Fairfax County proposes new COVID-19 relief program that targets hotels

Virginia

FAIRFAX, Va. (WDVM) — Fairfax County is proposing a new COVID-19 relief program called Pivot that targets hotels first.

Pivot will be supported by $25 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan. County officials said over 48,000 jobs were lost in the County through December of last year through the hospitality industry. Businesses in the program could get money if they have 500 employees or less.

John Foust, Dranesville district supervisor with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, said, “Businesses that were hurt the hardest we want to help them, just from an economic development standpoint. It’s important to our economy to have those businesses functioning. It’s also important to the type of community we are.”

The plan says hotels with at least 10 rooms will be eligible for a grant. Businesses in the program could get the money if they have 500 employees or less and their principal place of business is in the county.

Hotels are not the only industry hit hard by the pandemic. An International Monetary Fund report shows that in the U.S., the pandemic at one point led to a crash in restaurant bookings as well as steep drops in flying and driving. Officials added that 50% of job losses in the county last year were in lodging, food services, retail, arts, and entertainment.

According to Foust, this plan is similar to their RISE program, which helped over 4,800 recipients, dedicated at least 30% of the money to women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses, which ended up with 72% of the funding, according to the county.

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