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Application window for small business grants extended to Aug. 30
City program helps navigate pandemic
 
Published Friday, August 14, 2020 8:50 am
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | TIM MOSSHOLDER
The city of Charlotte's Open for Business Access to Capital program for small businesses is taking applications until Aug. 30.

There’s still time to apply for Charlotte’s small-business capital grants.


Applications for the city’s Open for Business Access to Capital Small Business Recovery are available until Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. and expanded to include small business that have received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program, Golden LEAF, the city’s Micro Business Relief Fund or other government sources. Businesses that have already applied don’t need to reapply.


Through the most recent round of grants, the city gifted $3.8 million to 362 small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, the program has given more than $8 million to 753 small businesses.


“We started by addressing the needs of small business owners who were really struggling with no other assistance, and now we are including those businesses that are in need of additional help,” City Council member James Mitchell said. “We’re finding that the need is great and one grant payment is sometimes not enough to keep these small businesses going.”


Applications and eligibility requirements are available at fftc.org/CLTCityGrant.


The program aims to distribute $30 million in federal CARES Act money to small businesses. Foundation For The Carolinas is the administrator and grant-making partner.


The grants, which don’t have to be repaid, are dispersed in increments of $10,000 for businesses with five or fewer employees and $25,000 for those between six and 25 employees. The businesses must be headquartered in Charlotte and must have been affected by the pandemic. Businesses ranging from convenience stores and restaurants to hair salons and florists have been awarded grants.


“When schools first shut down, it was really tough for us, because school translations make up a large part of our business,” said Ron Ponton, owner of PSquared Linguistics, which received a $10,000 grant. “Thankfully, the Access to Capital Small Business Recovery Grant will help me keep my dream alive. The extra financial cushion will allow me to keep my office and staff running for when things open back up to normal.”

Qualified small businesses must:


• Be headquartered within the Charlotte city limits


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


• Have been established before Jan. 1, 2020


• Have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic


• Have gross sales for 2019 between $30,000-$2 million


• Not be involved in bankruptcy


Grants will be issued every two weeks and applications will be selected randomly by a software algorithm from the applicant pool for review and are not reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. The likelihood of receiving a grant increases with an earlier application because it will be available for selection daily. Businesses only need to apply once.
Customer service can be reached at cltcitygrant@fftc.org or (704) 998-6499.

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