Dining Expansion Grant

Montgomery County and the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg have established a grant fund to support a local restaurant’s ability to operate safely during COVID-19. One-time grants of up to $15,000 are being provided to support improvements that extend the outdoor dining season and/or expand dining capacity to allow a safe dining experience during the pandemic.

Please register through this grants portal to access and complete the grant application. Applications are due Nov. 9, 2020.

Eligible Grant Uses

Funds may be used to create, expand, or enhance seating capacity (with a focus on outdoor seating) as a result of reduced seating capacity to conform to COVID-19 related health and safety standards. Expenses may include any of the following made after March 15, 2020:

  • Outdoor patio heaters of all types and configurations
  • Outdoor patio furniture
  • Permanently plumbing natural gas for the use of outdoor patio heaters
  • Purchase or rental of tents or other types of temporary shelter
  • Renting of additional space within close proximity (100 feet if serving alcohol) to your existing restaurant to expand indoor dining capacity
  • Permanent construction options creating or expanding existing outdoor dining space (i.e. covering and heating an existing deck, expanding a deck or patio to expand dining capacity, etc.) 
  • Other expenses related to the extension of the outdoor dining season and/or expanding dining capacity

Grant funds must be expended in compliance with state and federal law.

Eligibility Criteria

Businesses meeting all of the following eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply:

  • Owner has or will have a valid EIN & DUNS, as well as a business bank account
  • Owner/Applicant is not currently in bankruptcy
  • Must be an existing restaurant physically located in Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, or Montgomery County and possess a valid business license or registration
  • Must be current on all fees, permits and taxes as of the time of application, except when extensions have been granted by a locality due to COVID-19

Grant Guidelines

  • Completion of grant application outlining the use of funds by Nov. 9, 2020
  • Maximum amount of grant is $15,000
  • One (1) grant per business establishment
  • All expenses must be incurred by Dec. 1, 2020
  • All expenses related to renting additional space to expand dining capacity can only be covered through Dec. 30, 2020, per CARES Act guidelines

Applying for the Grant

Please register through this grants portal to access and complete the grant application. In addition to a completed application, the following documentation is required (application and below documentation due Nov. 9, 2020):

  • Copy of Business License or Registration
  • Form W-9
  • Expenditures:
    • For purchases already incurred: Please upload proof of payment including a copy of the invoice/receipt and proof of payment including copy of cleared checks, bank statement or credit card statement.
    • For purchases yet to be incurred: Please upload an invoice or estimate demonstrating the expected cost.

Application Review

A review committee will evaluate the applicant’s documents for eligibility. Applicants will receive an email notifying them as to whether their online application has been accepted or denied by Nov. 15, 2020, so they can carry out any remaining purchases.


This is a reimbursement-based grant program. Successful awardees will only be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred up to the amount requested in their original application. Approved businesses will need to submit proof of payment by Dec. 1, 2020 for eligible expenses incurred between March 15, 2020, and Nov. 30, 2020. Proof of payment includes a copy of the invoice/receipt along with a copy of the cleared check, bank statement or credit card statement. Proof of payment MUST be uploaded to the original application within the grants portal by Dec. 4 in order to receive the reimbursement. The Economic Development Authority will be distribute payment to approved businesses after proof of payment documentation has been reviewed and approved for payment.

Funding Source

The U.S. Treasury guidance allows states to use Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars for expenditures “related to the provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closure.” The Commonwealth of Virginia has elected to disperse a portion of its allocation to local governments. Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, or Montgomery County have elected to use part of their allocation to help support local restaurants.

Note: Financial assistance provided pursuant to this program shall be provided at the Locality’s discretion. When reviewing applications for financial assistance, the Locality will use its discretion to determine whether providing such assistance would violate the intent of the provided program criteria or any related funding limitations.


For further information or questions, please email grants@blacksburg.gov or info@christiansburg.org.