Economic Success

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8AM-4:30 PM M-F
703-324-5171 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 432
Fairfax, VA 22035
Rebecca Moudry
Director, Department of Economic Initiatives

Fairfax RISE FAQ

Below is a list of most asked questions about the new Fairfax RISE inititiative. This info will be updated frequently.

Part I: Qualification Survey closed at midnight, Monday, June 15th. 

(Qualification Survey was open June 8th at 9:00a and closed June 15th at 11:59)


Visit the main Fairfax RISE website

Tax Information

COVID-19 loans/grants such as economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, and Fairfax Rise grants can be excluded from taxable gross receipts when filing your Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax returns this year.

For more information:

Business Licenses are due March 1


Fairfax County does not provide specific tax advice to businesses, however this IRS link may to address your question. We recommend that you consult a tax professional for advice specific to your situation. 

The RISE Grant awards were funded through the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds. In the 1st linked question, it appears that the IRS has determined that receipt of a government grant to support businesses (such as the RISE Grant) “is not excluded from the business’s gross income under the Code and therefore is taxable.”

Fairfax County is in the process of issuing 1099G forms for businesses that received grant funds from the RISE program. Those will be sent via USPS mail by the end of the month. 


On July 14, 2020 the Fairfax County board of Supervisors voted to increase the funding for Fairfax RISE to $45,000. This allocation, along with $1,000,000 provided by the Town of Vienna, will increase the number of grantees currently in the Fairfax RISE grant pool to more than more than 4000.  

Originally, we anticipated funding between 35% and 45% of the more than 6000 applications. Now, with this additional funding, we believe that we can fund 65% - 80% of all applicants.

Note that only those who have previously applied will be considered for this additional grant funding. No new applications are currently being accepted. 


As Phase II applications are submitted, the Grant Administration team will review the documents and approve grants. As your grant is reviewed, the team may reach out for further information. You can always see your status in your Foundant account (where your materials were submitted).

Everyone who applied should have received an email on June 25th providing a status update. If you haven’t received your email, please check your spam files or you can log on to your Foundant account (t where your materials were submitted) to see your status.

If you still are missing your information or have questions on your status, please email

We received more than 6,200 grant applications for Fairfax RISE. After a random selection, we invited approximately 2,300 businesses to apply for Phase II review. Those applications not invited on June 25th still pending and “waitlisted”. Currently, we are reviewing documentations provided by potential by Phase II applicants. It’s likely that some grants applications will be denied, and at that time, we will extend more invitations to those pending on the “waitlist” category.

At this time Fairfax County does not have any further opportunities to announce. However, as we continue to review the business landscape that may change. Stay tuned to the Fairfax County website and your local supervisor’s newsletters for any updates. Other grant opportunities at the state or federal level can be found at:

As of July 6th, the total amount for the RISE Grant program is $26 Million dollars. This is an increase of $1M as the Town of Vienna added $1,000,000 to the funding for Vienna businesses. The extra funding from the Town will increase the number of awardees and will not be detrimental to the applicant pool.

As the awards are dispersed, we will provide information both aggregated and specific on the Fairfax RISE website. Grants will begin being awarded the week of July 13th and the awards will continue into August.



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.  


The City of Fairfax has several programs to support businesses within that jurisdiction. More information on City of Fairfax resources can be found on their website.  


Houses of worship and faith-based nonprofit organizations are eligible assuming they meet the criteria and can provide the required documentation to apply. Organizations will not be able to receive funds from both the Social Safety Net Nonprofit Sustainability Program and the RISE grant. 


Organizations must have had at least one (1) full-time employee or one (1) full-time-equivalent employee prior to March 1, 2020 in order to be eligible for the Fairfax RISE grant. Employees must be compensated. 

Nonprofits and businesses must have a physical location in Fairfax County, including their principal place of business. Principal place of business is the main location where the bulk of business occurs, generally including where the head of the business/non-profit and senior management personnel are located. 

Organizations must have employed at least one (1) full-time employee or one (1)  full-time-equivalent employee prior to March 1, 2020 in order to be eligible for a Fairfax RISE grant. Employees Must be compensated.

Yes, if they meet the program eligibility standards. Child care providers, including child care centers and home-based providers, are included in the RISE grant program. 

Employment level is determined by the total number of permanent full-time employee positions plus full-time equivalent positions (FTEs) prior to March 1, 2020. Employees are compensated staff. 

  • A permanent full-time employee is employed by the business/non-profit for a minimum of 35 hours over a minimum of 48 weeks a year, or 1,680 hours per year. These employees often have standard fringe benefits paid by the business/non-profit for the employee.
  • Full-time equivalent positions (FTE) are often part-time or seasonal positions. These positions need to be converted into FTE positions based on one FTE equaling 1,680 hours per year. For example, if two part-time employees work a combined 1,680 hours per year, that is considered one full-time equivalent position.
  • Self-employment by a sole proprietor, independent contractor is acceptable if it equals a minimum of 1,680 hours per year. 
  • To be eligible for the Fairfax RISE grant, applicants must confirm that they have at least one and fewer than 50 total full-time and full-time equivalent employees. Applicants can calculate number of employees using their average employment from the previous 12 months (from March 1, 2019 through February 29, 2020)  or from calendar year 2019.

A 1099 Form will qualify for documentation of payroll status of the Full Time Employee (FTE) status, in addition or as standalone documentation.

Applicants for the RISE grant will work through the RISE Grant Administrator to verify and determine the number of full-time equivalent positions. RISE includes sole proprietorship.

Businesses located in Fairfax County are required to apply for a business license within 75 days of beginning operations in the county if gross receipts exceed $10,000 annually. It is unlawful to engage in business, employment or profession without a BPOL License. The Fairfax RISE grant program is intended help established businesses and organizations remain in business through the COVID-19 emergency. 

Yes, although the reimbursable eligible business interruption costs for the RISE Grant cannot be used to cover the same expenses that the PPP loan or other federal program funds have been used for. Applicants will be responsible for complying to the terms and requirements of loan and grant programs from different sources. 

Yes, although the reimbursable eligible business interruption costs for the RISE Grant cannot be used to cover the same expenses that the EIDL loan or other federal program funds have been used for. Applicants will be responsible for complying to the terms and requirements of loan and grant programs from different sources.

The Nonprofit Sustainability Grant (NSG) application is now closed. You may apply to both NSG and Fairfax RISE. If you are eligible for both, we recommend applying for both to ensure you do not miss application deadlines. However, you will not be able to receive funding for both a Nonprofit Sustainability Grants and a Fairfax RISE Small Business and Nonprofit grant program.  

Awards for the Nonprofit Sustainability Grant will be announced prior to the selections for the grant application for the RISE Program. If you receive a NSG grant, your name will be removed from the Fairfax RISE process.  


Yes. Funds are meant to reimburse businesses and non-profits for the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.   The grant can be used for:  

  • Employee compensation (including wages and benefits)  
  • Working capital  
  • Equipment Inventory  
  • Rent  
  • Other business critical operating expenses
  • 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


Enter your information in this form to receive information about the Fairfax RISE Covid-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Grant program.

Future mailings will include notification when this grant opportunity becomes available and instructions on how to apply.  The application process is expected to begin in early June 2020.  You can also find other for businesses impacted by COVID.


Fairfax County is not awarding a preference for those businesses that applied to the Fairfax County Small Business COVID Recovery Fund.  

However, those that applied and were not selected will be notified that they have the opportunity to reapply for the RISE grant program and again when the grant application opens. 


No. The employment categories are used to size grant awards, not the proportion of grants awarded.  

Eligible applications from non-profits and businesses will be treated in the same manner.

The only exception is that a minimum of 30% of the total awards, or $7.5M, will be awarded to businesses that are women-owned, minority-owned, and/or veteran-owned.  

The RISE Small Business and Nonprofit grant intends to reach the largest number of beneficiaries among the numerous and diverse businesses and nonprofit organizations that contribute to a vibrant Fairfax County economy.   

In order to meet the widespread need in Fairfax County, and to respond as swiftly, fairly and efficiently as possible. RISE set forth basic requirements for eligibility to apply for this grant and all review standards and updates will be posted to the RISE website.  
If the RISE Grant program receives applications that would exceed the $25,000,000 fund allotment, a lottery process will be implemented to identify candidates for the grant program. 

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