COVID-19 Small Business Relief Program/Grant

COVID-19 Small Business Relief Program/Grant

Program Design:  Rent / Mortgage / Utilities Relief

Program Overview

The James City County COVID-19 Small Business Relief Program is made possible through a Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), which is a federally funded program. This grant enables James City County to offer financial relief to qualifying small businesses by offering grants for rent/mortgage or utility payments. While limited, and subject to federal guidelines, we hope this program can offer financial support to as many businesses as possible while funding is available.

It is important to note that ONLY rent/mortgage OR utility payments for the applying business are considered qualifying expenses (up to a maximum of 6 CONSECTIVE MONTHS of payments, not to exceed $15,000 total grant request).

This is a reimbursement grant. Applicants must provide supporting documentation that verifies proof of payment.

Eligibility Requirements

Existing businesses located in James City County are eligible to apply, provided:

  • The business has been negatively affected by COVID-19;
  • The business was operating prior to March 12, 2020;
  • There are James City County business licenses on file for 2020, 2021 and 2022 for the applying business; 
  • The business was open for business as of the date of this application;
  • The business has or had, during the pandemic, 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (i.e. four employees working ten hours per week is one full-time equivalent employee);
  • The business has certified that no duplication of benefits occurs from other funding sources (i.e. EIDL or PPP);
  • The business is locally or regionally owned and is not a corporate-owned national chain; and
  • The business is current with all applicable local taxes, permits, licenses and fees.

Application Process

A link to the fillable online application can be found at the bottom of this page. Applications will be evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis and only complete applications will be considered. The goal is prompt, fair and equitable distribution of funds to assist as many small businesses as possible while funding is available.

Please take time to gather necessary paperwork to apply. This includes:

  • Copy of applicable fully executed lease or rental agreement (if requesting rent relief), ownership information and mortgage statements (if requesting mortgage relief), or utility bills broken down for the applying business (if requesting utility relief);
  • Detailed paid receipts, bank statements, cancelled checks, or other proof of payment associated with the months for which you are requesting reimbursement; and
  • Confirmation of a DUNS number. As of April 4, 2022 the unique entity identifier used across the federal government changed from the DUNS Number to the Unique Entity ID (generated by If you do not already have a DUNS Number you must apply for a UEI/SAM and certify on this grant application that your UEI is pending; and
  • Completed and signed IRS Form W-9 (for which you will need your Tax ID). 

Please note additional forms required for Home-based businesses:

  • IRS Form 8829 from your applicable tax return for the period for which you are requesting reimbursement, showing the percentage of home office space claimed; and
  • A copy of your approved James City County Home Occupation Application.

You should have the following information on hand to prepare the application:

  • Payroll information;
  • All COVID-19 related grants, loans, and sources of revenue information;
  • Mortgage or lease documents or utility statements for relevant months; and
  • Proof of payment of expenses for which you are requesting reimbursement (rent/mortgage OR utilities).

Review and Awards

A review comprised of staff from the Office of Economic Development, Community Development, Financial Management Services, Commissioner of Revenue, and Treasurer, along with a representative from the Economic Development Authority, will review applications weekly and communicate with applicants via email.  All applicants will receive notification from the committee regarding the status of the applications. If awarded, businesses will be asked for bank information so that an electronic payment can be issued.

Need additional help? Please direct all questions to or 757-253-6607.