ln response to the economic hardships experienced by microbusinesses resulting from the COVlD-19 pandemic, the City of Roanoke, in partnership with Freedom First, has launched a small business relief grant program utilizing Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) federal funding.  This is a grant program created in response to businesses that are at-risk of closing or laying off employees due to COVID-19, and its goal is to keep businesses open and retain or create jobs in the City of Roanoke.

To be eligible to receive a CDBG-CV Small Business Relief Grant, the business must be a for-profit small business in the City of Roanoke that will create and/or retain jobs for low-to-moderate income people in our region. CDBG-CV Small Business Relief Grants can be used to pay for a limited scope of expenses, such as:

  • Working capital such as wages, utilities, rent, etc.
  • Costs to comply with COVID-19 related CDC standards
  • Other costs that will enable the business to reopen (as outlined in the program qualifications)

“Through these difficult times, small businesses have struggled to invent new ways to sustain their operations and stay open,” said City Manager Bob Cowell. “This small business relief grant program will continue the City’s efforts at offering much needed support to do what we can to help keep our small businesses afloat.”

“We are excited to partner with the City of Roanoke to distribute these grants to our local small businesses,” said Freedom First SVP of Community Development Dave Prosser. “Roanoke has a reputation for many one-of-a-kind, locally-owned small businesses, and we want to ensure they have the means to reopen and retain jobs for our workforce once lockdown restrictions have eased.”

Applications and further details can be found at www.freedomfirst.com/small-business-relief-grant. Completed applications and program questions should be emailed to ffe@freedomfirst.com by 4 p.m. on June 1, 2022, or when funds are exhausted.

Media inquiries should be directed to Steve Hildebrand, SVP Marketing, (540) 389-0244, bankforgood@freedomfirst.com.



ABOUT FREEDOM FIRST CREDIT UNION: Freedom First Credit Union is the largest member owned, Community Development Financial Institution in Southwest Virginia. Founded in 1956, Freedom First has grown to over 50,000 members, assets of over $730 million, and 10 branch locations in the Roanoke and New River Valleys. Freedom First members benefit from competitive rates, secure and convenient technology, and the knowledge that their money is being reinvested in their community. For more information, please visit www.freedomfirst.com