Fairfax County offers emergency loans to small businesses

Starting Tue., Apr. 28, small businesses in Fairfax County hurt by coronavirus can apply for emergency loans up to $20,000 at 0% interest.

The $2.5 million program is funded by Fairfax County and administered by the non-profit Community Business Partnership. For more information and to apply, click here.

The loans can be used for working capital, equipment, rent, debt payments, and other operating expenses.

For-profit businesses with fewer than 50 employees and a minimum two-year operating history are eligible. Applicants must have their principal place of business in Fairfax County. This includes the towns of Clifton, Herndon and Vienna, but excludes areas within the city limits of Alexandria, Fairfax City and Falls Church.

Ineligible business segments include financial services, home-based businesses, and e-commerce. Get full details and an application form here.

The loans are 6-year term, with initial payment deferred for six months.

Noted Chris King, who leads a local business organization, Democratic Business Council of Northern Virginia, “It’s good this program starts quickly – April 28. Time is of the essence for businesses surviving week-to-week.”

He added, “$20,000 will only go so far. Still, it’s better than nothing, especially in conjunction with federal and other programs.”

King also said, “It’s good that the program is administered by the county partnership rather than banks. The Paycheck Protection Program [a $650 billion emergency federal program for small businesses]  is being administered by banks, which has meant inequities and a natural favoritism to businesses with existing relationships at that bank.”

Small business owners are encouraged to apply early as the funding may be used up rapidly.

Photo: The Mosaic District in Fairfax County contains a number of small businesses. Photo from Fairfax County Economic Development Authority