Charlotte Business INClusion

Accessible funding for small businesses

The Charlotte Community Capital Fund is an innovative public/private fund established in 2003 to assist small businesses with gaining access to capital. The City partnered with various other major corporations and foundations to provide a 85% loan guaranty for business loans made by our participating lending partners Self-Help and The Support Center. As such, the Fund enables Self-Help to use more flexible underwriting guidelines than that of traditional lenders. Therefore, businesses that are eligible for financing through the Fund typically would not be able to secure that same financing from a traditional bank.

Small businesses drive innovation and are an important source of employment and economic mobility for Charlotte area families. Yet for many small businesses, accessing capital can be a challenge.
The Charlotte Community Capital Fund (CCCF) makes it easier for many small businesses to secure a loan. CCCF is not itself a lender, but provides financial assistance by guaranteeing up to 85% of the loan amount.

How It Works in Real Life

Your business wants to borrow money for growth, expansion, hiring, acquisition, etc. You go to your bank or credit union and apply for a loan. Your bank tells you that you don’t have enough collateral (assets to secure the loan), so they are unable to give you a loan.

Instead of giving up on your dream, contact CCCF. CCCF can guaranty up to 85% of your loan amount, meaning you don’t need as much collateral to qualify for a loan. It’s really that simple. 

Underwriting Guidelines

CCCF is a loan guarantee fund, not a grant. CCCF is also not itself a lender. The Fund helps small businesses access capital by guaranteeing up to 85% of a loan amount. To do this, CCCF partners with two lenders: Self-Help and Carolina Small Business Development Fund. These two lenders can underwrite and originate loans with limited collateral by using CCCF as a guaranty. These lenders provide favorable rates and terms and flexible underwriting.

Fund Supporters

The Charlotte Community Capital Fund has many supporters that believe in fostering small business growth. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, PNC Bank, Foundation for the Carolinas, and others have joined the City of Charlotte in contributing to the Fund. These partners have made it possible for CCCF to continue its 15+ year legacy of assisting Charlotte-area small businesses access capital.


​For more information, email us with questions or complete the below Contact Form.

Contact Form

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Contact

​For more information, contact one of the Participating Lende​rs:


The Support Center

The Charlotte Community Capital Fund is made possible by the following community partners:

  • Bank of America
  • Branch Banking and Trust
  • City of Charlotte
  • First Citizens Bank
  • Foundation For The Carolinas
  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  • Piedmont Natural Gas
  • PNC Bank
  • South State Bank
  • Spectrum
  • Wells Fargo
  • Existing for-profit small businesses based in the following counties: Mecklenburg, Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln, Rowan or Union
  • Business owners must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Although underwriting guidelines are more flexible than with conventional loans, businesses should demonstrate loan repayment ability, collateral availability, positive credit history, and management experience. Lenders may have additional requests
  • Business owners must have less than $750,000 of personal net worth (various exclusions such as home equity and retirement funds can be excluded)
  • Prohibited businesses include adult-oriented businesses, nightclubs, bars, hotels/motels, tattoo or body-piercing shops, check cashing, pawnshops, car sales lots, gambling and non-profits
  • Start-up businesses can be considered subject to additional underwriting scrutiny


Businesses that are ready to seek financing should complete the CCCF Contact Form below, and a CCCF representative will reach out with next steps.

The turnaround time for loan approval and closing varies depending on the size, complexity, and risk-level of the loan request.

Carolina Small Business Development Fund can be reached by visiting Carolina Small Business Development Fund web site or calling 704-412-7031

Self-Help can be reached by visiting Self-Help website or calling 800-966-7353


After initial screening from one of our lenders, we may recommend a Technical Assistant Provider, available through both Self-Help and Carolina Small Business Development Fund, to assist with the financing request.

Technical Assistance Providers not only can help assess a businesses' financial condition and readiness to seek financing, they can also help the business develop long-term business planning goals and strategies and provide ongoing technical assistance.

Business Technical Assistance Providers are passionate about the success of small businesses and have a breadth and depth of business knowledge to help take a business to the next level.

Traditional lenders considering small business loan requests in the Charlotte region that are just under their institution's normal underwriting guidelines can refer those clients to the Charlotte Community Capital Fund as a possible source of funding.