COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Grant Fund

Fairfax County awarded $52.5 million to more than 4800 small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis. The program, called RISE, offered  financial assistance grants that assisted with wages, employees’ health insurance, rent, and other fixed operating costs to help small businesses remain in business. More than 72% of the organizations receiving grants identified as small companies owned by women, minorities and/or veterans—businesses that account for one-third of jobs in Fairfax County.  This exceeded the original goal to allocate at least one-third of funds to one of those historically disadvantaged groups.  The program was funded using federal CARES Act funds provided to the County and the grants did not need to be repaid.  

Rise grant total graphic


Want to know more?

  • Learn more about Fairfax RISE program recipients in this infographic.
  • Visit our RISE Grant Award page for a detailed listing of all grantees, their award amounts and other grant-related information.  Information can be filtered and sorted.  
  • Do a deep dive into the data check on our RISE Dashboard. There you can filter the information by geography, Supervisory District, business type and more. 
  • Read the article on the program's success on the Department of Economic Initiatives Page


The primary purpose of the Fairfax RISE (RISE – Relief Initiative to Support Employers) grant program was to provide immediate relief to small businesses and non-profits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Fairfax County hopes to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations remain in business through the COVID-19 emergency and address gaps that may exist among complementary programs.  The grant does not have to be repaid.

The grant program established a minimum allocation of 30% of total funding towards awards for women-owned, minority-owned, and/or veteran-owned businesses. It is funded through an allocation of the Coronavirus Relief Funds provided through the federal CARES Act.

Grant funds were allocated based on number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) employees:

  • Employees, 1 - 10:                       $10,000
  • Employees, 11 – 25:                    $15,000
  • Employees, 26 – 49:                    $20,000

The application process was open from June 8 @9AM through June 15 @ 11:59PM,  2020. 

Q&A about the program

Press Release:
English | Spanish | Arabic | Korean | Vietnamese

Social Media Post:
English | Spanish | Arabic | Korean | Vietnamese

English | Spanish | Korean | Arabic | Vietnamese


To be eligible, applicants must have been established and have one or more location(s) in Fairfax County, including the principal place of business. Fairfax County includes businesses and organizations located in the Towns of Herndon, Vienna, and Clifton. Additionally, awardees must have at least one full-time-equivalent (FTE) and less than 50 FTE  total employees across all locations, in operation over 1 year, and, with the exception of nonprofits, have a valid Business, Professional and Occupational Licenses (BPOL).



Fairfax RISE Webinar

Fairfax RISE grant webinar was held on June 9. It covered how to participate, eligibility and other relevant questions.
A recording of the webinar and a copy of the presentation is available for review. This will be the only webinar offered. 

Fairfax Virtual Assistant