HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – Many business owners and workers are struggling to keep up during the coronavirus shutdown. 

In an effort to help small business owners affected by the virus within Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam requested an Economic Disaster Loan Declaration on Wednesday.

This would provide small businesses impacted by the virus with emergency resources currently available from the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act signed into law on March 6.

The request comes after Congresswoman Elaine Luria sent a letter to the Governor urging him to submit on behalf of the Small Business Administration.

The following resources were put together in an effort to help businesses and workers adapt to what is happening now, and prepare for what may be to come.

Hampton Roads Workforce Council (Virginia Career Works Hampton Roads)

As of March 18, all Hampton Roads Virginia Career Works centers are closed until further notice, which includes the delaying of meetings, training workshops and hiring events, according to a statement released by officials on Wednesday. 

The council works to support employers and job seekers, many of which are now impacted by the coronavirus. Although the centers are closed, online resources and employment services are available, and the regional Virginia Career Works centers are working to provide online workshops in the near future. 

Virtual and telephone services 

The following phone numbers and links can be used to answer questions and provide information about the workforce due to the coronavirus:

Unemployment information

Unemployment personal are available from Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. According to the Hampton Roads Workforce Council, filing a claim can be done via Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) or through the VEC Customer Contact Center at 1-866-832-2363. 

Businesses with impacted workers  

“If you are a business owner or HR representative for an employer considering work stoppages, layoffs or furloughs, we encourage you to contact our Business Services team. We will get back to you within one (1) business day, or sooner, to discuss information and services that may assist impacted employees, including Unemployment Insurance, tax assistance, layoff aversion strategies, financial planning, remote access career services and more. Contact Steve Cook at scook@vcwhamptonroads.org,” according to VCW officials.

Information for working parents

The Hampton Roads resources below contain childcare information:

Additional resources 

Additional Virginia Career Works information related to emergency benefits for workers impacted by the coronavirus.  


Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant program

The City of Chesapeake has launched a grant program to help small businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for more information.

Newport News

The City of Newport News has two new programs available to assist taxpayers and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 Tax Payment Arrangement Program

This program is for citizens and businesses experiencing financial hardship directly related to the coronavirus pandemic. It allows them to make arrangements to extend the June 5 due date for real estate and personal property tax payments to August 5, 2020. There will be no assessment for late payment penalty or interest. An application can be made now through the Treasurer’s website –nnva.gov/Treasurer.

For questions regarding the COVID-19 Tax Payment Arrangement Program, citizens can call 757-926-8731.

The COVID-19 Business Resiliency Grant Program

The City and its Economic Development Authority have established a grant program to support local, small businesses impacted by the pandemic. It is designed to provide one-time financial assistance to eligible for-profit, small businesses in Newport News, excluding franchises and national chains, in amounts not to exceed $5,000.

Grant funding is limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Awards will be based on the availability of funds, program guidelines, and submission of a complete application along with supporting documentation. Applications are being accepted beginning 9 a.m. on Friday, May 8, and are available on the Department of Development’s website at nnva.gov/Development.

For questions regarding the COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Grant program, contact Priscilla Green at 757-509-2587 or greenpa@nnva.gov.

Norfolk Department of Economic Development

The Norfolk Business Loan through the Norfolk Department of Economic Development helps offset foreign supply chain disruptions.

Surry County

Surry County is offered a Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant to some small businesses.

Limited funds are available and only qualified applicants will receive the funds.

The contact person is Joyce Henderson: covidrelief@surrycountyva.gov.

More information can be found on the Surry County website.

Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity

The Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity has come up with an online list of resources for Hampton Roads small businesses and it includes stimulus package info, Department of Labor info, disaster loan info, etc.

The department also recently requested business owners complete a survey regarding the impact the coronavirus has had on their business. Results will be shared with “State and Federal partners,” according to the survey information.

U.S. Small Business Administration

The SBA is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for Virginia small businesses suffering economic injury as a result of COVID-19.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

This list will be updated as information becomes available. 

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