Reston, VA

Two months ago, Local VA, a gourmet dive bar, opened its doors at Lake Anna Plaza. The opening of the small business at 1633 Washington Plaza was marred by delays, but welcomed by customers and the Lake Anne community for its trendy aesthetic and varied menu.

But after a state order directed restaurants and other businesses to limit customers and shift to takeout and delivery, the recently-opened business is struggling to remain afloat. The owners say they’re in it for the long haul, despite financial setbacks.

When the nearly $350 billion stimulus package for small businesses launched, the owners said they immediately applied. One week later, the Small Business Administration assured them that a $10,000 forgivable loan would be on the way within three days of the receipt of a second application. The owners applied but heard nothing in return, despite multiple emails to the administration and their bank.

With federal funds exhausted for small business, Local VA is still optimistic about its future.

“Even when the pandemic forced us to switch to carry-out, your support kept us positive, enthusiastic and moving forward,” the owners wrote in a statement. “And now, we shall conquer this mountain, too. This is our room and its a livelihood for several good, caring and dedicated people.”

Local VA struggled to secure federal assistance is emblematic of other small businesses. The forgivable small business loan program quickly depleted in just under two weeks. It is possible that Congress will add additional money to the program, which was launched on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The business continues to take takeout orders.

“Be strong, be safe and let’s conquer this new world together,” the owners wrote.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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