusion of the application period, grants will be awarded until all available funding is expended. Please note that the submission of an application does not guarantee approval as eligibility criteria must be met and all supporting documentation included.
The Board hereby initially allocates $200,000 of the CARES Act funds received to this Grant Program. If the need is demonstrated, the IDA may request additional funding.
A business must meet the following criteria to qualify for a grant:
- Be a business in the retail, hospitality, entertainment, employment and administrative services, or travel-related sectors within the County.
- Be a sole proprietor, independent contractor, non-profit, or have a maximum of one hundred fifty full-time equivalent employees on-site in Halifax County.
- Be physically located in Halifax County.
- Have been current on all County and Town taxes and fees as of September 30, 2020.
- Has suffered a qualified business interruption due to COVID-19. A qualified business interruption due to COVID-19 required closures as measured by a reduction in gross revenue (YTD 2020/2019), which may include but is not limited to:
- Reduced sales or suspended operations
- Increased costs related to COVID-19 prevention measures
- Disrupted supply network leading to shortage of critical inventory or materials
- Did not receive compensation from an insurance company for the covered business interruption due to COVID-19 or received less than $10,000 in insurance compensation.
- Federal rules require that each expense can only be funded by one CARES Act program. Please ensure that all reimbursements submitted to the Halifax IDA have not also been funded through other federal sources such as the PPP loan; EDIL; Health and Human Service Provider Relief Fund payments; or other similar assistance programs.
- The applicant can demonstrate unforeseen expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The expense must have been incurred and paid after March 1, 2020. Funding must be used for an eligible expense to mitigate business interruptions for the grant awardee business.
- The application must have all required attachments in order to be considered
- Business license number
- Disclosure Statement
- Receipts as back up documentation for expenses incurred related to the pandemic
- Documents showing past performance of events
Eligible uses of the grant
- Grant funds may be used to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures which may include the following. Funds must be expended in compliance with state and federal law.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Other equipment and supplies to promote health and safety
- Technology to facilitate e-commerce and or virtual business operations. Including website development
- Professional services related to the design and construction/alteration of the building environment necessary to promote physical and social distancing, as well as the actual costs for alterations
- Business related accounting and legal services
- Business related insurance costs
- Initial cleaning and disinfection services prior to reopening
- Business related equipment purchases, existing equipment payments, and equipment maintenance costs
- Rent or mortgage costs
- Utilities (Gas, Electric, Communication)