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State Agency COVID-19 Resources for Community and Economic Development



Authors as Published

Conaway B. Haskins III, Economic Development Specialist, Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of Virginia’s state government community and economic development agencies have launched online resource portals to provide detailed information on available programs to support communities, entrepreneurs, local governments and workers. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the crisis, and the evolving federal government response, many of these agencies are shifting their programs, policies and procedures in real-time. Some of them have been tasked as primary frontline conduits for their federal agency counterparts as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that was passed by Congress and signed by the President in March 2020.

State Agency Links

Below are the links to the ongoing COVID-19 response activities of these key community and economic development agencies of the Commonwealth:

Virginia Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) promotes technology-based economic development by investing in and advising innovative technology startups and companies across the state:

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has statewide staff who promote agriculture, consumer protection & the environment including grant programs for Agriculture-related enterprises:

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) offers technical assistance and grant funding to communities and regions to support local economic development and entrepreneurship ecosystems:

Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD) has staff based around the state to assist with government procurement, business development, and enterprise finance:

Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) offers a variety of workforce development training and financial support services for businesses and workers:

Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) provides mortgages to first-time homebuyers and partners with local governments, nonprofits, and financial institutions to finance apartments and neighborhood revitalization:

Virginia Small Business Development Center Network (VSBDC) has over 25 regional centers across the state providing free and low-cost assistance to entrepreneurs including business planning, financial management, marketing, etc.:

Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) has statewide staff and resources to support development, expansion & marketing for tourism-related businesses and initiatives:

Citizens, community leaders, small businessowners, workers and others who are interested in learning more about available opportunities with these agencies are encouraged to follow ongoing developments via their COVID-19 websites in order to tap into resources as they become available. For questions about the information found this publication, please contact Conaway Haskins at

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Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law

Publication Date

April 23, 2020