Experience Old Town Warrenton has $40,000 to provide “micro” grants to merchants in the Main Street district survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
The nonprofit organization has experienced a “surge of donations” to support the HOT (Help Old Town) Grants, Executive Director Charity Furness said.
The donations include:
• $15,000 Virginia Main Street 2020 Small Business Support Relief & Recovery Initiative grant through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
• $10,000 from the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation Emergency Response Fund.
• $10,000 from the Patrick Ryan Gay Memorial Golf Tournament (“Pat’s Q”), which traditionally benefits the Patrick Ryan Gay JMU Memorial Scholarship, administered by NPCF.
• $5,000 from Greystone, a real estate lending, management and consulting company based in Warrenton.
Open to retail or service businesses, restaurants, nonprofit organizations and property owners in need of emergency funding, the grants will start Friday, April 24, and will continue “on a rolling basis . . . until the funding is exhausted,” Ms. Furness said.
“Experience Old Town Warrenton has witnessed firsthand the impact that COVID-19 is having on local businesses,” EOTW Chairman Tray Allen said. “Old Town Warrenton is experiencing the lowest vacancy rate it has seen in years, and we’re dedicated to helping these businesses survive through the HOT Grant program.”
Ms. Furness said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Greystone, and the golfers from Pat’s Q, who donated their tournament fees in memory of Patrick and his mother, Pam.
“All of this generous support has been the driving force in launching this grant program.”
Eleven downtown business have closed, while 29 have reduced hours, according to EOTW. That has resulted in 135 people losing their jobs.