Frequently Asked Questions

[View in Spanish or in Amhraic.]


My organization is a nonprofit, am I eligible to apply? 
Yes. If your organization meets the eligibility criteria you are eligible to apply. Any type of 501c nonprofit can apply.


We have nonprofit status but do not have a business license. Are we eligible?  
Every organization must have a business license, regardless of whether you are a for-profit entity or a nonprofit. If you do not have one you must apply as soon as possible in order to come into compliance with Arlington County.  Depending on the accuracy of your application, renewing or getting a license may take several days.


If my organization is located outside of Arlington but provides services in Arlington is it eligible to apply?
Your primary location must be located within Arlington County.


Are home-based businesses eligible to apply?
Yes, if they are located within Arlington County and have an Arlington business license.


How much funding can my business receive?
A business can apply for one of four GRANT amounts — $2,500, $5,000, $7,500 or $10,000. We encourage you to only apply for the amount specifically needed, as demand for grants will outmatch available funds. Actual award amounts are dependent on available funds, a competitive scoring system and the final number of grants awarded.


How will you determine who receives a GRANT?
Funding decisions will be made using a competitive process. First, all completed applications will be evaluated for eligibility. Then, eligible applications will be reviewed by an internal team of Arlington County staff and an external GRANT Review Panel using a variety of criteria, including need, impact on employment, business sustainability and level of business disruption from the pandemic. The GRANT Review Panel will evaluate blind application data and will not know the identity of applicants. 


Who are the individuals who make up the GRANT Review Panel?
The GRANT Review Panel is comprised of diverse members from the Arlington County Economic Development Commission and Industrial Development Association — Arlington County Board appointed advisory groups dedicated to supporting Arlington’s economy. The panel was selected based on their unique small business and nonprofit expertise, as well as a deep understanding of the Arlington County business ecosystem. 


If the process is “blind,” how can I ensure the privacy of my business?
None of the GRANT Review Panel members will be able to know the name or any identifying information of a GRANT applicant during the evaluation process. Business names will only be revealed after awards are determined. In the event a review panel member accidentally learns of the name of an applicant, they will recuse themselves from scoring that applicant. Review Panel members are also compelled to follow a confidentiality agreement on the entire process and applications.


How has the County incorporated equity principals into the GRANT process? 
Like all of AED’s BizLaunch programs, we have a goal of being inclusive and assisting diverse Arlington entrepreneurs located throughout the County. The online application includes a question that asks about status of woman-owned, minority-owned and veteran-owned businesses. AED is cooperating with a range of community partners to ensure that the program is broadly promoted to hard-to-reach businesses and the application is translated in Spanish and Amharic. 


I submitted my application, but I forgot to upload my Arlington County Business License. Can I go back and submit it later?
You must upload your Business License Certificate before you can submit your application; you do not have the ability to save and return to the application. Please make sure you have gathered the required information and reviewed the sample application questions before applying. 

If you need to make a correction to your application, and the application period is still open, you may resubmit your application. When resubmitting, please be sure to indicate that you are submitting a corrected application (question 24). The new application will replace your previously submitted application.


I paid my 2020 Business License Tax, but do not have a copy of my Arlington County 2020 Business License Certificate. Can I get a new one to upload to the application?
Yes. You can get a new copy, using one of three methods. The most efficient is through your business account in the Arlington County Customer Assessment and Payment Portal (CAPP). See additional details in the application guide on our Tips page.


If my organization gets a grant, will it be taxable?
Yes. At the present time it is considered taxable and must be reported on your 2020 taxes.


Am I eligible to apply if I pay independent contractors, and not full- or part-time employees, to perform work for my company?
As long as your business meets the eligibility requirements, you are eligible to apply for the program. However, contractors should not be counted as employees on the application. If you plan to use GRANT funds to pay for independent contractors, please include the amount and details in the “Other” category.


Will the County publicize the names of the companies awarded a GRANT?
Yes. After all GRANT applicants have been notified, GRANT awards will be listed on the AED website and the County will issue a media release announcing the winners.


I received federal assistance through the SBA. Does that affect my eligibility or chances of receiving a GRANT?
Federal awards and awards from other entities will not impact eligibility or scoring for Arlington’s GRANT program.


Can I use the GRANT funds for anything related to my business?
Grant funds may be used for employee salaries, benefits or other business capital/operating expenses directly related to the impacts of COVID-19, including: 

  • Retaining and/or supporting employees
  • Employee benefits
  • Restoring financial resiliency
  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Addressing temporary COVID-19 related restrictions on business activity
  • Increasing technology capacity to enable alternative work forms
  • Creating new marketing campaigns
  • Revising business plans
  • Paying vendor invoices
  • Facility cleaning/restoration
  • Other — you are invited to specify what you will use the funds for other than what is on this list


Do I have to do anything after I’m awarded a grant?
We will notify all recipients once all applications are reviewed. Grantees will be required to sign an Arlington Small Business Emergency GRANT Agreement. At the end of the grant period, organizations that were awarded grants will be required to submit final reports and supporting documentation. We will provide the grantees with a template for this purpose later in the year. If the organization does not use the funds for the expenses specified in their application which are directly related to the immediate impacts of COVID-19, you must repay the grant.


Are there other resources if my business is not awarded a GRANT?
Businesses that are not selected to receive funding through the GRANT program are invited to participate in BizLaunch and SCORE programming, including education and training, promotion and mentorship services. There are additional resources on our website that can help businesses navigate the many Federal assistance programs. 

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