Amherst County giving small businesses $1,000 to pay rent, utility bills

Amherst EDA creates COVID-19 small business grant

AMHERST, Va. – The bar stools and outside patio at Loose Shoe Brewing Company in Amherst County have been empty for seven weeks since Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order limited social gatherings.

“It has been really slow days, busy days and everything in between. It’s definitely not been normal though,” said owner Derin Foor.

Not normal is only serving beer to go.

“ABC's really worked with us as far as being able to take beer out into the parking lot,” Foor said.

Foor said even with customers not sitting inside his utility bills are piling up.

"We still have rent to pay. Our water bill hasn’t stopped,” Foor said.

Lori Saunders with Amherst County’s Economic Development Authority wants to help.

“These small businesses are the backbone of our community,” said Saunders the assistant director of the EDA.