COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

Operating a business in a time of global pandemic can be scary and unpredictable. We’ve compiled these resources on behalf of the Roanoke County business community. For further assistance, please contact the Economic Development Office at econdev@roanokecountyva.gov.

The best source for up-to-date information from Roanoke County can be found at www.roanokecountyva.gov/coronavirus as well as the County’s social media channels. For updates on COVID-19’s impact in Virginia, please see Governor Northam’s website and most recent releases.

We are actively managing databases of local businesses currently hiring and County businesses that are open and serving the public. Please click below for more info.

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Business Impact Survey
COVID SurveyRoanoke Regional Partnership


This is the ONLY survey designed for all companies and all sectors in the Roanoke Region from the Alleghany Highlands to Roanoke Valley to Franklin County.  


Why should you complete it?  This survey will help:

  • Establish a benchmark of where employment and economics are right now.
  • Quantify the economic downtown by sector.
  • Establish communication between the business and governments.
  • Identify action steps.

Please take a few minutes and complete the survey.  It’s the first step toward recovery.

Please note that we will only be reporting information in aggregate form. All information provided will remain confidential.

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Disaster Loan Assistance

Virginia has been declared eligible by the U.S. Small Business Administration for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that Roanoke County businesses are able to apply for up to $2 million in loan assistance from the SBA.

In response to COVID-19, the US Small Business Administration is providing emergency advances of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within 3 days of applying for an SBA Disaster Loan (EIDL). 

To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. 

The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent, and mortgage payments. 

Applications are now being accepted at the link below.

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Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap. 

Read more about eligibility here.

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Note: The following information is courtesy of economic development colleagues, Business Oregon.

Para español, descargue esta este documento.

Operational Planning During Crisis

  • First off, DO NOT panic; you are not alone. Seek the advice of people you trust and then think things through carefully.
  • Be proactive and respond, do not be reactive. Deal with what is in front of you and that which you have control over. Let the rest go. Worry and fear never solves the problems and can actually exacerbate them.
  • Nobody wins if your business fails, so involve your partners and employees in the solution.
  • No one will manage your business like you do. It is important that you stay active in the day-to-day management. The outcome of your business is dependent on the decisions you make.
  • Preserve thy capital. Living to fight another day is priority #1.
  • You don’t have to come up with all of the solutions. Seeking the advice of others and holding a brainstorm meeting can be very helpful. Work with your CPA, Small Business Development Center, financial institution, key employees and even other business owners to come up with ideas. In turn, share with others what is working…and what is not working.
  • Who are your key employees? Do they know the plan? Now is not the time to hide or to go silent; it is the time to communicate, communicate and communicate some more.
  • Work with key employees and involve them in implementing the plan. Many of them will have sound solutions that you might not have thought of. Some of the best solutions can be developed and implemented by those closest to the problem and who have a vested interest in a positive outcome.

Financing a Business During Crisis

  1. Cash Flow Planning
  2. Managing Cash Flow
  3. Increase Cash Inflow
  4. Managing Payments
  5. Lower Cash Outflow
  • Cash flow modeling is the critical tool. Work with your CPA and or Small Business Development Center in putting together a cash flow plan. Stress test it for a 25% and 50% reduction in revenue. Develop a weekly cash flow model going out a minimum of three months, possibly six. Longer is less useful and not as critical. Not that you shouldn’t look out further, but first focus on what is immediately in front of you. Use the cash flow projections to help develop your survival strategy.
  • Pay attention to your financials. They are neither good nor bad, just a tool to show you where you are. They are like indicators on your vehicle. Pay attention to them.  Manage your business based on what you are seeing. Work with your CPA or financial professional to better understand them and to understand what actions can impact them.
  • Work with your partners to get through this. It should not be a surprise to anyone that companies may be starved for cash. Talk to you bank/credit union, suppliers, customers and start working on solutions driven by your cash flow modeling. For instance, if through your modeling it looks like a key to your survival is getting extended terms from say 45 to 90 days that may become a specific request of your vendors to extend their terms to you. Conversely, get your big customers to expedite payments.
  • Do an honest assessment of how long your business can stay viable with little or no revenue.
  • Build up an emergency cash reserve fund and keep it as strong as possible. Cash is king.

Other Crisis Considerations

  1. Insurance
  2. Staffing
  3. Long Term Decisions
  • Are you properly insured? Review your business insurance policy, understand your coverage and exclusions, especially business interruption. There may be a number of relatively low cost insurance options to address business interruption and closures due the state and federal disasters. 
  • Are they up-to-date? Are there ways to reduce the cost and yet maintain adequate insurance coverage?