It doesn’t hurt to ask for help.

It’s a lesson that can difficult to learn in life, that it’s OK to need a hand during trying times. In the Culpeper, we’ve found that time and time again – when a neighbor needs help, our community answers the call.

That has been evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many of our local businesses have faced hardships due to the uncertain economic times. From March through June, several businesses were either closed or temporarily restricted in how they would normally operate. At the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce, we’ve heard from numerous businesses that have shared their revenue was down anywhere from 65 to 85 percent during the months the governor enacted a stay at home order. They are still seeing a drastic decrease in visitors to their stores, but there is help available.

The town and county have offered their CARES grant money to small business and nonprofit organizations to help try to find a foothold and continue to keep businesses open. The Culpeper Cares Small Business Recovery Grant program already distributed awards totaling $956,742 to 90 businesses and 501c3 non-profit organizations through the Culpeper Cares Small Business Recovery Grant fund.

Round two of the program started Aug. 26 and runs through Sept. 9.

At the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce, we’ve worked with Paige Read, director of Tourism and Economic Development for the Town of Culpeper, on a Town Hall about the program that is available on our website, It’s a valuable resource that helps businesses learn about the Cares grant program and helps walk them through the process.

Sometimes, watching a video isn’t enough. That’s why our office has been helping small businesses and nonprofits fill out the application, guiding them through the process and serving as a conduit to the grant program to help answer any questions businesses may need. It’s a free service and one we’re happy to provide – we want our businesses to survive, thrive and succeed during and following this pandemic.

Information on Culpeper Cares can be found at, or by visiting the Chamber website and clicking on the popup that directs to the Culpeper Cares page. One question we’ve been answering a lot is, “if I received funds in the first round, can I apply again?” The answer is yes. There are some caveats that come with it, and that’s where the Chamber can help answer questions or help find the right resources.

Businesses that received an award in the first round will have to show an additional 25 percent economic injury, acknowledge and accept non duplication of funds use and will have to have their 2019 annual revenue verified.

Other key changes for businesses include that $2 million gross annual receipt cap from 2019 was removed, businesses will have to have opened by Jan. 1, 2020 and Privately owned and operated Franchise establishment owners need not live locally, as long as the franchise location is within Culpeper.

During this time, every little bit helps. The Culpeper Chamber of Commerce is here to help our local businesses recover the from the pandemic by connecting them to the resources available. Our staff is always ready to be of assistance, just call at 540-825-8628, or visit our newly redesigned website at

We are #culpeperstrong.