Northam Announces Additional Small Business Aid, COVID-19 Case Increases in Rural Areas

Gov. Northam Oct 28

Small businesses in Virginia are set to get an extra boost in funding, the governor says.

The state will allocate an additional $30 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support small businesses, Gov. Ralph Northam announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Northam says the types of businesses that will be eligible to receive the funding have expanded and will include restaurants, summer camps, farmers, retailers and more. 

Each business will be eligible for up to $100,000, up from a previous limit of $10,000.

Northam urged Virginians to wear masks and follow COVID-19 guidelines as case counts surge in parts of the state. 

Cases in the Southwest region in particular have increased over the past two weeks, Virginia data shows. The percent positivity in Southwest Virginia is now just under 8%, over twice the level in other regions, Northam said. 

Number of Cases by Date of Symptom Onset in Southwest Virginia

Number of cases in Southwest Virginia by the day closest to when symptoms began, from the Virginia Department of Health.

"Virginia is a diverse state," Northam said. "In our rural areas in particular, a small increase in cases can have a very large impact."

The governor said most of these new cases are from small family gatherings.

“I know that many people are tired of Covid restrictions," he said. "Most people are doing the right thing, and they are tired of seeing other folks disregard the rules."

Cases in Northern Virginia have been trending upward since the beginning of October, but at a lower rate than the rest of the state.

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