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Chamber COVID-19 Resources

The Highland County Chamber of Commerce is offering this page as a health and economic resource guide during the coronavirus pandemic.  Please check back often as we plan to update the page frequently.

UPDATED 6/11/21 3:25 pm

The Chamber encourages you to continue to support our members as you can during this difficult time.  Our full business directory has member contact information for you to learn more.

The 2020 Maple Festival was cancelled.  In the aftermath, participating vendors provided the Chamber with contact information for customers to reach out with support.  With the cancellation of the 2021 Maple Festival as well, we have decided to leave this connector page up until further notice.  Any support you can show these talented Arts & Crafts, Food and Information Booth Vendors is greatly appreciated, as they play a critical role in making the Maple Festival a success.  Thank you!
See our 2020 Maple Festival Connector page by clicking here.

Reopening Resources

May 28, 2021 information from Tim Abbott, Environmental Health Specialist, Sr., Virginia Department of Health, Bath & Highland Co. Health Departments
Phone/Bath(540) 839-7246
Phone/Highland (540) 468 – 2270

This email serves as a reminder that Executive Order 79 goes into effect tonight at midnight (when you wake up tomorrow it will be effective!).

Although capacity limits, distancing, and other business requirements are fully lifted when EO 79 goes into effect,  VDH continues to encourage businesses and other establishments to follow VDH/CDC recommendations and best practices for masking, distancing, handwashing, cleaning, symptom screening, ventilation etc. We have added new guidance, VDH General Recommendations for Businesses, to reflect these changes. For more detailed prevention and mitigation guidance for specific sectors (such as schools, sports, camps, pools, etc), continue to refer to VDH Website for Schools, Workplaces, and Communities and also CDC guidance.

Regarding masking, mask recommendations/requirements will continue to be posted and updated on the VDH mask page: Our topline message is individuals who are not fully vaccinated should continue to mask and remain physically distanced in most settings. Individuals who are fully vaccinated, may remove their mask in most settings. CDC continues to recommend universal masking (regardless of vaccination status) in schools, child care settings, healthcare settings, homeless shelters, and correctional facilities. Regardless of vaccination status, individuals must also continue to wear a mask while accessing public transportation, per a federal requirement.

Additional requirements for employees and employers can be found in the Department of Labor and Industry’s Final Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS- CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19.  DOLI FAQ’s may be found here.

The only mask “mandate” that remains in Executive Order 79 pertains to K-12 schools. Masks must be worn by all students, faculty, staff, and visitors (regardless of vaccination status) in public and private K-12 indoor school settings. This mandate includes activities beyond education (e.g. voters, attendees at performances, etc. on school property must wear a mask in accordance with EO 79). For outdoor K-12 school settings, please see the Governor’s FAQ, which clarifies that while outside on school property, students, teachers, staff, and visitors may remove their masks if fully vaccinated, and individuals who are not fully vaccinated may remove them outside if they can maintain at least six feet distance.

VDH General FAQs and the Executive Order Complaint Portal are also being updated and will reflect changes in Executive Order 79 tomorrow.

State and National Resources on COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website:

Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Website:

Press releases from the Virginia Governor:

Highland County, Virginia Resources on COVID-19

May 26, 2021 Update

From Highland Medical Center ( We are happy to announce that we now have all 3 formulations of the COVID vaccine. We are now able to vaccinate all patients and residents ages 12 and older. We are working with Highland County Public Schools to offer Pfizer vaccines to children 12 and older.

Economic Relief and Opportunities

May 5, 2021: From the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission:

There are several funding programs that are currently accepting applications.  You may find these programs, as well as other grant opportunities, posted on the CSPDC’s online Grant Resource Guide.


Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot (VERP) Planning Grant

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is now accepting applications for the Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot (VERP) Planning Grant. The VERP Planning Grant program is designed to aid localities and nonprofits to better understand eviction prevention needs and to build capacity to mitigate evictions. The goal of the Planning Grants is to prepare Grantees for a future VERP application. Application Deadline: May 26, 2021


Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT)

USDA-Rural Development

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program grants to help fund distance learning and telemedicine services in rural areas to increase access to education, training, and health care resources that are otherwise limited or unavailable. Application Deadline: June 4, 2021


Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Recovery Marketing Leverage Program Summer 2021

Virginia Tourism Corporation

Virginia Tourism is offering these marketing grant funds to spur economic activity and travel across the Commonwealth. Applications open May 11, 2021. Application Deadline: June 22, 2021


GO Virginia Region 8 Per Capita and Enhanced Capacity Building Programs

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

Administered through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, GO Virginia supports programs to create more high-paying jobs through collaboration between business, education, and government to diversify and strengthen the economy in every region of the Commonwealth. CSPDC localities are part of GO Virginia Region 8. The Region 8 Council receives and considers projects that support one of the following: workforce development, site development, startup ecosystems, or cluster scale-ups. The Region 8 Council will consider funding for (1) implementation projects or (2) enhanced capacity building activities such as an assessment or planning study that leads to project development and implementation. GO Virginia 8 applications are accepted quarterly. Contact CSPDC staff if interested in this program. Next Application Deadline: June 25, 2021


GO Virginia Region 8 Economic Resilience and Recovery (ERR) Program

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

The GO Virginia ERR program helps to build capacity to support and serve existing businesses, priority traded sectors and essential businesses, including the healthcare system and its supply chain during the pandemic. The ERR initiative focuses resources on economic resiliency and recovery while following the mission of the overarching GO Virginia program. CSPDC localities are part of GO Virginia Region 8. ERR applications to GO Virginia Region 8 are received and considered on a rolling basis. Contact CSPDC staff if interested in this program. Application Deadline: Rolling


Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

Virginia is the Department of Conservation and Recreation

The Recreational Trails Program is a matching reimbursement program for building and rehabilitating trails and trail facilities and land acquisition for trail projects. The Federal Highway Administration provides the program's funding. The agency responsible for administering the program in Virginia is the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Application Deadline: June 30, 2021


Trail Access Grants

Virginia is the Department of Conservation and Recreation

The Trail Grants program is a 100% reimbursement program being offered in 2021 for trail projects that increase access to trail opportunities for people with disabilities. Application Deadline: June 30, 2021


T-Mobile Hometown Grants


T-Mobile has partnered with Smart Growth America and Main Street America to help build stronger, more prosperous small towns and rural communities. The T-Mobile Hometown grant program will help fund projects to build, rebuild, or refresh community spaces that help foster local connections. For example, this might include the town square pavilion, a historic building, an outdoor park, a ball field, or a library - a place where friends and neighbors connect. Applications accepted quarterly; portal closes on the last day of each quarter and reopens for the new quarter on the first of the month. Next Application Deadline: Summer quarter applications due June 30


Acquire, Renovate, Sell (ARS)

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is now accepting applications for the Acquire, Renovate, Sell (ARS) program. The ARS program strives to create affordable homeownership opportunities for low-to-moderate income (LMI), first-time homebuyers by renovating previously undervalued homes, while allowing providers increased discretion over acquisition type, region and resale. Application Deadline: Rolling basis until July 25, 2021


Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI)

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

Administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the primary objective of the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) is to provide financial assistance to supplement construction costs by private sector broadband service providers, in partnership with local units of government, to extend last-mile service to areas that presently are unserved by any broadband provider. Applications open June 17, 2021.  Notice of applications due July 27.  Applications due September 14, 2021.  Full timeline and draft guidelines available at


Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF)

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

The IRF program supports the strategic redevelopment of vacant and deteriorated industrial properties across the Commonwealth. Funding may be used for a wide variety of revitalization and redevelopment activities such as acquisition, rehabilitation, or repair (including securing and stabilizing for subsequent reuse) of specific structures, as well as demolition, removal, and other physical activities. Application Deadline: July 30, 2021


Virginia Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program – Open Submission Programs

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

Planning Grants, Economic Development & Entrepreneurship Fund, Construction-Ready Water and Sewer Fund, and Regional Water/Wastewater Fund projects will receive funding on an open, first-come, first-served basis between April 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Projects meeting one or more CDBG national objectives and program criteria will be offered an award as long as funds are still available. Application Deadline: Rolling April 1-December 31, 2021


Community Heart and Soul Seed Grant Program
Community Heart and Soul
This program provides $10,000 in startup funding for resident-driven groups in small cities and towns to implement the Community Heart & Soul model. Grant funding requires a $10,000 cash match from the participating municipality or a partnering organization. Application Deadline: Rolling


The Highland County Chamber of Commerce continues to look for solutions to get through these uncertain times.  We are reaching out to local, state and national government officials and organizations to locate resources to help alleviate financial strain.  We will update this page as we know more.  If you have suggestions or feedback, please email  Thank you.

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