City offers help to families, businesses impacted by coronavirus
Jeremy M. Lazarus | 4/9/2020, 6 p.m.
City Hall is providing $500 stipends to struggling families with children who can’t wait for federal assistance and is offering loans up to $20,000 to aid smaller businesses to meet payroll.
While the effort is relatively small in terms of the number to be served, the steps are among the latest as the city seeks to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
On the family front, Mayor Levar M. Stoney announced April 3 that the city would provide a matching $500,000 to support the Robins Foundation’s $500,000 for its new Family Crisis Fund.
The fund’s goal is to provide a one-time gift of $500 to 2,000 families in Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield who have lost income because of COVID-19 and to more families if individuals, foundations and others donate to expand the fund. Donation information is available at www.robinsfdn.org.
In Richmond, the city’s Office of Community Wealth Building is handling disbursement of the city’s share, which is enough to serve 1,000 families whose income has shrunk due to lost jobs or having to stay home to care for children who cannot attend school.
For information and applications, call (804) 646-6464 or go to RVAstrong.org, the website the city has created for coronavirus- related information. Click on the tab “For Individuals.”
Meanwhile, the city’s Economic Development Authority has created a no-interest loan program to provide up to $20,000 per business to help employers meet payroll to keep their companies open. About 50 businesses could be served with maximum loans.
This is separate from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s far larger loan program that is offering potentially forgivable loans at 1 percent interest for two years. The application for the Richmond program is available at RVAstrong.org. Click on the tab “For Businesses.”