GO Virginia – COVID-19 Response

On April 17, 2020, we intend to recommend a proposal to the GO Virginia State Board that would redirect statewide competitive GO Virginia funds for a statewide, region-led response to the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed guidelines will include a recommendation to reduce our normal 1:1 match by half and to waive local match requirements given the economic distress and budget challenges facing all localities and regions. The full proposal will be sent with the board packet on April 13.

We ask that you assess business needs and opportunities in your communities as soon as possible and take a leadership role in developing high-impact grant proposals that will support economic resiliency and recovery across the Commonwealth.

Specifically, we ask that you review your Growth and Diversification Plans with a new focus on this crisis and prioritize your activities. You are encouraged to evaluate risk and near- and long-term potential impact to each of your priority industry clusters and focus your energy and resources on actionable strategies that will expand or build new capacity to support firms in targeted industry clusters and/or highly affected locally traded sectors as identified by your regional councils.

We ask that you explore sector-based strategies such as:

  • Providing enhanced business assistance programs to connect firms with your network of
  • Optimizing and strengthening supply-chains;
  • Sustaining business operations through telework and other technology;
  • Exploring opportunities to retool production facilities or process to ensure the supply of mission-critical goods and services today and beyond this crisis;
  • Immediate efforts that bring real products to address critical shortages of goods and services to
    meet healthcare needs;
  • Ensuring that the resource network for entrepreneurs and innovators is strong and ready;
  • Establishing strategic partnerships with research institutions; and
  • Developing or expanding transitional training programs to move those out of work into available
    employment opportunities.

It will require collaboration with local governments, industry leaders, education and community partners to respond quickly. The GO Virginia program has established a new framework for regional collaboration and your work thus far has prepared you to participate and lead these important discussions.

This is an important pivot for the GO Virginia program at this time. Our mission of creating jobs and strengthening regional economies is more relevant than ever. We look forward to partnering with you in these important endeavors.