Active and Thriving Community Grants Program

About this Grant Program

The Active and Thriving Community Grants Program assists certain small businesses and nonprofits experiencing negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is funded through the Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for qualifying small business and nonprofit organizations to (1) address and mitigate financial hardship; (2) implement COVID-19 prevention or mitigation tactics; or (3) both.

logo for the Active and Thriving Communities Grant Program



The Active & Thriving Community Grant online application process is closed as of 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 21. For those deemed eligible in Phase 1, you should expect to receive further instructions by email on Sept. 27.

Information Sessions 

ATC Grants Program Information Session, Aug. 19

ATC Grant Program Info. for Child Care, Aug. 24


Business Sector-Specific Eligibility Requirements

Child Care

  1. Must be regulated (current state license, state license-exempt, county permit or Infant/Toddler Family Day Care).
  2. Must be currently open for business.

Community-Based Organizations: Safety Net Providers

  1. Must be an organization providing social safety net services in at least one of the FY 20-21 Consolidated Community Funding Pool (CCFP) categories.
  2. A social safety net organization is one which provides services in one or more of the FY20-21 categories of the CCFP funding cycle and whose primary focus is on serving people from communities who are more vulnerable to self-sufficiency problems, including people with limited income; immigrants and refugees; people with disabilities; and people who are historically subject to disparate access to opportunities.
  3. The categories of the FY20-21 CCFP funding cycle are financial stability; food and nutrition; health; housing; positive behaviors and healthy relationships; literacy & educational development; support and community/social networks.
  4. Must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Community Pools

  1. Must be an outdoor pool associated with an HOA or an apartment/condominium, or a community membership-based pool.
  2. Must be operational only during the summer season.
  3. Must be permitted to operate by the Fairfax County Health Department.

Note: Country club pools, fitness club pools, hotel pools, municipal pools, therapy pools, storefront/swim schools and school-owned pools are not eligible for this grants program. Non-pool aquatic facilities, including but not limited to day spas, water parks, splashpads/interactive water features and spas are also ineligible.

Out-of-School-Time Programs

  1. Must provide direct recreation and/or educational services to school-age youth (grades K-12) before school, after school, and/or during school breaks.
  2. Organizations may administer programs at their own facility or be contracted to administer programs at another facility.
  3. Must offer structured group programs that meet on a regularly set schedule (e.g., organizations that only provide ad hoc presentations to out-of-school time programs are not eligible).

Note: Out-of-school-time programs where the primary funder is Fairfax County through the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services or the Department of Housing and Community Development are not eligible for this grants program.

Youth Athletic Organizations

  1. Must provide sports programming for youth under the age of 18. Organizations may also have adult sports programs; however, only the youth programs can receive the grant award.
  2. Majority (51% and above) of the youth sports participants of the organization must be Fairfax County residents.
  3. For purpose of determining any grant award amount, the number of participants/sizes of the organization will be determined by the documented number of Fairfax County residents only.
  4. Must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Note: Organizations that only sponsor adult sports programs are not eligible for this grants program.

Additional Minimum Eligibility Requirements for Grant Award

Required Documents

Applicants for the Active and Thriving Community grant will be asked to provide documentation to support the eligibility and award requirements. These may include:

  • 2019 and 2020 tax returns or Forms 990/990-EZ/990-N;
  • 2020 year-end profit-and-loss statement or similar statement of organizational financial standing;
  • Current profit-and-loss statement or other similar document showing financial status, as revised due to COVID-19 impacts;
  • Current state license, documentation of state license exemption, County permit or letter from Infant/Toddler Family Day Care (Applicable only to child care program);
  • IRS letter of determination (for non-profits);
  • Articles of incorporation, articles or organization or other similar evidence of legal formation of the business;
  • Documents sufficient to demonstrate that any claimed revenue loss was not due to longer-term economic or industrial trends unrelated to the pandemic;
  • Health Department permit (Applicable only to community pools);
  • Contract with pool management company operating the pool (Applicable only to some community pools);
  • Sports teams rosters demonstrating county resident information (without personal identifying information) (Applicable only to youth sports organizations).

Consistent with ARPA funding requirements, grantees will be asked to provide documentation of eligible reimbursable costs (incurred after March 13, 2020) of up to 100% of the grant amount requested. In addition, grantees will be required to provide additional documentation, or any certifications deemed necessary to meet other requirements.

Grant Use Limitations

Grant funds can be used to:

  • Mitigate financial hardship (e.g., declines in revenues or impacts of periods of business closure). This includes:
    • Supporting payroll and benefits costs
    • Costs to retain employees
    • Mortgage
    • Rent
    • Utilities Costs
    • Other business critical operating costs as determined by the County
  • Implement COVID-19 prevention or mitigation tactics such as:
    • Physical changes to enable social distance
    • Enhanced cleaning efforts
    • Barriers or partitions

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 new business. All grant awardees will be expected to enter into a grant agreement with Fairfax County and/or the program administrator. A condition of the grant will be that the grantee agrees in good faith to maintain the business in Fairfax County through December 31, 2022, or potentially be subject to repayment of the grant.

There is a limit of one Acting and Thriving Community grant award per unique Employer Identification Number (EIN) - also know as a federal tax identification number - of a small business or non-profit . Organizations which have programs in multiple sectors may submit an application for each sector, however, only one will be awarded.

Eligible expenses cannot include the same expenses that have been covered under another federal, local or state COVID-19 program and/or contract (including PPP, EIDL, RISE grant, RebuildVA, Nonprofit Sustainability Grant).

Grant Awards

Grant Awards

To direct the county’s limited financial resources in ways that will best accomplish the purpose of the ARPA Fiscal Recovery Funds, the Active and Thriving Community Grants Program will apply the county’s vulnerability definition, under development, for ARPA funded projects.

For sectors that have a small population of organizations (Safety-Net Community Based Organizations, athletic organizations, and out-of-school-time organizations), the intention is to award all eligible applicants. However, due to limited funding, if the number of eligible applicants exceeds available dollars, funding will be prioritized first to those who serve vulnerable communities, and the remaining applicants will be awarded through a lottery system.

Due to the large size of potential applicants, the child care sector and the community pools sector will be assessed through vulnerability prioritization and then a lottery system for the remaining applicants.

Grants to eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations would be awarded as follows:


Business Size

Grant Level

Allocation Prioritization

Funding Estimate*

Child Care

Permit/License Capacity:

A: Family Child Care with 1-4 children.

B: Family Child Care with 5-12 Children.

C. Center based child care with 13-40 children

D. Center based child care with 41-120 children

E: Center based child care with over 121 children


A: $2,000

B: $5,000

C: $10,000

D: $15,000

E: $18,000

All eligible child care providers and centers within vulnerable areas and/or support the county’s Child Care Subsidy Program will be awarded.

All other eligible child care providers will be entered into a lottery for the remaining funds.


Safety-Net Community Based Organizations

A: Organizations with 0 to 24 full-time employee equivalents

B. Organizations with more 25- 500 full time employees equivalents

A: $10,000

B: $18,000

All eligible organizations will be awarded. If eligible applicants exceed available funding, the first awarded grants will go to nonprofits that serve vulnerable communities using a lottery system, if necessary.

If additional funding remains, there will be a lottery for all remaining applicants.


Out-of- School Time

A. 100–450 participant days

B. 451-1350 participant days

C. 1,351–2,000 participant days

D. 2,001 or more participant days

*A “participant day” is defined as the number of participants in a program multiplied by the number of days the program operated. A program serving 10 youth five days a week for 10 weeks would have 500 participant days (10 x 5 x 10).

A: $2,000

B: $5,000

C: $15,000

D: $18,000

All eligible organizations will be awarded. If eligible applicants exceed funding, the first grants awarded will be to applicants who serve a majority of participants (51% and above) from vulnerable communities.

If additional funding remains, there will be a lottery for all remaining applicants.


Youth Athletics

A: 1-100 Participants

B: 101-1000 Participants

C: Over 1001 Participants

A: $5,000

B: $10,000

C: $18,000

All eligible applicants will be awarded. If eligible applicants exceed funding, the first grants awarded will be to applicants who serve a majority of participants (51% and above) from vulnerable communities.

If additional funding remains, there will be a lottery for all remaining applicants.


Community Pools

A. 0–2000 square feet

B. 2001–10,000 square feet

C. 10,001 or more square feet

A. $2,500

B. $5,000

C. $7,500

All eligible applicants will be awarded. If eligible applicants exceed funding, the first grants awarded will be to applicants located in vulnerable communities.

If additional funding remains, there will be a lottery for all remaining applicants.


*Funding may change between sectors if there are fewer-than-anticipated awarded applications.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



If you have a question that is unique to your organization please visit the Active and Thriving Communities Grants Program Frequently Asked Questions page.



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