West Virginia's small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding through the West Virginia CARES Act Small Business Grant Program.
Through Governor Justice's WV CARES Act Small Business Grant Program, $150 million will be available for WV-based small businesses. This assistance will be provided to all eligible small businesses in West Virginia, which are the backbone of the West Virginia economy.
Small businesses are eligible if they:
- Have between 1 and 35 full-time employees (at least one of which is not also an owner/member/shareholder of the business)
- Have their principal place of business in West Virginia
- Were qualified to do business in West Virginia and in operation as of February 29, 2020
- Are currently and intend to remain qualified to do business in West Virginia and in operation for at least the next 12 months
- Are in good standing with the State Tax Department and WorkForce West Virginia
- Are a for-profit business
- Are not in violation of any state order or decree (e.g., mine safety, DEP citations, etc.)
- Are not presently suspended, debarred, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or otherwise excluded from participation in any federal grant program, and are not presently a debtor in any pending bankruptcy (including any owners of the business)
- Have suffered eligible expenses and/or losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic
Eligible expenses and losses include direct out-of-pocket expenses, such as purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and costs of re-stocking inventory in order to reopen, as well as losses due to business closures, reduced sales, or suspended operations.
A complete list of eligible expenses and losses is listed below.
The process for applying for a WV CARES Act Small Business Grant begins by becoming a registered vendor in the wvOASIS system. You must be a registered vendor to receive this grant funding. An eligible business can apply to be a registered vendor, without paying the typical $125 vendor registration fee, in wvOASIS at https://www.wvoasis.gov and clicking "VSS".
Eligible businesses will also need to register for electronic funds transfer (EFT), at https://wvsao.gov/ElectronicPayments/Default. Other vendors who choose not to sign up for EFT will receive a paper check, which will be mailed to a physical address in West Virginia.
Applications will be accepted beginning July 13. A business will need its vendor number to start the application process. Applications will be accepted through September 30, 2020. Submission of an application earlier or later than another application will not count for or against the applicant business in the decision to award grant funds.
For questions about the grant program, email email@example.com or call 1-833-94-GRANT.
List of Eligible Expenses and/or Losses
The following expenses and/or losses, which have not otherwise been recovered through federal programs such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), through private insurance, or otherwise, are eligible for West Virginia Small Business Grant funds:
- Costs of personal protective equipment required by the business
- Payment of any short-term (less than 24 months) or credit card debt incurred by the applicant to pay eligible expenses
- Expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary re-opening expenses
- Costs of physical modifications or supplies for businesses to enable compliance with public health measures, requirements, or guidelines including but not limited to:
- Installation of drive-thru windows and items necessary to get a drive-thru operational, such as headsets, additional register, etc.
- Vinyl/smooth surface furniture
- Vinyl/hard surface flooring
- Telework equipment and subscription service
- Takeout/to-go merchandise
- Website design/reconfiguration
- Construction or installation of outdoor seating
- Contactless equipment: doors, locks, gates, point-of-sale systems, and other equipment
- Cleaning and sanitization supplies
- Ozone generators, ozone meters, and dehumidifiers: only if documentation from CDC, WHO, EPA, or ADH can be provided stating it is effective in fighting COVID-19
- Tablets and other easily sanitized computer equipment
- Signage pertaining to reopening or restructuring the business to facilitate COVID-19 precautions
- Bleachable towels and/or bedding
- Supplies and furniture necessary to allow for spacing out employees and customers
- Plexiglass and/or plastic barriers to separate employees and customers
- Payment for third party licensed medical staff to perform COVID-19 screenings of employees
- Costs of business interruption due to COVID-19 required closures, which may include but are not limited to:
- Reduced sales or suspended operations
- Rent or mortgage payments (unless otherwise waived by lessor/lender)
- Utilities payments
- Costs and expenses for payroll
- Increased costs related to COVID-19 prevention measures
- Disrupted supply network leading to shortage of critical inventory or materials
- Funds must be expended in compliance with state and federal laws.
- Applicant must maintain supporting documentation for any expense or loss for which these WV CARES Act Small Business Grant funds are being sought for a period of five years.
- The State of West Virginia has the right to audit the applicant based on their submitted expenses and/or losses.