Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI)

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8:30AM-4:30PM M-F

703-324-5171
TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 432
Fairfax, VA 22035

Rebecca Moudry,
Director

PIVOT - Frequently Asked Questions

PIVOT logo

*note this page in in process of being updated 6/22 @ 1:01P

Information

When does the grant period open?

The grant opens Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 9:00am EST and will close on Friday, July 9 at 11:59 PM EST. There is no benefit to being first in line when the grant opens. 

What is the total amount of funds that will be given out?

The total amount for the PIVOT grant program is $25 Million dollars. 

What are the potential grant amounts per business?  

The grant amount per entity vary by sector and entity size (based on annual receipts/revenue), per the following:  

Food Services 
Annual receipts or gross revenue less than $3.5M per establishment:

  • $18,000 grant

Independent Food Trucks

  • $1,500 grant

Lodging (Hotels)
Minimum 10 rooms

  • $400 per room grant

Retail, Services, and Amusements 
Annual receipts or gross revenue less than $3.5M (per establishment)

  •  $12,000 grant

Arts Organizations, Museums, and Historical Sites 
Arts org. annual receipts or gross revenue greater than $100,000 

  •  $10,000 grant

 Arts org. annual receipts or gross revenue less than $100,000

  •  $5,000 grant

 Museums and historical Sites

  • $10,000 grant

How can I find out more information about the PIVOT Program? Where do I sign up to be on the mailing list?

The Department of Economic Initiatives listserv will be used to communicate relevant business information to our local business community.

If you are interested in receiving these communications, you may subscribe on https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mailinglist. Scroll down to the ‘Doing Business’ section and select Economic Initiatives E-News. Future mailings will include notification when this grant opportunity becomes available and instructions on how to apply.  
 

Eligibility

Are businesses located in Towns and Cities in Fairfax County able to participate?

Towns: Businesses and non-profits which have their principal place of business located within the Town of Vienna, Town of Herndon, or Town of Clifton are eligible for the Fairfax RISE program. Residents of those towns are within Fairfax County and vote and pay taxes to both their Town and Fairfax County.

Cities: Businesses and non-profits which have their principal place of businesses located in the City of Fairfax, City of Alexandria or the City of Falls Church are not eligible for the Fairfax RISE program. Cities are wholly separate jurisdictions from Fairfax County, with separate governing and taxing authority. 

 

How do I check to be sure my address is in Fairfax County?

Please visit the Fairfax County Address Validator and it will tell if your address is in Fairfax County proper. 

A few PRO Tips for using the Validator:

  • Type a full or partial entry in the white text box (using * as a wildcard, if necessary)
    • then hit “Enter” or click the “Validate” button.
  • You may also select an option from the drop-down list that appears as you begin to type.
  • Please note that the first search may take up to 20 seconds.

Additional search tips can be found by clicking the question mark button next to the text box.   

 

How do businesses demonstrate a 15% decrease in revenue during COVID-19?

Businesses must demonstrate 15% or greater loss in annual revenue between 2019 and 2020. This will be done by comparing 2019 and 2020 tax returns.  If this difference does not equal at least a 15% reduction, a business will be deemed ineligible for a PIVOT grant. 

I received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and used it to employee compensation, can I apply for this grant?

Yes. However, please note that you cannot use the same reimbursable expenses for the PIVOT Grant if you had them reimbursed under EIDL, PPP loan or any other federal program. Applicants will be responsible for complying to the terms and requirements of loan and grant programs from different sources.

I received a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and to cover similar expenses, can I apply for this grant?

Yes. However, please note that you cannot use the same reimbursable expenses for the PIVOT Grant if you had them reimbursed under EIDL loan or any other federal program. Applicants will be responsible for complying to the terms and requirements of loan and grant programs from different sources.

If I applied for the SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) or received funds from the RRF am I eligible? What about the SBA Shuttered Venue grant program?

You may apply for a PIVOT grant if you have yet to receive funding or a notice of award from either of the RRF or the SBA Shuttered Venue programs. If you have received funds or have received notice that funding will be forthcoming, you will not be eligible for PIVOT.

Why are businesses that received the SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund or the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant not eligible?

Our limited funds are being prioritized for those businesses that have not received these grants. Shuttered Venue and Restaurant Revitalization provide recipients very substantial awards.  

For example, the SBA Restaurant fund average grant amount is $125,000 (the amount is determined by subtracting a restaurant’s 2020 revenue from 2019).  The Shuttered Venue grant will distribute more than $16 billion in grants of up to $10 million each (equal up to 45% of a venue’s revenue).   

Will there be a separate grant opportunity for non-profit and other community-based organizations?

Yes. The county’s Neighborhood and Community Services Department is currently developing a program that will offer grant opportunities for non-profit organizations, childcare providers, and community recreation/athletic organizations. When details are available the program will be announced on the Fairfax County website, Board of Supervisors newsletters, the media, and other local groups. Fairfax County expects to make an announcement on this program in mid-summer. 

Can houses of worship and faith-based organizations apply?

Houses of worship and faith-based nonprofit organizations are not eligible to receive funding from the PIVOT grant program.  Only entities that meet all criteria, including the sector categories, will be eligible.

I don’t see tattoo parlors or travel agencies on the checklist. Are they eligible? **new 6/29/21**

The checklist may not have included this specific type of business, but that document was only intended to be a guide – not a final determination about all types of businesses across the County

  •  Tattoo Parlors are eligible businesses under the ‘Retail, Services and Amusements’ sectors.  Tattoo Parlors are classified as a personal care service.  Any individual tattoo parlor that meets the additional requirements of the program should apply to confirm full qualifications. 
  • Travel agencies are eligible businesses under the ‘Retail, Services and Amusements’ sectors.  Given the negative economic impact that travel and tourism agencies have suffered and the County’s intent to support the hospitality industry, businesses  in the Travel Arrangement sectors  are eligible. Those types of businesses include travel agencies; tour operators; convention and visitors bureaus; and ticketing and reservation offices.  

Businesses that meet the additional requirements of the program should apply to confirm full qualifications.

I established my business in the middle of 2019. How will my economic injury be analyzed if I do not have a full year's revenue in 2019 to be compared against 2020? ***new 6/29/21**

2019 revenue for the months your business was operating will be annualized to ensure a fair comparison against 2020 annual revenue.

This analysis is completed during the Phase I Initial Eligibility Check. Please note that the annualization has already been taken into account if you are notified that your business does not reach the 15% threshold for economic injury.

Selection Process

Will there be a lottery?

If the PIVOT grant program is oversubscribed there will be a lottery for applicants in the Food Services; Retail, Amusements and Services; and Arts, Organizations, Museums and Historic Sites. Hotels are exempt from the lottery. 

Will the number of grant awards be evenly divided among the four categories?

The eligible hotels will be awarded first and then the remaining funds will be applied to the Food Service (including Food Trucks); Retail, Services and Amusements; Arts Organizations, and Museums and Historical Sites programs through a random lottery/selection.  As it will be random across the sectors, funds may not be evenly divided.

I applied for the Microloan (Fairfax Small Business COVID Relief Fund) and the Fairfax RISE grant in 2020 and did not get selected. Can I get a preference in this program?

Fairfax County is not awarding a preference for those businesses that applied to the Microloan Fairfax County Small Business COVID Relief Fund or the RISE grant program. 

Required Documentation

How do I file my BPOL?

Please visit the ‘Understanding BPOL Tax’ website for details on filing for BPOL.  Visit Understanding the Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) Tax | Tax Administration (fairfaxcounty.gov) for more information. 


If you simply need to file online, here is the form https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/bpol/BPOLNewBusiness.aspx

Do I get a BPOL bill?

Because BPOL is a self-reporting tax, no BPOL bills are sent out.  Instead, you receive a BPOL Renewal Application in January every year. The renewal form is required to be filled out and submitted with payment by March 1.

If you did not receive the form in the mail, you can download the BPOL Application from our website.

The easiest and fastest way to renew is online. Renewing online is free when paying with a checking or savings account. A 2.5% service fee applies to credit and debit card payments.
 

Who do I contact if I have further questions about my BPOL?

 
Please contact the Department of Tax Administration (DTA). You can

  • Get help at your convenience, and schedule an appointment for help over the phone or by video.
  • You also may send an email.
  • You may call 703-222-8234 (option 4), TTY 711, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Where can I get information about the Food Establishment Permit? **new 6/29/20**

You can get information about Food Establishment Permits in Fairfax County here: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/food/operators

How can I renew my Food Establishment Permit? **new 6/29/20**

Visit the Fairfax  County health department web page for all the information you need.
Health Permits for Food Establishments: Annual Renewals | Health (fairfaxcounty.gov)

Fund Uses

What are the allowable uses of PIVOT grant funds?

The grant is meant to assist small businesses and certain nonprofits experiencing negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 
The grant can be used for:  

  • Working capital, equipment, rent, debt payments, inventory, employee compensation, and other business critical operating expenses. Grant funds may also be used to implement COVID-19 prevention or mitigation tactics. 
  • Funding must be used to sustain or evolve the grant awardee business. No grant funds can be used to pay debts to close the business or start a new business. 
  • Grantees will be required to enter into a grant agreement with Fairfax County prior to receipt of funds.

The grant agreement will detail the compliance and use requirements that grant awardees will be obligated to. A form of the grant agreement is anticipated to be available for applicants to review prior to the end of the application period.

Are there limits on how I can use PIVOT funds?

Grantees will be required to enter into a grant agreement with Fairfax County prior to receipt of funds.

The grant agreement will detail the compliance and use requirements that grant awardees will be obligated to. A form of the grant agreement is anticipated to be available for applicants to review prior to the end of phase 3 of the application process.

Please note that no grant funds can be used to pay debts to close the business or start a new business. 

Miscellaneous

Do food trucks require a lease agreement?

No. To legally operate in Fairfax County and receive a health department certificate, a food truck must operate from an approved facility or commissary in Fairfax County.  We will only require the health department certificate from food trucks.

Do nonprofit arts organizations need to provide a lease agreement? **new 6/29**

Nonprofit arts organizations are not required to provide a lease agreement. 

For-profit arts organizations, nonprofit museums and historic sites must submit a commercial lease, lease equivalent, deed, or Landlord Affidavit.


 

What is a landlord affidavit and how do I get one? **new 6/29/21**

If you do not have a lease agreement or your lease agreement does not reflect current terms, then you may have your landlord or authorized property manager complete and sign the Landlord Affidavit stating your proof of commercial tenancy at the premises. Applicants completing Phase 2 can find this form under the Sample Documents tab or click here

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