Small businesses can now apply for COVID-19 recovery grants
Cory Burkarth
Cory.Burkarth@ci.charlotte.nc.us
6/23/2020
OpenForBusiness

Open for Business is a City of Charlotte initiative supporting small business owners through their COVID-19 recovery. By providing access to capital and other resources, the program is intended to help businesses survive the recovery phase of the pandemic and help prepare businesses to thrive in a post-pandemic future. The initiative is supported by the City of Charlotte Small Business Community Recovery Task Force and Charlotte City Council Workforce and Development Committee.

The City of Charlotte's Open for Business digital platform, www.charlotteopenforbusiness.com, is now live. Visit the website for information on available grants and sign up to receive alerts when new resources are available.

Additionally, applications for the Access to Capital Small Business Recovery grants program are now available at www.charlotteopenforbusiness.com. The City of Charlotte recently partnered with Foundation For The Carolinas (FFTC) to launch the program, which will distribute $30 million in federal CARES Act funding to local small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The program is part of the city's Open for Business initiative and will distribute grants of either $10,000 or $25,000 (depending on the number of employees) to small businesses headquartered within Charlotte city limits that have been affected by the pandemic. FFTC serves as the city's grantmaking partner for the effort. 

The Access to Capital Small Business Recovery Program aims to provide funding rapidly, accessibly and equitably for Charlotte's diverse small business community. Applications will be selected randomly by geography from the applicant pool for review. Businesses only need to apply once. However, the likelihood of receiving a grant increases the earlier an application is received because it will be available for selection each day. 

 To qualify, a small business must:

  • Be headquartered within the Charlotte city limits

  • Employ 25 or fewer employees (including part-time, if reported on company’s W-3)

  • Have been established before Jan. 1, 2020

  • Have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Have gross sales for 2019 of at least $30,000 and less than $2 million

  • Not be currently engaged in bankruptcy proceedings

Full eligibility requirements and a list of required documentation are available at www.charlotteopenforbusiness.com. It is anticipated that the number of applicants will exceed the available funding, so grants are not guaranteed.

Priority will be given to businesses that have not received federal or state COVID-19 related financial support, or funding from the City’s Micro Business Relief Fund. Phase 1 awards will be distributed the week of June 30 and July 6, while Phase 2 awards will be issued the week of Aug. 3.

Applications will be accepted from 10 a.m., June 22, through 5 p.m., July 31, and are available in English, Spanish, Nepali, French, Chinese and Vietnamese. For a complete list of criteria and to apply, visit www.charlotteopenforbusiness.com. Contact cltcitygrant@fftc.org or 704.998.6499 for assistance.