Microscopic view of a infectious virus. Contagion and propagation of a disease. Corona COVID-19. Sars. Flu. 3D Rendering
March 26, 2020
If you are a City of Roanoke Business experiencing loss due to COVID-19, please click here to visit our website.

To help control the spread of
COVID-19, learn, plan and respond by visiting

Want to avoid layoffs and downsizing?
Funding is available to support small businesses (250 employees or less) through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Application Window - March 30 - April 3, 2020

The deadline for applications is 5:00 PM on April 3, 2020.
No exceptions.

COVID-19: Virginia's Blue Ridge Tourism Impact Survey
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve on an hour-by-hour pace, the Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge team is focused on curating and sharing resources to help industry partners navigate the challenges brought about by the pandemic. We will continue to pass along guidance and information from trusted sources as we discover it.

In an effort to gauge and support our regional tourism industry, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge needs to better understand how COVID-19 is impacting your business or service. We have developed a survey in order to track the impact and may adjust a follow-up survey for additional data. 

Please complete the survey here:

The Roanoke Small Business Development Center will be hosting
Zoom sessions over the coming weeks to share pertinent information about COVID-19 resources, including the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans .
Please join them for a session before scheduling a private appointment.
for dates/times of upcoming sessions.
Be sure and register early for these events!
Below is the link to a webinar from SBA providing step-by-step instructions on how to apply for the Disaster Loan Assistance Program. You may want to listen and learn more.


  • The SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (or working capital loan program) is now accepting applications.
  • These loans are available to the following:
  • small businesses
  • small agricultural cooperatives
  • small aquaculture businesses
  • most private non-profit organizations

  • This includes:
  • Businesses directly affected by the disaster
  • Businesses that offer services directly related to the businesses in the declaration
  • Other businesses indirectly related to the industries likely to be harmed by losses in their community (for example a manufacturer of widgets may be eligible as well as the wholesaler and retailer of the product)

  • Criteria for loan approval includes:
  • Credit history - applicant must have a credit history acceptable to SBA
  • Repayment - SBA will determine whether the applicant business has the ability to repay the SBA loan
  • Applicant business must be physically located in a declared county (Roanoke has been declared) and suffered working capital losses due to the declared disaster, not due to a downturn in the economy or other reasons

  • Borrowing:
  • Eligible applicants may qualify for loans up to $2 million
  • Interest rates are 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years
  • Eligibility for these loans are based on the size (must be a small business) and type of business and its financial resources
  • Loans my be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other obligations that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred - loans are not intended to replace lost sales/profits or for expansion
  • Collateral is required for loans over $25,000 - SBA accepts real estate as collateral; they do not decline a loan for lack of collateral, but require borrowers to pledge what is available


To our Small Business Partners in Roanoke and throughout Virginia:

Below is an overview and Survey Monkey link from the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity.

We ask that you share this with your small business community and ask for their participation in this survey process as Governor Northam seeks to have Virginia declared a disaster because of the COVID-19, thereby making our Commonwealth eligible for federal disaster relief.
The input and response from small businesses throughout the Commonwealth is critical for us to have enough data to meet federal requirements which will allow access to disaster loan funds at the federal level.

Please take a moment to complete this survey so they can share the results with State and Federal partners. Responses need to be received as soon as possible but will be open through   5:00pm, Friday, March 27, 2020  to capture responses.

 Thank you for your partnership in disseminating this survey to those most impacted!
COVID-19/Coronavirus Business Assistance
With regards to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), please know we consider our City of Roanoke businesses a top priority and appreciate all you are doing during this trying time.   As we continue to receive more information from the federal and state governments regarding disaster relief, we will share these updates with you. In the meantime , we have four suggestions for things you can do now.

1.  Please begin collecting and documenting any loss of business related to this pandemic.  
This could include the following:
  • Hotel Room Cancellations
  • Meal Reservation Cancellations
  • Private Event Cancellations
  • Conference Cancellations
  • Any business and revenue loss associated with the pandemic

The City of Roanoke Department of Economic Development is developing a collection system so you can easily report this information to us and we can assist City businesses with this effort. In the meantime, please document the information in a written or electronic format for yourself for later.

2. So we can communicate directly with City Businesses throughout this situation, please send your business name, the appropriate contact name, email and phone number for this effort to us at lisa.soltis@roanokeva.gov or complete this Contact Form

3.In order for you to have pertinent documentation should it be needed/required for relief, below are examples of informational items you may be required to present during or after emergency declarations:
  • Monthly sales history for the past two years
  • Accurate year-end business financial statements (both Income and Balance sheets)
  • As time transpires, interim month-end statements may also be required
  • You will need to show a downturn in sales from prior periods (exact details unknown at this time) - early application may be premature

4. SHOP LOCAL - please support the local businesses in our community by purchasing gift cards, ordering carry-out and making an effort to visit as frequently as safely possible.

The City of Roanoke Department of Economic Development is here to assist you. Should you need our help, please contact us using the information below:

Rob Ledger, Director of Economic Development: rob.ledger@roanokeva.gov
Marc Nelson, Manager of Economic Development: marc.nelson@roanokeva.gov
Lisa Soltis, Economic Development Specialist: lisa.soltis@roanokeva.gov
Sean Adkins, Economic Development Specialist: sean.adkins@roanokeva.gov
Business Loss Data Collection - updated forms available
While details of any potential small business disaster relief related to COVID-19 is still uncertain, we created the form s below to collect data that may be needed. Please complete these weekly reports so Roanoke can determine the extent of business impacts and to assist you with obtaining any relief possibly made available. The data will be held as confidential proprietary records provided by a business and shall be maintained as confidential by the City of Roanoke and are not subject to disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Code of Virginia §2.2-3705.6(a)(3).

If you need assistance , do not hesitate to contact the City of Roanoke Department of Economic Development via the following:
lisa.soltis@roanokeva.gov or 540-853-1694 
sean.adkins@roanokeva.gov or 540-853-5405

For updates on new information, please follow the City of Roanoke Department of Economic Development on Facebook and Instagram (@roanokeeconomic), or visit our website at BizRoanoke.com .