As one of America’s largest cities, Virginia Beach understands the greatness obtained from embracing a diversity of people and business. 

By creating a dynamic framework where new ideas blend with the existing environment, we can ensure a sustainable and successful future. Part of that framework includes having a business community that represents all of the community.

We are proud Virginia Beach is home to more than 30 percent of all women-and minority–owned companies in our area, not to mention numerous companies from around the world who can help your business connect globally.


Program Objectives

  • Promote entrepreneurial activity by educating entrepreneurs about resources available to help start or expand their businesses
  • Promote opportunities for small business growth
  • Promote Virginia Beach as the preferred location for minority and women-led businesses of all sizes

Targeted assistance including

  • Special Programs/Workshops
  • Resource identification and connections
  • Consultation with the regional office of Virginia Department of Minority Business Enterprise
  • Additional information available from the Virginia Beach Minority Business Council.
  • Federal Assistance Programs available from the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency
  • Business Mentoring
  • Networking
  • Economic Gardening
  • The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) offers free business counseling if you are considering starting a business.  To make an appointment to consult with a SCORE counselor on Thursday mornings in Virginia Beach, call (757) 455-9338.
  • For special counseling contact  Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center at (757) 664-2592.
  • If your business is expanding and you need assistance, contact the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development at (757) 385-6464.
  • The Virginia Beach Minority Business Council
  • Additional small business resources are available from the Virginia Beach Defense Business Center Website.
  • For more information on starting a business in Virginia Beach, click here.

For entrepreneurs and leaders interested in starting or growing a business in Virginia Beach, the Virginia Beach Economic Development can assist by providing management, technical, and other resources. Also, through our department and our allies, various programs are available for small and startup firms, as well as women-and minority-owned companies of any size. Together with our local, regional, and state partners, the City of Virginia Beach can help your company find the best solution for its long term growth needs.

Download the SWaM brochure for more details.

Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA)

VSBFA “small business” definition: 

  1. Must be operating in Virginia, and licensed/good standing with SCC, local, or other licensing authority
  2. Meet ONE of the following:  Under $10M annual revenues or under $2 million tangible net worth or have less than 250 Virginia employees (some programs also require less than 750 total employees), or be a 501c3. 

All real estate loans are “owner occupied commercial real estate.” No investment or residential.

VSBFA Direct Loan Programs

VSBFA makes a loan directly to Borrower typically either subordinate to the bank or secured by separate assets. Borrower applies directly to VSBFA which underwrites, closes, and manages the credit. 

Economic Development Loan   

  • Maximum 40% of total project cost not to exceed $500,000
  • For real estate and improvements, furniture/fixtures/equipment, permanent working capital
  • $500 application fee, recent fixed rate 4%
  • Start up or existing business
  • Focus on acceptable job creation/retention relative to loan amount                                                                                                 


  • Maximum $10,000 -25,000
  • 48 month repayment
  • $100 fee, 6.25% fixed rate
  • Any business purpose other than investment real estate
  • Must have been operational at least 2 years
  • Owners’ credit scores must be at least 650 each

Child Care Loan

  • Maximum $150,000 per location for centers, $10,000 for home based providers
  • 60 month repayment
  • Borrower must be licensed and in good standing with Virginia Department of Social Services.
  • Funds materials, equipment, supplies,  playground, mini-buses, fencing
  • $100 application fee, 4% fixed rate

Bank Credit Support Programs

Bank underwrites/commits to loan subject to VSBFA involvement.

Cash Collateral-VSBFA pledges cash collateral to the bank to help back a business loan

  • Maximum $500,000 or 40% of the loan amount, whichever is less.
  • Maximum involvement—5 years for term loans, 3 years for credit lines
  • Cost  $200 application fee

Loan Guaranty-VSBFA provides an additional guaranty to the bank

  • Maximum 75% of the loan amount or $750,000, whichever is less
  • Maximum involvement-7 years for term loans, 5 years for credit lines
  • Cost $200 application fee, 1.5% of the guaranteed amount due at closing

Loan Participation-VSBFA buys a portion of a bank loan

  • Maximum $500,000 or 40% of the loan amount, whichever is less.
  • Maximum hold period 10 years
  • $500 application fee, VSBFA receives same interest rate as Bank

All VSBSFA Programs

  • Response time once VSBFA has received all required information: 1 week if VSBFA exposure is no more than $500,000 approximately 1 month if VSBFA exposure exceeds $500,000
  • Existing companies must have history of profitable operations and satisfactory debt payment.
  • Startups must have business plans and projections.
  • VSBFA requires guarantees & pledge of all available business and personal collateral.
  • Minimum 10% cash equity expected for startups, more for existing businesses.
  • VSBFA programs cannot be used to compensate for fundamental business weakness.
  • No prepayment fees or closing costs aside from direct transaction costs. 

Regarding the Virginia Small Business Loan Programs contact:

Mary Jo Sisson-Vaughan, Regional Lending Manager, Hampton Roads, Southern VA, Central VA Areas, 804-371-8184