On January 13, 2022, Governor Ralph Northam announced the launch of the new Virginia Small Business Resiliency Fund program and more than $9.7 million in grants has been awarded for 12 projects throughout the Commonwealth. The funding will assist organizations to create programs and products that will expand access to capital and provide technical assistance for COVID-19 impacted small businesses.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the Virginia economy and the bedrock of our communities,” said Governor Northam. “These grants will provide needed support to our businesses to face the challenges of the pandemic. In addition to its tremendous work supporting affordable housing, community development, and other priorities, DHCD has led our programs to keep people in their homes and support small businesses during the pandemic. I want to thank DHCD Director Erik Johnson for his superb leadership of the agency, especially during the past 22 months. He has led an outstanding and creative team in finding innovative ways to help people during a challenging time.”
The Department of Housing and Community Development developed the Virginia Small Business Resiliency Fund with the purpose of supporting Virginia-based community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to build their capacity and increase economic activity in distressed communities throughout the Commonwealth. VSBRF goals include serving small businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on those sectors which have been disproportionately impacted or have been economically disadvantaged. In addition, this program is expected to increase economic activity in distressed communities around the Commonwealth and to increase the capacity of the CDFI sector to serve those target markers in Virginia.
The General Assembly allocated $10,000,000 in FY2022 to establish a special, non-reverting fund that would provide grants to CDFIs, community development enterprises, or other such similar entities as permitted by law, whose primary purpose is to provide financing to small businesses in Virginia. CDFIs are private financial institutions certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury to deliver responsible, affordable financing to historically underbanked and underserved people, small businesses, and communities.
“Access to capital remains a challenge for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This funding will help meet the needs of and provide services to underserved businesses so they can thrive in their communities.”
The following projects will receive 2022 Virginia Small Business Resiliency Grant Awards:
Enterprise Development Group’s Small Business Resiliency Fund
ECDC Enterprise Development Group | Arlington County and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Manassas
Enterprise Development Group (EDG) will provide technical pre- and post-loan assistance focused on helping underserved communities, immigrant communities, and entrepreneurs of color who were disproportionately impacted by economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. EDG will leverage loan capital 2:1 to deploy a total of $4.9 million in microloans and will assist 54 businesses acquire funding.
Freedom First Federal Credit Union’s Small Business Fund
Freedom First Federal Credit Union (FFFCU) | Counties of Albemarle, Alleghany, Amherst, Appomattox, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Bland, Botetourt, Buckingham, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Highland, Montgomery, Nelson, Pulaski, Roanoke, and Rockbridge, the cities of Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Covington, Lexington, Lynchburg, Radford, Roanoke, Salem, Staunton, and Waynesboro, and the towns of Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Pulaski, and Vinton
Freedom First Federal Credit Union (FFFCU) will deploy $1.5 million in small and microloans, establish a loan loss reserve and establish an Individual Development Account program for business purposes with a focus placed on small loans and women-, minority- and/or immigrant-owned businesses in distressed communities. This funding is part of a $13 million lending initiative for over 70 businesses.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Small Business Capital Access Fund
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) | Cities of Chesapeake, Colonial Heights, Hampton, Hopewell, Newport News, Norfolk, Petersburg, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach
LISC Virginia and LISC Hampton Roads will create the Small Business Capital Access Fund to provide 0% interest, no-fee recoverable grants between $10,000-50,000 to small businesses, with priority consideration given to minority-, woman-, veteran- and immigrant-owned small businesses. LISC will expand their respective target markets into the Tri-Cities (Petersburg, Hopewell and Colonial Heights) and the Greater Hampton Roads (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach). Capacity will be improved through the contract of business coaches to provide critical assistance to 60 small businesses.
Virginia Community Capital Economic Equity Fund 2022
Virginia Community Capital (VCC) | Commonwealth of Virginia
Virginia Community Capital (VCC) will expand its Economic Equity Fund Initiative (EEF), providing low-cost financing for small-, women-, and minority-owned businesses across Virginia that were disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Funding will assist VCC to deploy an additional $1.5 million through EEF to support 15 or more businesses, expand its loan loss reserve and build internal capacity by hiring a technical assistance provider specifically for EEF clients and borrowers.
Latino Economic Development Center’s Small Business Recovery Program in Fairfax County
Latino Economic Development Corporation of Washington, DC (LEDC) | Fairfax County
Latino Economic Development Corporation’s (LEDC) project will be funded in different tiers. LEDC will deploy $40,000 of the VSBRF funding to conduct a market study to determine small business financing and target market needs in Fairfax County. Once market validation is complete, LEDC will receive the second tier of funding in the amount of $915,820 to hire lending and technical assistance staff to provide comprehensive, culturally and linguistically competent technical assistance to their target market, expand loan loss reserves and create a $575,000 revolving loan fund to assist 45-60 low- to moderate-income Latino and/or other underserved small businesses in Fairfax County.
Community Business Partnership’s Small Business Resiliency Program
Community Business Partnership (CBP) | Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Frederick, Loudoun, Montgomery, Prince George, Prince William, Stafford, and Washington, cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park, towns of Clifton, Dumfries, Haymarket, Herndon, Leesburg, Occoquan, Quantico, Shenandoah, Vienna, and Warrenton
Community Business Partnership (CBP) will expand its target market into greater Northern Virginia and diversify its financial products and offerings through a revolving loan fund. CBP will increase its capacity to support its target markets, including small, women-, immigrant- and minority-owned businesses, specifically at-home business operators, through business counseling and curriculum in various languages spoken in the Northern Virginia service area. Funding of $350,000 will be deployed to increase CBP’s lending capacity and a loan loss reserve to support the lending. CBP will leverage grant dollars to secure future lending capital and technical financial assistance to help more than 150 borrowers.
Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project’s Virginia Small Business Resiliency Fund
Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project Inc. (SERCAP) | Counties of Accomack, Alleghany, Amelia, Amherst, Appomattox, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Bland, Botetourt, Brunswick, Buchanan, Buckingham, Campbell, Caroline, Carroll, Charles City, Clarke, Craig, Cumberland, Dickenson, Dinwiddie, Essex, Floyd, Fluvanna, Franklin, Giles, Gloucester, Grayson, Greensville, Halifax, Hanover, Henry, Highland, Isle of Wight, King and Queen, Lancaster, Lee, Lunenburg, Madison, Mathews, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Nelson, Northampton, Northumberland, Nottoway, Orange, Page, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Prince George, Pulaski, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Russell, Scott, Shenandoah, Smyth, Southampton, Surry, Sussex, Tazewell, Washington, Westmoreland, Wise, and Wythe
Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project Inc. (SERCAP) will increase its available loan capital, providing accessible and affordable financing products to underserved businesses in rural areas of the commonwealth, with an emphasis on those directly impacted by COVID-19. SERCAP will provide $150,000 in technical assistance to microenterprises, deploy $665,000 in microloans to more than 40 businesses, and utilize $100,000 for staff administration of programming.
Expanding Food and Farm Micro-and-Small-Business Lending in Virginia
Foodshed Capital | Commonwealth of Virginia
Foodshed Capital will expand microlending and small business lending to Virginia farms and food businesses in geographies not yet served and funding activities that have traditionally lacked capital investments, including land procurement, food system infrastructure and food retail development. This project will help revitalize and boost local food systems in the wake of COVID-19 to ensure long-term food security. Funding will support loan loss reserve, capital for small and microloans; and operational support for staff. This project will leverage $750,000 in loans to help 74 food businesses across the Commonwealth.
Community Investment Collaborative’s Microloan Program
Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) | Counties of Orange, Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock
Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) will catalyze its next phase of growth with additional capital for lending in four new counties, deploying $350,000 in loan capital, $50,000 in microgrants and $200,000 in operations support and leverage $1.41 million in existing loan funds to help 104 businesses get access to capital, 25 new businesses launched and 154 existing businesses grow.
Alternative Lending Products & Technical Assistance for Underinvested Small Businesses in the Greater Richmond Region
Bridging Virginia | Counties of Amelia, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, King William, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, and Sussex, cities of Colonial Heights, Petersburg, and Richmond and the town of Ashland
Bridging Virginia will conduct a capital access study of the Greater Richmond Region to determine a target market and strategy to achieve Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification status through the U.S. Department of Treasury. Funding will support increased internal capacity with the addition of an executive director to execute identified strategic plan deliverables, increase community knowledge of small business borrowing and how to access capital. An additional $50,000 will be leveraged to create a $100,000 revolving loan fund in connection with technical assistance and counseling to 50 small local businesses.
Building Capacity for CDFIs to Support Underserved Businesses in Appalachian Virginia
Appalachian Community Capital Corporation (ACC) | Virginia Appalachian Regional Commission Region
Appalachian Community Capital Corporation (ACC) will build a support network for minority- and immigrant-owned small businesses in Appalachian Virginia by working with the CDFIs that serve small minority-owned businesses in the region. Funding will support the development and implementation of a strategy to increase lending to underserved businesses, provide six CDFIs with resources to provide up to 20 hours of training for targeted businesses, and the tailoring of financial products and services to meet market and sector needs. Once this strategy is implemented, the partnering CDFIs will help 40 minority- and immigrant-owned businesses create or retain 55 jobs.
People’s Advantage Federal Credit Union’s Small Business Lending Initiative
People’s Advantage Federal Credit Union (PAFCU) | Counties of Amelia, Charles City, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, King and Queen, King William, Louisa, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, and Sussex, the cities of Colonial Heights, Petersburg, and Richmond, and the town of Ashland
People’s Advantage Federal Credit Union (PAFCU), the only full-service CDFI in Virginia, will expand its offerings to include lending, affordable deposit products, and technical assistance to businesses in the metro-Richmond area. Funding will support the addition of a small business advocate and a loan loss reserve, fund 54 businesses and deploy $1,080,000 into the community.
Governor Youngkin announces School Choice Proclamation
On January 26, 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced this week as School Choice week, and issued a proclamation highlighting the importance of school choice for Virginia’s students and parents.
“As your governor, I will continually stand up for students and parents and will sign the largest education budget in Virginia’s history. Our goal is that every student will graduate high school ready to go to college or start a great career. Choice and innovation within public education is vital to achieving that goal. That’s why together we will not only raise standards and raise teacher pay, but we will invest $150 million to kick start 20 new charter schools in the Commonwealth. We must empower parents and students with choice and innovation in K-12 public education,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.
Read a full copy of the School Choice proclamation below.
Virginia School Choice Week
WHEREAS, all children in Virginia should have access to a high quality public education; and,
WHEREAS, Virginia recognizes the important role that a quality education plays in preparing all students in Virginia for success in life; and,
WHEREAS, quality education is critically important to the economic vitality and vibrancy of the communities of the Commonwealth; and,
WHEREAS, students have different needs and learning styles and a monolithic delivery of education does not serve the myriad needs of families;
WHEREAS, Virginia currently has only 7 charter schools, but its neighboring state of North Carolina has close to 200 and the District of Columbia has 123; and,
WHEREAS, School Choice Week is celebrated across the country by millions of students, parents, educators, schools, and organizations to raise awareness of the need for effective educational options.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize January 23 – January 29, 2022
as VIRGINIA SCHOOL CHOICE WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and
I call this observance to the attention of all of our citizens, and proclaim that:
Virginia must empower parents by creating innovation within K-12 public schools to best adapt to the needs of Commonwealth’s students; and,
Virginia is committed to increasing education options for its youth by seeking $150 million to help meet a goal of starting at least 20 new public charter schools in the Commonwealth; and,
Virginia will build partnerships between the Commonwealth and our great universities to create lab schools of excellence; and,
Virginia will raise education standards to elevate students to high performing levels and reinstitute merit-based acceptance to Governor’s and magnet schools; and,
Virginia will empower parents to make choices about the educational needs of their children.
Virginia Department of Elections releases post-elections report
Recently, the Virginia Department of Elections (ELECT) released its annual post-election report for the 2021 November General Election; this report not only generates a historical record of the election, but it also highlights its successes and areas where improvements could be made.
The November 2021 General Election continued to pose the same challenges election administrators faced in November 2020: an ongoing global health pandemic and a monumental dissemination of misinformation and disinformation about the legitimacy of the electoral process.
Following each November General Election since 2018, ELECT has produced this report to highlight several areas of work done in 2021 to include law and regulatory changes impacting the administration of elections, participation in the election, key challenges/major issues, and election administration tasks completed.
The report also spotlights initiatives such as Virginia’s successful Voter Education and Outreach Campaign and collaborating with partners such as Virginia’s Medical Reserve Corps as well as the United States Postal Service to help mitigate challenges brought on by issues such as COVID-19.
“ELECT produces the post-election report annually to reinforce our agency’s continued commitment to transparency” said Christopher Piper, Virginia Department of Elections’ Commissioner. “We are proud to be able to document the work that the Commonwealth’s election administrators, electoral board members, and ELECT staff do to conduct secure and accurate elections in Virginia.”
The post-election report was presented by Commissioner Piper at the January 18 meeting of the State Board of Elections. You can find a copy of the report on ELECT’s website here.
Governor Youngkin announces updated guidelines for parents, educators, and preK-12 schools
On January 21, 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced updated guidelines for parents, educators, and schools per Executive Order 2, which creates a parental opt-out from mask mandates at both public and private schools in the Commonwealth. The guidelines were developed by the Virginia Department of Health and the Department of Education.
“I have said all along that we are going to stand up for parents. Executive Order 2 is not about pro-masks versus anti-mask, it’s about empowering parents. I am confident that the Virginia Supreme Court will rule in the favor of parents, reaffirming the parental rights clearly laid out in the Virginia code § 1-240.1. In the meantime, I urge all parents to listen to their principal and trust the legal process. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at email@example.com,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.
The updated guidance is redesigned around Governor Youngkin’s key principles of parental rights, keeping kids in the classroom five days a week, and keeping kids safe and healthy. The update guidelines:
- Emphasizes alternative mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 including vaccination, distancing, and outbreak awareness.
- Provides a clear decision tree for parents to review when trying to determine how to keep and return children to the classroom.
- Strongly encourages test-to-stay and other strategies to keep and return kids to the classroom as quickly as possible
- Gives schools practicable flexibility on contact tracing, distancing, and other strategies.
Governor Youngkin announces legislative agenda priorities
RICHMOND, VA—On January 21, 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced the legislation, budget amendments, and initiatives he will be supporting to further his Day One Agenda priorities.
“Today, I am proud to share the more than 59 pieces of legislation and a package of more than 25 budget amendments that I will be supporting. These reflect bipartisan priorities like fully eliminating the grocery tax, doing more to train and equip our workforce, and providing funding to create 20 new innovation schools across the Commonwealth. These initiatives will make Virginia’s communities safer, restore academic excellence, lower the cost of living, and I look forward to seeing these bills come to my desk,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.
Governor Youngkin announces Covid Action Plan
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – On January 20, 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced his COVID Action Plan concurrent with Executive Order Number Eleven to provide hospitals, health systems, nursing facilities, and other healthcare providers the tools necessary to combat COVID-19. The plan also includes issuing clear testing guidelines to prioritize the use of COVID rapid tests and marshaling further resources to encourage Virginians to get the vaccine.
“While many families have experienced tragedy over the last two years, Virginians have truly embodied the spirit of Virginia as they came together to fight a common enemy—COVID-19,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Today’s announcements are designed to give Virginians the tools and resources needed to make the best decisions for their families, strengthen our hospital systems, and ensure a strong recovery as we encounter new challenges associated with the pandemic that has become part of our everyday life.”
COVID-19 Vaccine Marshall Plan for Virginia
Governor Glenn Youngkin will devote additional resources and efforts to encouraging the nearly 1.6 million Virginians who are still unvaccinated to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Data shows that people vaccinated from COVID-19 are 4 times less likely to be hospitalized than those who are not. Governor Youngkin’s actions include:
- Directing the Secretary of Health to re-prioritize resources toward vaccine education and outreach, including expanded efforts in disproportionately unvaccinated communities.
- Plan to host and attend COVID-19 vaccine events across the Commonwealth.
- Working with Governors across the country to learn best practices on vaccine education.
- Empowering Virginia with choices, not mandates.
- Expanded Healthcare Flexibility & Support
Governor Glenn Youngkin signed Executive Order #11 to give healthcare providers flexibility and support to battle staffing shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and unconstitutional federal mandates on healthcare workers. Virginia’s hospitals and healthcare facilities are in crisis. Governor Youngkin’s actions include:
- Allowing hospitals and nursing homes to rapidly expand bed capacity by waiving regulations.
- Providing flexibility for qualified out-of-state nurses and healthcare professionals to practice in Virginia.
- Creating appropriate exemptions to the scope of practice requirements to allow healthcare providers to care for patients in this difficult time.
- Expanding the number of providers available to offer the Covid-19 vaccine.
- Expanding flexibility, overtime hours, and availably for personal care workers.
- Prioritized Testing Guidelines
Governor Glenn Youngkin will prioritize testing guidelines to mitigate supply-chain shortages for COVID-19 tests. The Governor will discourage mass testing for the purposes of pre-screening, discourage asymptomatic individuals from testing, and urge healthy individuals with mild symptoms to stay home and use discretion on testing. Governor Youngkin’s actions include:
- Expedite pending orders of rapid tests.
- Redeploy unused tests at state agencies and other non-essential facilities to schools, hospitals, and nursing facilities.
- Directing the State Health Commissioner to issue new guidelines that prioritize the use of rapid tests for key categories including Students potentially exposed to COVID-19 who need to test to remain in school. Essential healthcare professionals and other essential workers needing to be tested to return to work. Vulnerable citizens including those in nursing facilities and over the age of 65. Those with serious medical conditions and their caregivers. Those who need to be tested after consultation with a healthcare provider.
Virginia State Police welcomes 58 new troopers to serve
On Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, the Commonwealth will graduate its 135th generation of Virginia State Troopers. The 58 new troopers will be presented their diplomas during commencement exercises at 10 a.m. at the State Police Training Academy located at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield County. Governor Glenn Youngkin will speak at the graduation ceremony.
“Completing the training here at the Virginia State Police Training Academy is no easy feat, and when you add the challenges COVID has brought, the bar is raised even higher,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “These 58 Trooper-trainees have put their heart and soul into becoming the very best troopers they can be. I am impressed with their resiliency and dedication during the last 27 weeks.”
The new troopers have received more than 1,300 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including de-escalation techniques, strategies to assist people in mental health crisis, ethics and leadership, fair and impartial policing, constitutional law, emergency medical trauma care, and public and community relations. The members of the 135th Basic Session began their 27 weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy July 6, 2021.
The soon-to-be graduates of the 135th Basic Session are from every corner of the Commonwealth, as well as Ohio, Oklahoma, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Vermont and the countries of Germany and Mongolia.
Upon graduation, the new troopers will report to their individual duty assignments across Virginia the week of Jan. 31. For their final phase of training, each trooper will spend an additional six weeks paired up with a Field Training Officer learning his or her new patrol area.
135th BASIC GRADUATING CLASS
Name – Hometown – Assignment
- Alijia Danielle Monet Annon – Henrico – Henrico
- Justin Aaron Armes – Stuart – Henrico
- Zachary Cole Bailey – Ewing – Fluvanna
- Stone Lee Baker – Boykins – Surry
- Kennedy Jerome Barbour, Jr. – Williamsburg – James City
- Jonathan Y. Bazil – Lynchburg – Charles City
- Lucas Jeffrey Beall – Accomack – Accomack
- William Brady Blankenship – Powhatan – Culpeper
- Johnathon Daniel Blitz – Richmond – Henrico
- Michelle Lynn Carney – Roanoke – Culpeper
- Christopher John Caudill – Old Bridge – Prince William
- Mark Wade Chamberlain – Mount Airy – Hanover / Henrico
- Jeffrey Michael Dense – Alpine, New York – Fairfax
- Austin Lee Edwards – Pounding Mill – Henrico
- Robert Lane Faulkenberry – Lane, Oklahoma – Dinwiddie
- Dimitrice John Finley – Chesapeake – Springfield
- Justin Carl Grable – Louisa – Clarke
- Nathanael Scott Hall – Forest – Dinwiddie
- Sarah Francis Halperin – Hardwick, Vermont – Norfolk / Virginia Beach
- Jonathan Wesley Hawk – Emporia – Sussex
- Nicholas H. Henderson – Cape May, New Jersey – Prince William
- Logan Allan Hinnant – Fredericksburg – Prince William
- Nicole Noelle Hobbs – Hiltons – Frederick
- Emma Clare Hodge – Powhatan – Norfolk / Virginia Beach
- Alex Jamal Holley – Newport News – Springfield
- Matthew Samuel Honey – Fairfax – Springfield
- Luke J. Horvath – Schenectady, New York – Campbell
- Logan James Houston – Quinton – Mathews
- Steven Rex Huffman – Louisa – Hanover / Henrico
- Brian D. Hurlimann – Rochester, New York – Stafford
- Kenneth Ray Jamison – Danville – Bedford
- Scott Andrew Jeltema – Bitburg, Germany – Springfield
- Jeffrey Scott Keeney – Virginia Beach – Norfolk / Virginia Beach
- Corey James Klak – Chesapeake – Norfolk / Virginia Beach
- Alexis Mykayla Kovach – Chesterfield – Henrico
- Sean Michael Laychak – Springfield – Prince William
- Kortney M. Leazer – Remington – Bedford
- Joo No Lee – Plainview, New York – Springfield
- Griffin Downey Martin – Bracey – Cumberland
- Kortney Evan Terrell McGhee – New York, New York – Highland
- Michael Ryan Middleton – Ashburn – Fairfax
- Chance Allen Morris – Powhatan – Springfield
- Robert Dale Morris – La Crosse – Henrico
- Samuel Patrick Norris – Pulaski – Roanoke
- Alex Hoon Pak – Fairfax – Fairfax
- James Robert Davis Pettry – Big Stone Gap – Bedford
- Andrew Schuyler Poff – Shawsville – Botetourt
- Justin Alexander Ratowski – Hunlock Creek, Pennsylvania – Prince William
- Joshua Tyler Stahl – Toronto, Ohio – Hanover / Henrico
- Malik Rashad Staton – Clinton, Maryland – Prince William
- George Pendleton Stephenson, Jr. – Seaford – Hanover / Henrico
- Eli Steven Thies – Harrisonburg – Henrico
- Gungaajargal Turek – Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – James City
- Daniel Ryan Urban – Yorktown – Cumberland
- Eric Grant Vitatoe – Haysi – Gloucester
- Alexander B. Wallace – Staunton – Orange
- Matthew Dennis Weinholtz – Buffalo, New York – Fairfax
- Daniel Andrew Wood – Powhatan – Hanover / Henrico