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Nancy Rose, executive director of the Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce, is encouraging local businesses and groups to apply for the relief funding.

Dominion Energy Virginia is pledging $500,000 to help provide energy bill relief for small businesses, nonprofits and houses of worship in Virginia. Businesses that qualify may be eligible for one-time assistance with their Dominion Energy electric bill up to $1,000.

The pledge is part of a partnership with the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Foundation that expands the existing EnergyShare program to assist small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding from the program is covered by shareholders and will not impact customer rates, according to Dominion.

Nancy Rose, executive director of the Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce, encouraged local businesses and groups to apply for the relief funding.

“Many of our members have availed themselves of loans and or grants to remain viable,” Rose said. “As always the Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce is pleased to provide information on all that is available to help our local businesses thrive.”

Businesses or organizations wanting to apply for relief must meet the following criteria:

* Must be a for-profit business owned and independently operated, nonprofit with a 501(c)(3) status, or a house of worship

* Have an annual electric bill amount of $15,000 or less bases on 2020 payments

*Must be licensed to do business in Dominion Energy’s service territory with an active business account separate from personal account(s)

*Certify business has loss of revenue and is need of financial assistance due to COVID-19

*Employ 50 or fewer people as of Jan. 1, 2021

The following exclusions apply:

*Franchises or other business arrangements in which utility accounts are maintained by a parent company

*Government-owned business entities (except for businesses owned or controlled by a Native American Tribe)

*A business principally engaged in rental property by residential, commercial, or industrial tenants

The application period will remain open until the funds allocated to the program are exhausted.

Applications can be found at vachamber.com/foundation/small-business-relief-program. Applications must be e-signed and submitted via email to Foundation@vachamber.com for review.