Tazewell, VA (WOAY) – The Tazewell County Board of Supervisors held a recessed meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17, where they allocated $534,230.27 in COVID-19 grants.
The funding provided through the CARES ACT is direct financial assistance to small businesses – the core of Tazewell County’s economy.
“As we head into the holiday season, the additional restrictions placed on our small businesses last week by Governor Northam are concerning. Unfortunately, our local businesses are still feeling the impact of the government mandated shutdown from this spring. It is the Board’s hope that this funding will be able to assist with business operations” stated Charlie Stacy, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
Businesses with 25 or less employees were eligible to apply for grants between $1,000 and
$10,000 to cover such items as: utilities, rent, mortgage and payroll. The grant does not have to be repaid but recipients are responsible for documenting expenditures. The program was administered by the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority. The Board received a total of 246 applications.
Successful applicants will be contacted by the Economic Development Department.
In addition to the small business funding, the Board voted to enter into an agreement with James C. Justice Companies, Inc. regarding back taxes dating up to 2018. Tazewell County will enter into a settlement agreement for the purpose of expanding ATV trails throughout the northern end of the county. In forming the agreement, Justice has agreed to pay in full the taxes, penalties and interest for all outstanding real estate and personal property taxes through 2019, which totals $298,026.40.
Justice has also agreed to pay $58,000.00 per year toward satisfaction of taxes, penalties, and interest for outstanding mineral taxes from 2018 onward. The settlement agreement also dismisses all longstanding litigation between Justice and Tazewell County.
The Board also voted to go forward with the two percent (2%) cost of living stipend for County employees as budgeted in July. The state had planned to pay half of the two percent (2%) but withdrew most of its funding after the COVID-19 pandemic reduced state revenues. The Board chose to fund the difference from contingency to offset the increase in employee health insurance premiums.
“We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our County employees. 2020 has been a difficult year and we appreciate our employees rising to the challenge” said Maggie Asbury, Northern District representative. The funding was not taken from the CARES Act and was allocated from the County’s general fund.