Lynchburg plans to reopen slowly, announces new loan program for businesses

Businesses can receive $5,000 to $25,000 loans to cover operating costs

Lynchburg leaders lay out plan for reopening
Lynchburg leaders lay out plan for reopening

LYNCHBURG, Va. – While the future is still uncertain, Lynchburg is planning a thoughtful approach to reopening.

“Our local economy was truly thriving up until March 15th and then we were just dealt with that sucker punch of a pandemic,” said Lynchburg city manager Bonnie Svrcek.

In a virtual business breakfast meeting Tuesday, Svrcek and Lynchburg’s mayor updated business owners on the city’s future and budget constraints.

“We reduced the school’s budget by another $700,000 which was also challenging because we don’t know what education is going to look like when we come back,” Svrcek said.

With most city buildings closed and employees teleworking, Svrcek said staff may not get back inside until late June.

“...Start the slow recovery back to working at city hall,” Svrcek said.

There is good news for some other parts of the city. The Economic Development and Tourism Office created a new loan program for businesses who are struggling financially.

“So, eligibility is for independently-owned and 25 employees or less businesses. So, we’ve dedicated $250,000 towards that business recovery loan program,” said Marjette Upshur the director for Economic Development & Tourism.