To mitigate some of the challenges and hardships experienced by small businesses as a result of COVID-19 related closures and modifications, Arlington County is finding new ways to reach out to business owners with counsel, resources and other options. While many of these recommended closures are necessary in the interest of public health, the County recognizes the burden those closures create.
“The business community is experiencing an unprecedented challenge as it relates to dealing with the Coronavirus/COVID-19,” said Telly Tucker, director of Arlington Economic Development. “We want our businesses to know we are here to help them during this time in any way we can.”
To limit potential exposure to the virus, current federal, state and local government guidelines now limit no more than 10 people inside a place at one time. This move resulted in the closure of restaurants’ dining rooms, moving where possible to a carryout/delivery model only. The County is taking active measures to repurpose street parking in front of restaurants into pickup zones for restaurants to streamline the process and allow more individuals to take advantage of these services. As of March 19, the County has served 112 restaurants, with 52 zones and 105 installed signs. Businesses looking to receive special curbside pickup/carryout parking signage can call 703-228-5000 or email DESContactCenter@arlingtonva.us.
The County encourages the community to continue to support local restaurants with carryout/pickup orders, which supports jobs in our County.
Additionally, the County’s BizLaunch team, a division of Arlington Economic Development, is able to conduct virtual one-on-one business counseling sessions and is offering a number of webinars for business owners with questions on their options during this crisis. Additionally, BizLaunch has compiled a number of opportunities for grants and loans that may be available to small businesses, as the Small Business Administration (SBA) has officially declared Arlington one of its economic disaster areas. BizLaunch has a complete list of these available resources on its website. Further, the County is assessing other potential options to provide assistance to the business community.
“More than 90 percent of Arlington’s businesses employ 50 or fewer people, and these are some of the businesses most affected by a crisis such as this,” said Tucker. “We, and our partners in the business community, want to do all we can to help ensure the survival of Arlington’s small businesses. The Ballston, Crystal City and Rosslyn BIDs, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Arlington County’s Departments of Environmental Services (DES) and Police are all working collaboratively on communicating with our restaurants and small businesses to ensure they have the needed help and resources. They are, after all, what provides vital employment to so many of our residents, a contributor to the local economy and gives Arlington its community character.”
Additional Business Resources and Updates
Disaster Loans: The U.S. SBA’s declaration means any small business is eligible to apply for a low-interest federal disaster loan for working capital as a result of economic injury, to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Penalties & Interest Waived: The late payment penalty and interest will not be imposed on local taxes with a payment due date between March 13 and April 30, 2020, if such taxes are paid in full by May 31, 2020. This decision primarily but not exclusively affects Arlington County Meals, Food, and Beverage Taxes and Transient Occupancy Taxes, which would ordinarily be due March 20 and April 20.
Taxpayers should still file the required returns with the Commissioner of Revenue’s Office even if they are not paying the tax until a later date. Taxpayers are encouraged to pay their taxes on time if they have the financial means to do so. Any taxes previously paid will not be refunded. Taxpayers should direct questions about payments to firstname.lastname@example.org. For filings, please direct questions to email@example.com.
How to Stay Informed
Arlington County’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) webpage provides situation updates and cancellation/schedule news, tips on staying safe, resources for businesses, printable fact sheets in multiple languages, guidance on public events and meetings and more.