The Commonwealth of Virginia provides funding for small businesses. Find a list of business loan and/or free grant programs near you below. These will focus on funding women and minority owned businesses. There may be loans or grants for Black owned companies, LGBTQ, Latino, immigrants, Asians, women businesses as well as other groups. Virginia works with banks, charities, government agencies, credit unions, as well as community lenders in order to issue funds near you, including in Richmond, Fairfax, Northern Virginia and other cities and towns.
Note each and every agency and program will have their own application process in place. The loans or free grants in Virginia may help you start a business or grow an existing one or they help entrepreneurs get off the ground. They may be interest free loans or have affordable repayment terms. The list of Virginia grants and loans listed below, some of which may be near you, will be updated. There are funds allocated to MWBE, veteran as well as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) owned businesses in Virginia.
Small business loans and free grants for Virginia
Find a current, ongoing list of loans, free grants, and small business funding in Virginia near you. The most recent announcement will be at the top of the list, with older announcements and news releases towards the bottom.
Ongoing and Year Round Resources
Charlottesville’s Minority Business Program provides ongoing, year round support. From time to time, there may be financial help from the Business Equity Fund. They are free “mini-grants”. The money can pay operating expenses including rent, utilities, inventory, web hosting, and other costs. Other resources are offered by the center to Black, Women, Latino, and other disadvantaged businesses in the city, including counseling, mentoring, networking, technical help and more. Apply here https://cvilleminoritybusinessprogram.org/
Minority Business Alliance of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is another non-profit for the community. They offer many services to Black, Latino, and other minority companies. One of them is a grant service, and that is the MBA Endurance Fund. More details here. https://www.cvillechamber.com/mba/
Minority owned businesses in Northern Virginia can get access to resolving loans. Freedom Bank of Virginia as well as the non-profit Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) are offering assistance. Much of the funding is in the Fairfax County area. Get capital, low cost resolving loans, incubator services, free counseling and more. Read more. https://www.nvtc.org/
Richmond Virginia businesses can get financial assistance from Virginia Community Capital and Wells Fargo, one of the nation’s largest banks. Qualified minority or female owned businesses in Richmond or Henrico County can get up to $250,000 from the Open for Business program. The goal is to help disadvantaged businesses, and the non-profit Virginia Community Capital is offering support. Apply here. https://vacommunitycapital.org/
Richmond Black-owned businesses can get help from the Jackson Ward Collective. They focus on Black entrepreneurs or those with an idea to start a business but that need assistance. Learn about putting a business plan together, getting financing using free government grants or microloans, building credit, and much more. It is a safe community space for ideas, free resources, and short or long term support. Get details on the agency. https://jacksonwardcollective.com/
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) businesses or non-profits in northern Virginia that focus on STEM for girls/woman can apply for grants from the Business Women’s Giving Circle. The goal of the free grant program is to help non-profits provide educational and technology skills to young women/girls. Business Women’s Giving Circle of Northern Virginia is providing the financial aid. Read more. https://www.cfnova.org/grants-and-scholarships/grants/giving-circle-grant-cycles/business-women-s-giving-circle
Minority owned businesses in the Winchester region (and surrounding towns or cities) can apply for interest free loans from the Banking on Diversity program. Multiple local lenders are partnering on the loan program, including Bank of Charles Town and Bank of Clarke County, The Fauquier Bank and last but not least First Bank. Interest free loans are both for new and existing minority owned businesses in the city of Winchester, Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Prince William, Shenandoah, or Warren Virginia. Call one of those banks to apply.
PPP loans (round 2) are being offered from the state using federal government funds. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is giving loans to help businesses impacted by COVID, with priority (and first applications) for female owned, minorities, and veterans. The SBA and local lenders accept applications, and find where to apply here. https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/va/richmond/resources/virginia-sba-lenders
November and December 2020
Women owned businesses in Warren County can get $1000 grants as part of a financial assistance program known as Dare To Dream. Use the money for buying computers, starting a business or inventory for one, website development, as well as other career and income focused needs. To apply, dial the Front Royal Women’s Resource Center at 540-636-7007.
Small businesses located in the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia can get financial help from the Staunton Creative Community Fund. There is also assistance for people, including minorities or women, that are trying to start a business. There is not only grants or low cost loans, but also education, advice, and other support as part of the Women and Minority-owned Business Support Program. Up to $6,000 will be provided per applicant. The Fund is also paid for with help from AT&T, and there are free grants, financial literacy classes, advice, mentorship and more. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org
We Care Rebuild RVA Project is a partnership of many companies and non-profits in Virginia. Free micro-grants grants of up to $10,000 are being offered from The Community Foundation, Venture Richmond, Virginia Community Capital (VCC), ChamberRVA, Altria, Virginia LISC and Dominion Energy, Capital One, as well as Robins Foundation. Female and minority owned businesses with less than 50 employees can apply. The funds can pay for inventory, rent, insurance, and many other bills. Businesses can also get free legal advice, tips on operations and other counseling. Apply here. https://thembl.org/we-care-rva-rebuild/
The Urban League of Hampton Roads is offering financial assistance to Black owned small businesses. It is for Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, and the area known as Hampton Roads. Dominion Energy is offering funds in partnership with the Urban League, and the program is microgrants. The goal is to help startup companies, sole-proprietorship, and minority, small owned businesses start, grow, or keep their “doors open”. https://www.ulhr.org/
Rebuild VA grant offering up to $10,000. The Rebuild VA fund will allow 7,000 applicants the opportunity to receive up to $10,000. Half of the funds will go towards small businesses and nonprofits in low income and economically disadvantaged communities, including women, Black owned, veterans, and others. This will help meet the needs of underserved businesses. https://www.governor.virginia.gov/rebuildva/
Gov. Northam announces $70M in free grants for small businesses, nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. https://www.nbc29.com/2020/07/27/gov-northam-announces-m-grants-small-businesses-nonprofits-impacted-by-covid-/
By Jon McNamara