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March 25, 2020
ALEXANDRIA -  Governor's Order Now in Effect
Governor Northam's executive order to promote social distancing took effect at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24. The order bans all gatherings of more than 10 people, closes non-essential recreation and entertainment businesses; permits food service establishments and farmers' markets to remain open only for takeout and delivery; permits essential retail businesses to remain open only with social distancing and enhanced sanitizing practices; limits non-essential retail businesses to no more than 10 patrons per establishment with social distancing and sanitizing; and requires non-essential professional businesses to use telework as much as possible.
Alexandria City Council Adopts Emergency Ordinances
At an emergency meeting held on March 24 by telephone in accordance with state law, the Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted emergency ordinances and resolutions implementing procedures to ensure continuity of city government and modify public meeting procedures and other public practices; enacting a moratorium on penalties and interest and an extension until June 30 for businesses to file hotel, short-term homesharing and restaurant meals taxes; changing the filing schedule for quarterly business license taxes, business personal property taxes and elderly and disabled tax relief applications; and authorizing the City Manager to apply for grants during this emergency period.  Here's more information courtesy of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership
Delayed payment of 5% Meals Tax collected by Restaurants & Grocery Stores
For the approximately 490 restaurants and grocery stores in Alexandria, the City Council approved a temporary moratorium on charging late payment penalties and interest on the Meals Tax.  This allows those businesses to hold on to the taxes they collected from customers between the time period of February 1, 2020 - June 30, 2020, and defer the payment to the City after the moratorium ends. It will also allow those businesses to enter into payment plans of the deferred taxes, without penalties or interest, provided they are paid in full by June 30, 2021.
Delayed payment of 6.5% Transient Lodging Tax and $1.25 per night tax collected by Hotels, Motels & other Hospitality Businesses
For the approximately 50 hotels, motels, Airbnbs and bed and breakfasts in Alexandria, the City Council approved the same temporary moratorium described above for the Meals Tax.   
Extension of Business Personal Property Tax Return Filing date
For the 8,000 businesses and organizations in the City of Alexandria that are required to file a tax return on business personal property (furniture, fixtures, and equipment), City Council moved the filing deadline from May 1 to July 1, 2020.  The business personal property tax returns will be required to be filed online through the City's Business Tax Portal.  The due date for Personal Property tax payments was not changed from the regular due date of October 5.

Updates from Businesses 
To start, we have put together a web page on our website dedicated to providing updates from businesses. You can access it here:  Please check it frequently as we plan to continue to update it in real time. 
If you have any updates, delivery specials etc that you want to share with the community please email them to Lovie Patish  We are also on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin @thechamberalx so please tag us there and we will be glad to share your post on those channels as well. 
Chamber Events/Meetings 
The majority of Chamber Events have been cancelled for the time being.  When we can, we will try to live stream or move applicable events to webinar format.  Please check the Chamber's calendar page for specific event information.  All Chamber Committee meetings will be conducted via teleconference until further notice. 
Experience Alexandria's restaurants, shops and attractions from the comfort of your own home.  As Alexandrians and people across the globe are staying at home and practicing social distancing, local restaurants, shops and attractions are tapping into their creativity to find new ways to bring their businesses to you. From unlimited "Ride it Out" bike rentals to beer-to-go curbside pickup to FaceTime shopping, there are numerous ways to support the independent businesses that make Alexandria so special. Buy a gift card for a future date. Pick up a ready-to-go dinner to make at home. Tap into your creative spirit by taking a live stream writing workshop. We know this is an unprecedented and unsettling time and hope ALX at Home serves as a bright spot in your day and keeps you connected to the things you love about Alexandria. Share the love by using #ALXatHome.
New COVID-19 RESOURCE for Alexandria Businesses & Commercial Property Owners
At this very difficult time, the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership and our partner organizations are committed to ensuring Alexandria's business community has the latest information on the impacts of COVID-19 and resources to help businesses respond.

There are new directives, resources and information coming from federal, state and local sources- it is overwhelming to keep up with while you each try your best to run your businesses, properties and take care of employees. Our goal with this newsletter and related web page is to provide you with one source to access all of this information. Please make sure to subscribe for future updates, and to share this with your colleagues throughout the business community.

Subscribe to the newsletter here.
Emergency Layoff Aversion Assistance Program for Alexandria/Arlington Businesses
The Alexandria/Arlington Emergency Layoff Aversion Assistance Program will award 11 grants to local small businesses who require financial assistance in order to retain their workforce during the COVID-19 emergency.
How the Program Works
  • Participating businesses or non-profit organizations with employees located in Alexandria City and Arlington County that has 250 or fewer employees.
  • Fill out and submit the Emergency Layoff Aversion Assistance Program application at 
  • Application requests shall not exceed $7,500. Smaller requests are encouraged.
  • Decisions for funding approval will be made by March 30, 2020 at 5pm. Grants will be awarded to applicants who can save the largest number of jobs.
Examples of Acceptable Use of Funding
Layoff aversion funds could be used for innovative strategies to maintain business operations, including, but not limited to:
  • Hiring a cleaning/sanitization service.
  • The purchase of software/online programs that employees would need to use from home to support their work.
  • The purchase of remote access supplies, including laptop computers and/or smart phones, which the employees would need to use from home to support their work.
  • The purchase of an online sales platform to sell services virtually so that existing staff roles can be repurposed for order fulfillment.
Application Deadline: 5pm EST, March 27, 2020.
For full requirements and to apply,  
Federal Small Business Resources:
  • Small Business Administration
    • The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
    • Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax businesses can begin applying for loans now. Virginia's application for a statewide declaration of economic disaster was just submitted. News will be forthcoming, and we could know as soon as 48 hours from now.
  • Pending Possible Federal Action
    • Large-scale economic stimulus package pending, to likely include expanded unemployment benefits as well as direct payments to individuals
    • Greatly expanded lending program, much larger in scope than SBA and likely to included guaranteed loans through private institutions
    • Specific support for distressed "front-line impacted" industries such as travel, tourism, and hospitality
    • Support for state Medicaid, unemployment insurance programs and lifting of many federal restrictions on aid applicants
    • Paid-leave mandates for non-teleworking employees, including those subject to quarantine, and affected by closed schools, funded through payroll tax credits. 
      • Treasury working on guidance for refundable payments to be made as quickly as possible
      • Applies to businesses under 500 employees; exemptions for businesses under 50, and those providing frontline healthcare assistance or experiencing significant layoffs 
Attachments: Courtesy of Congressman Don Beyer
State Support
Support for Impacted Employers
  • Regional workforce teams will be activated to support employers that slow or cease operations. Employers who do slow or cease operations will not be financially penalized for an increase in workers requesting unemployment benefits.
  • The Governor is authorizing rapid response funding, through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, for employers eligible to remain open during this emergency. Funds may be used to clean facilities and support emergency needs.
  • The State Corporation Commission (SCC) issued an order directing utilities it regulates, such as electric, natural gas, and water companies in Virginia, to suspend service disconnections for 60 days to provide immediate relief for any customer, residential and business, who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. 
  • Expedited access to unemployment compensation benefits (waive 1-week waiting period)
  • Enhanced unemployment eligibility
  • Fewer restrictions on unemployment eligibility
  • File your claim online through VEC Website at after you have been out of work at least 1 full day.  If you do not have access to a computer you can file your claim through Customer Contact Center by calling 866-832-2363 Monday through Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm
    • Waived 1 week waiting period for benefits
    • Enhanced eligibility; also applies to caretakers
  • Discussions are ongoing with VHDA and landlord organization to discuss lease forbearance.