The Arlington County Board voted 5-0 to approve the Small Business GRANT 2.0 program, which will provide direct financial assistance to small businesses as they continue to recover from the often devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The GRANT 2.0 program will provide funds to businesses and nonprofits to aid in their short-term recovery and will focus on hard-to-reach businesses, as well as those industries most affected by the Governor’s stay at home orders who were not eligible or could not quickly pivot to respond to other grant opportunities. According to The Connection Newspapers, "A total of $2 million is being allocated to the program through the American Rescue Plan Act. “From a health and economic standpoint, the pandemic is not over. It continues to be a significant source of challenges for our small businesses,” said Matt de Ferranti, chair of the Arlington County Board. “This assistance targets small businesses that have not received federal or state assistance and gives special consideration to businesses that have vaccinated their employees and/or will commit to do so.” The grants are small, $10,000 grants for businesses with 50 or fewer employees." As per The Connection Newspapers, "Eligible businesses and nonprofits must be in the following industry sectors: arts and entertainment, child care, hotel and accommodations, personal services, restaurants and food service (including food trucks) and retail; have their primary location in Arlington County; operate from a physical brick-and-mortar location in a commercially zoned area; have a current 2021 Arlington business license; and be current on their tax obligations. Applications will need to be submitted electronically. Grants will be awarded at random to eligible businesses. The goal is to have the application process up and running in early October."