Norfolk: OpenNorfolk has been launched as a boots-on-the-ground small business assistance program that will ensure businesses throughout the city are able to open in a safe, physically-distanced manner and financially recover as quickly as possible. Visit here for more details.


Governor Northam Offers Clarity Regarding Enforcement of Executive Order 63

During the Governor’s press conference today, he addressed the many concerns swirling around enforcement of his face covering mandate in all public places scheduled to take effect beginning tomorrow, May 29th.

The Governor and his general counselor stated that businesses and their employees are not to be the enforcers or put themselves in a harmful position. The Governor encouraged businesses to clearly post his mandate at the entrance for customers and that they do mandate employees to wear masks.

The guidelines and signage for businesses to print and post at the entrance to their business will be added to the Forward Virginia website and will be available in both English and Spanish.


  • Forward Virginia Guidelines: Phase 1
  • Executive order 53 extended two additional weeks, now it will expire May 8th, rather than April 23rd. You can view Executive Order 53, by clicking here.
  • Executive order 55, Stay at Home Order, remains in effect until June 10th. You can find executive order 55, by clicking here.
  • ABC to allow establishments with mixed beverage licenses to sell mixed beverages through takeout or delivery. To find the full press release click here.
  • Northam authorized Virginia ABC to defer annual fees for licenses and permits up for renewal through June.


Update May 15, 2020: PPP Loan Forgiveness Application with Instructions

SBA released a standardized PPP loan forgiveness application with instructions (click here).  The SBA still intends to publish additional rules and guidance on the program’s forgiveness provisions, but highlights – and answers to a few outstanding questions – include:

  • Retains the “75% on payroll costs” requirement (caps nonpayroll costs at 25% of total forgiveness amount)
  • Eligibility for loan forgiveness will be assessed based on rules/guidance in place on the date of your forgiveness application (so important to stay on top of and in compliance with rolling guidance!)
  • Required representations and certifications are not especially notable, but you must agree that SBA may request additional information to evaluate a borrower’s initial eligibility for the loan and for loan forgiveness and failure to comply may result in a determination that the borrower was ineligible for the loan or forgiveness.
  • Some flexibility in the 8-week (56 day) forgiveness “Covered Period” for payroll cost, full-time equivalent employee, and employee salary reduction determinations only – specifically, borrowers with a biweekly (or more frequent) payroll schedule may elect to calculate forgivable payroll costs using the 8 weeks beginning on the first day of the first pay period following the loan disbursement date (the “Alternative Payroll Covered Period”)
  • There is a specific box on the application indicating that a borrower, together with its affiliates, received a loan with an original principal amount over $2 million (but clarifies that you do NOT include affiliates for purposes of this determination if you have an affiliation rule waiver under SBA rules or the CARES Act).  This likely is to flag loans that will receive additional scrutiny from SBA.
  • Some additional detail on eligible forgiveness expenses and forgiveness amount calculation:
    • Eligible payroll costs:
      • Eligible payroll costs must be incurred AND paid (paycheck distributed or ACH credit transaction originated) during the Covered or Alternative Payroll Period, except you may pay those incurred during the last pay period of the Covered/Alternative Period on or before the next regular payroll date and still get forgiveness.
      • Include employer contributions to employee health insurance, including self-insured plans; exclude any pre-tax or after tax contributions by employees (same for retirement plans)
      • Include amounts paid by the borrower for state and local taxes on employee compensation (e.g., state unemployment insurance tax); exclude any taxes withheld from employee earnings
      • For amounts paid to owner-employees, self-employed individuals, or general partners = lower of $15,385 or “eight-week equivalent of their applicable compensation in 2019” (this appears to refer back to 8 weeks’ worth of 2019 net profit from Form 1040 Schedule C, but that is not spelled out clearly).
    • For other forgivable expenses (mortgage interest, rent, and utilities), they may be forgiven if they are incurred during the Covered Period (no alternative period) and are paid during the Covered Period OR on or before the next regular billing date
    • Total amount calculation — your forgiveness amount with be the smallest of:
      • Your original PPP loan amount (no reference to interest — consistent with the CARES Act, which caps forgiveness at the principal amount);
      • Total forgivable expenses, minus straight dollar reduction for any 25%+ wage reduction penalties, times percentage of full-time equivalent employees during Covered/Alternative Period compared to pre-crisis look back period (maximum of 1); or
      • Total eligible payroll costs (reported on line 1 of the application) divided by 0.75.
  • 2 permissible methods for calculating full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) (then compare averages between Covered or Alternative Payroll Period and chosen look-back option specified in the rules) =
    • For each employee, average number of hours paid per week, divide by 40 (round to nearest tenth); maximum for each employee = 1; or
    • Simplified method: assign a “1” for any employee who works 40 hours or more per week and “0.5” for employees who work fewer than 40 hours
  • Contains the “exception” from the FTE reduction penalty for employers who made good-faith written offers to rehire employees during the Covered or Alternative Payroll Period, which were rejected by employees; also excludes from the FTE reduction penalty employees who, during the Covered or Alternative Period were fired for cause, voluntarily resigned, or voluntarily requested a reduction in hours (IF those positions were not filled by new employees) – for each of these situations, you enter the FTE number for that position as if the person were still there so your forgiveness amount is not reduced for these positions
  • Documents that must be SUBMITTED with the application are consistent with what is listed in the CARES Act (generally – payroll, employment records showing FTEs, documentation of forgivable expenses); also adds new requirements for documents that must be maintained by borrowers, but don’t have to be submitted

Please note: Information that is provided on this page is not an endorsement from Retail Alliance. Retail Alliance does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided by the programs listed on this page.



Virginia Beach Economic Development Investment Program Part E Grant.

A purpose of the City Virginia Beach Development Authority is it to promote small business, and as such, this Part E of the EDIP is intended to allow the Authority to contribute to the economic health of the City and Commonwealth by providing small business assistance grants.

Business Qualifications/Criteria:

  • Business with fewer than 250 employees;
  • As of March 23, 2020, it has operated in the City of Virginia Beach for at least one year.
  • It continues to operate during the Local Emergency, or was ordered closed by Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53 issued on March 23, 2020;
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major disruption to the revenues of the business so that the business will be unable to continue generating sufficient revenue to make rent payments, utility payments, or to meet its other obligations without reducing the number of employees; and
  • The business agrees that it will forestall any reduction in its workforce during the local emergency.
  • Each Grant shall not exceed the lesser of (i) identified rent, utility, taxes, and other business expenses related to the COVID-19 Pandemic, or (ii) $10,000.
Completed application packages will be accepted beginning Monday, May 4,  after 8 a.m. at ecdev@vbgov.com or in person by appointment only in our office at 4525 Main Street, Suite 700, Virginia Beach, before June 30, 2020.  For appointments, call our office at (757) 385-6464.

Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund

The Greater Williamsburg Partnership and the Williamsburg Community Foundation (WCF) have announced the Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund in partnership with the Economic Development Authorities of the City of Williamsburg, James City County, and York County. The Fund will provide forgivable loan to businesses located in the Greater Williamsburg region. The Virginia 30 Day Fund will administer the fund, including processing applications and issuing payments.

Qualifying businesses must be based in Greater Williamsburg (City of Williamsburg, James City County, or York County), have operated for at least a year, employ three to 30 people, and be owned and operated by a Virginia resident. Such businesses can apply for a $3,000 forgivable loan online at www.va30dayfund.com. Applications will be evaluated by volunteers with MBA students from the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Businesses are encouraged to repay the loan by depositing funding back into the fund when they are able to “pay it forward.” If businesses or individuals are interested in donating to the Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund, please visit the WCF Donation Website. For more information about donations, please contact WCF at 757-259-1660 or office@williamsburgcommunityfoundation.org.

The City of Williamsburg COVID-19 Business Grant Program

The Williamsburg City Council and EDA have approved $1 million in funding for a new COVID-19 Business Grant Program. Applications are live and will remain open until June 1st. A new online application system is being used. If you have not yet applied for a grant using this system, you will need to create an account. Account creation is a simple 5-minute process. For your application you will need: your 2020 business license; a copy of your 2019 BPOL Receipt; your April 2019 and April 2020 gross receipts; address of the principal office of the ownership of the business. Please note this program is for businesses in the City of Williamsburg. You may apply here. If you have any questions, please contact eda@williamsburgva.gov or call 757-220-6104.

City of Newport News COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Grant

To ensure the resiliency of local businesses, the City of Newport News and the Economic Development Authority of Newport News, Virginia (EDA) have established the Newport News COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Grant to support eligible small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This grant is one-time financial assistance given to eligible for-profit small businesses, excluding franchises and national chains, in amounts not to exceed $5,000. There is a limited amount of funds for this program. The grants will be committed and funded on a first-come, first-served basis based upon availability of funds, program guidelines and submission of a complete application and supporting documentation. For Program Guidelines and Application information, click here. Applications may be submitted beginning at 9:00 AM on Friday, May 8, 2020. For questions about the program guidelines or application process, please contact Priscilla Green with the Department of Development at (757) 509-2587 or greenpa@nnva.gov

City of Hampton: COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Program

Hampton City Council has authorized a forgivable loan assistance program to be administered by the Hampton Economic Development Authority (EDA) for small Hampton-based businesses. These forgivable loans of up to $10,000 are designed to give Hampton businesses access to needed cash until federal and/or state assistance funds arrive. The loans can be used for payroll expenses, rent or mortgage payments, utility expenses, marketing and other eligible business expenses incurred during normal operations. Applications will be accepted until the earlier either available funds are exhausted or until Sept. 30.

Click here for more info.

Norfolk Business Assistance Programs

  • Norfolk’s Department of Economic Development responds to COVID-19 and provides a Relief Loan Product for eligible Norfolk Businesses. COVID- 19 Relief Loan Applicants: Upon registering and completing your email verification to begin your application, please be sure you are selecting the Loan Product labeled “COVID-19 Loan”. Please note this loan product is independent of the Capital Access Program (CAP). Click here to register and apply.
  • Norfolk Business Loan Product for COVID-19 Interruptions press release and important documents here
  • Norfolk Business Loan Product for COVID-19 application here
  • Due Dates for Payments of Certain Taxes and Temporary Relief of Certain Convenience Fees here
  • Tax Relief – Additional Clarity

Hampton Roads Workforce Council and Greater Peninsula Workforce Board Rapid Response Funding

Rapid Response Funding through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, to assist employers eligible to remain open during this emergency. Funds are reserved for small businesses (250 employees or less) and may be used to clean facilities and support emergency needs. The grant will support layoff aversion strategies and activities designed to prevent, or minimize the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs due to COVID-19. COVID-19 RR Grants Information Sheet  COVID RR Small Business Support Application  Assurances and Certifications. Questions may be directed to:Jackie Rondeau, jrondeau@vcwhamptonroads.org, 757-629-4695 (Southside, Hampton Roads region) or Diana Cordero, dcordero@vcwpeninsula.com, 757-251-8935 (Greater Peninsula region) http://www.vcwhamptonroads.org/covid-19-small-business-funding-assistance/


  • In partnership with Verizon, the digital fundraising and advocacy platform Hello Alice is offering emergency grants of up to $10,000 for companies impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Google is offering $340 million in advertising grants for small and medium-sized businesses, a credit that will be added automatically to Google Ads accounts.
  • Verizon has allocated $5 million to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to distribute via grants to small businesses.
  • GoFundMe partnered with Intuit QuickBooks, Yelp, GoDaddy, and Bill.com to give small businesses a $500 grant if they raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.
  • Salesforce Care Offering Small Business Grants of $10,000 to replenish materials, pay salaries, or adapt their business model to overcome these challenging times. The grant application will be available to US businesses in mid-April . Click here for more information. Click here to go directly to the interest form.
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Save Small Business Fund. The Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking initiative led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The fund will offer $5,000 grants for employers across the country.
  • Nav: Small Business Grant Contest. Nav is giving grants to small businesses that tell a story of preservation and opportunity in the face of a past or ongoing challenge. Apply by May 30th 


  • The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) website features a state tracker of financial incentive programs across the country, updated twice a year.
  • VA 30 Day Fund Offering Forgivable Loans for Virginia Small Businesses. $100,000 in “seed money” intended to help businesses meet payroll, preserve health-care coverage for workers and avoid layoffs while awaiting the federal aid. The fund will provide up to $3,000 to each approved small business. Recipients do not have to repay the money, but if they eventually are in a position to do so, it will be directed to another qualified business. Click here for more information.


  • Tip Sheet for Talking with Landlords About the COVID-19 Crisis click here (provided by Jenny Crittenden, Retail Alliance Board, and Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust)
  • Rent Relief Request for Landlord click here (provided by Lori Janke, Clothes Mentor Newport News/Once Upon A Child Newport News)
  • Notice of Temporary Layoff or Furlough Due to Coronavirus click here (provided by Lori Janke, Clothes Mentor Newport News/Once Upon A Child Newport News)


Please use the logos below to show your support for buying local during this difficult time.

  • Local Now, More Than Ever Logo (PNG) Download
  • Local Now, More Than Ever Logo – No Background (PNG) Download
  • Local Now, More Than Ever Logo – Profile Image (PNG) Download


If you have not created a business continuity plan before Coronavirus, you may want to do one now. SCORE and IBHS have both created toolkits for businesses with practical forms and advice designed to help small businesses plan for any type of business interruption, so they can quickly re-open and resume operations following a disaster.


Mary Landgrebe with Retail Inventory Solutions:

Are you doing everything you can now to sell the product you have in store?

  • Are you posting and going live on social media featuring what you have to sell now. The posts can be simple with a photograph, sizes, price, and any special discounts you are offering.  Going “Live” creates a connection with people that they truly crave, especially right now.
  • Look at the inventory that you have in your store now.  Will it still be relevant in May and June?  If you have items that you can answer “no”- these items should be posted at deep discounts 40-50% off or more.  This includes winter items, early spring, and certainly anything older.  There is a point that you have to look at merchandise as cash instead of margin.
  • Do you have enough new product for when your store is back up and running?  If not, you may need to buy some fresh merchandise.
  • It is such an unusual time, but it will not last.  All indications are that this is creating a pent up demand.  Be positive and be ready!

Cheryl Tan with Cheryl Tan Media:

  • Make sure your lighting is good in the space that you will be videoing and that you are in clear view. Make sure you are looking in the right place.
  • Be animated and excited in your video so the consumer will be excited about what you have to sell. Increase your energy level.
  • Wear a solid color that you love. No patterns or flamboyant jewelry. Lockdown your hair!
  • Make sure it is quiet where you are videoing so you can be heard.
  • You can edit video before you post if you are not going “live” to make sure your message is clear.
  • If you go “live”, make sure you have all your product close at hand so you don’t turn your back to the camera/phone. Or, take the camera/phone with you to show the product as displayed and you don’t have to be in the video. “Live” is one of the best ways to make a connection and create a community.


Fridays at 9:30 a.m. for an approximately one hour REOPEN 757 Retail Briefing, where we update you on legislative actions regarding COVID-19, resources to help retailers reopen their business, and provide any financial support updates, especially regarding the PPP and EIDL assistance. We welcome any questions you may have. We are joined by legislative and financial experts who can answer any questions you may have. Please register in advance for these meetings. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Click here to register.


Recordings of all Retail Alliance live-streamed events are saved on Retail Alliance YouTube channel shortly after they conclude. Click here for playlists to our previous educational workshops and webinars.

Thursday, May 7, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 5 Ways to Pivot Your Marketing During A Crisis. The team from Germono Advertising Company will guide you through five ways you can pivot your marketing during a crisis during this free, educational webinar provided by Retail Alliance. Click here to register.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020. 9:30-10.45 a.m. Simple Self-Care Practices to Reduce Workday Stress. Life and Business Coach, Rebecca Reimers Cristol, ACC, will present a variety of simple, self-care habits to incorporate into your daily schedule. Reducing stress increases your energy, patience, focus, and therefore productivity. At the end of this webinar, you will have new ideas to manage your stress and a plan of action to hold you accountable for daily self-care.

Tuesday, May 5, 9:30-10.45 a.m. Gloucester Panel: Main Street Survival. Featured a panel of retail and business leaders from Gloucester, discussing the effect COVID-19 has had on their businesses, main street, and the Gloucester community. Panelists were: Jenny Crittenden, Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust; Jennifer Haggerty, Gloucester Main Street Association; Paige Drewry, Kelsick Specialty Market, Terri Crowder, Northern Neck Popcorn.

Thursday, April 30, 9:30-10.30 a.m.  Managing Cash Flow Through A Crisis. Between managing debt, acquiring capital, and just paying the daily expenses of operating, making good decisions on what takes priority is hard enough as it is, but during a crisis, it becomes very blurred and difficult to figure out. President of Pixel Financial Group, Misty Leinberger, CPA, MBA shared what you can do to manage cash flow during a crisis.

Tuesday, April 28, 9:30-10:45 a.m. How to Crush Retail Sales by Selling Online Even When Your Doors are Closed (E-Commerce). Presented by AdImpact Marketing. Your new reality: Doors may not open May 1st. Now what? It’s no longer a guarantee that business will be open…maybe anytime soon. Customers will want assurance that it’s safe to come back. There won’t be a snapback. Many retail strategies for upselling, such as in-store classes and events, may not return. You may be forced to pivot or die.

Thursday, April 23, 9:30- 10:45 a.m. Inventory Management During A Crisis. What do retailers do with inventory they currently have when a crisis hits? How do you move inventory when there is an active stay at home order in effect?Mary Landgrebe, Retail Inventory Solutions, answered those questions and more during her webinar presentation.

Tuesday, April 21, 10:30-11:45 a.m. Retailer’s Response: Retail Alliance Board Member Panel. We invited members of Retail Alliance’s Board of Directors to join us for a live-streamed panel discussion. These retail business owners talked about their response to this pandemic. How it has impacted their business, how they have had to adapt their operations, their experiences of getting financial help if needed, and how they see the future months unfolding in retail. But it won’t be all doom and gloom. They also shared their good stories too, in their business and in their community. Panelists: Denise Clarke, Care-A-Lot Pet Supply; Jenny Crittenden, Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust; Philip Scotti, Philip Michael Fashion for Men.

Thursday, April 16, 9:30-10:45 a.m. Retailer’s Response: Retail Alliance Board Member Panel. We invited members of Retail Alliance’s Board of Directors to join us for a live-streamed panel discussion. These retail business owners talked about their response to this pandemic. How it has impacted their business, how they have had to adapt their operations, their experiences of getting financial help if needed, and how they see the future months unfolding in retail. But it won’t be all doom and gloom. They also shared their good stories too, in their business and in their community. Panelists: Pamela Katrancha, Garden Gazebo; Lori Janke, Clothes Mentor/Once Upon a Child, Newport News; Jack Plomgren, Cartridge Man.

Tuesday, April 14, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Video Marketing. Cheryl Tan, owner of Cheryl Tan Media, presented on the ins and outs of video marketing. With COVID-19 forcing many retailers and small business owners to rethink their marketing strategies, Cheryl is here to help guide you through the world of video marketing. She went over ways to record, edit, upload, and promote compelling videos to help you reach your customers in this period of social distancing.

Thursday, April 9, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Employment Issues Related to COVID-19. Presented by Willcox & Savage, P.C. This webinar discussed issues relating to layoffs, furloughs, unemployment claims and other topics resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Extended Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) bills recently introduced.

Tuesday, April 7, 8:30-9:45 a.m. Email Marketing. Sonya Schweitzer, The Intentional Marketer, shows you how to use email marketing to reach your customers, improve sales, and increase customer interaction. Attendees will walk away with at least three to-dos they can implement immediately in their business on various trending topics. 1. How to construct your email, 2. A list of ways to collect email addresses, 3.  How to set up an account for mass emailing.

Thursday, April 2, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Emergency Business Planning. Presented by Bernd Haase, The Alternative Board. With the very fast onslaught of the Coronavirus threatening to disrupt business operations through the region, there are three ways you can face the future: panic, do nothing, or plan. As a TAB Business Coach, Bernd’s goal is to guide business owners through these tough times and help navigate the uncertain waters…and the best way to do this is to plan, making the situation under your control as much as possible. What should you, as a business owner or responsible manager – do to prepare YOUR business?

Tuesday, March 31, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Resiliency and Decision-Making in Uncertain Times. Local, award-winning Mind Hack Coach, Lisa Smith gives perspective, guidance, mental shifts, and resources based on her 24 years of working with the neuroscience of optimal performance and the teachings from her own high-level business and mindset coaches. We are all looking for a sense of hope right now, and a way to feel in control of our circumstances—or at least our actions and outcomes. We can’t wait for something or someone to save us. We must become our own heroes. With the teachings, understandings, and inner resources Lisa will share in this session, her intention and commitment are that you will leave with a new sense of optimism and hope for your business, your self, your family and your future, and additional resources to support you along the way.

Please note: Information that is provided on this page is not an endorsement from Retail Alliance. Retail Alliance does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided by the programs listed on this page.


Update your LOVEVA listing on Retail Alliance’s Buy Local app by emailing Lisa Renée Jennings. Visit www.bealocalLOVEVA.com to check out local LOVEVA businesses!

Retail Alliance member, Studio Center, a production company with five East Coast locations, including two in Virginia Beach and one in Richmond, is providing free radio production to help broadcast about closings, postponements and other operational changes. The offer — for a radio spot of up to 30 seconds — is for any organization, municipality, educational institution or company in the U.S. Call 866-515-2111 for more information.

Valpak, a Retail Alliance member, is offering free online advertising on Valpak.com now through July 1st. Click here for more information!

CoVa Magazine (VistaGraphics, a Retail Alliance member) is offering free online listings for restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops to inform the public of hours and services provided. Click here to list your business.

Sky4TV is offering a Buy 1 package at $300, get 2 free – That’s 60 spots for $300! (All Spots Guaranteed to Run) + Social Media Post at no additional cost. Click here for details.

Cox Media is offering an affordable social media advertising package to help you get your message out. Interested? Email Liz.Rollins@coxmedia.com. Click here to read full details.

Getting your message out to those users while keeping your doors open
With “Social Distancing” as our new norm, each of us must adapt to keep a business going.
Whether it’s curbside pickup, delivery and/or drive through, let us help you get your message out.

13NowsNow #LOVELocal have put together a database with an interactive map that lets everyone find small businesses that are open. That includes restaurants. If you own a small business or work at one in Hampton Roads or northeastern North Carolina, visit this page to submit your information.

WTKR News 3 has put together a list of restaurants that are still open so people can consider utilizing takeout or curbside pickup to support local businesses. Add your restaurant, coffee house, cafe, brewery, etc to the list by visiting this page: !https://www.showmetheeats.com/?utm_source=scripps_wtkr&utm_medium=station_banners&utm_campaign=we_re_open

iHeart Radio is offering a free listing on their four radio stations calendar events page for restaurants, bakeries, cafes, coffee shops. Send the following information to nekeiawilliams@iheartmedia.com:

Business Name:

Virginia Media has created, through Airtable, two listings to help our local retailers and restaurants! Please enter your information on this form, bit.ly/HRshops for retail and bit.ly/3aQ1q9r for restaurants to let consumers know your hours, online ordering, pickup, delivery or how to support you in other ways.

To view retail list, click here
To view restaurant list, click here

Virginia Eats + Drinks has also created a restaurant listing (click here) across Coastal Virginia and across the Commonwealth and their current offerings. Click here to add or update your listing.