VIENNA, Va. (WDVM) — On Monday, Fairfax County will start accepting applications for small business and nonprofit grants through its $26 million Fairfax RISE grant program. The program will be funded using federal CARES Act funds provided to the county, and as of this week, $1 million will support the Town of Vienna’s businesses.
Economic Development Director Natalie Monkou says it was desirable for the town to partner with the county because it was far less labor intensive than creating a disaster relief program of its own. “Since Fairfax County is pretty much our big brother slash big brother this was a perfect partnership because they have already done the program through a microloan that they had earlier this year and so this was like part two of that,” she said.
Monkou says the majority of the town’s businesses meet the requirement of less than 50 total employees across all locations. Vienna businesses will also be eligible for grants beyond the town’s $1 million contribution.
Fairfax RISE will also allocate a minimum of $7.5 million in grants for minority-, veteran- and women-owned businesses, which employ 80,000 people in the county. Minority-owned companies account for 32 percent of Fairfax County’s businesses.
The grants do not have to be repaid and can be used for employee compensation, working capital, equipment, inventory, rent, and other critical operating expenses. Grant funds cannot be used to pay debts.