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City launches next round of Small Business Innovation Fund
Local companies can apply for grants
Published Wednesday, October 28, 2020 9:36 am
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

The city of Charlotte has launched the third round of its Small Business Innovation Fund, an initiative to help entrepreneurs adapt to changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city of Charlotte and Charlotte Center City Partners has launched the third round of the Small Business Innovation Fund.

The online application is open through Nov. 9 at 12 p.m., and will be reviewed by a committee, with applicants hearing about their status by Dec. 30. It is part of the city’s Open for Business initiative, and the Small Business Innovation Fund will dispense $1.5 million in federal funding from the CARES Act to small businesses within Charlotte’s city limits. Funding is to help businesses adapt to economic changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Throughout the challenges of 2020, it’s been very encouraging to see so many of our local businesses innovate and continue to move forward,” Assistant City Manager and Economic Development Director Tracy Dodson said in a statement. “The purpose of these grants is to give small businesses in Charlotte an opportunity to invest in critical areas that will allow them to innovate, grow, and succeed. The city is thrilled to be a part of this grant program as we continue to support local businesses and jobs here in our community.”

Eligibility requirements include: a physical location within the city limits, headquarters within the Charlotte region, 50 employees or fewer full and part-time employees as of March 1, 2020, a negative impact due to the pandemic, and be willing to participate in interviews to record and share lessons learned. Priority will be given to small businesses creating unique experiences for neighborhoods, and adapting and innovating with potential for replication or multi-sector collaborations.

Grants of $20,000 or $40,000 will be given to selected applicants. However, the review committee may distribute more than $40,000 to joint applicants. Funding may not be used for day-to-day expenses such as payroll, losses, utilities, rent, mortgage, operating expenses or vendor expenses. Grants are to be used for innovation, allowing small businesses to emerge more resilient.

Charlotte Center City Partners will administer the grant program in collaboration with the Foundation For the Carolinas. Small business owners can learn more about the grant funding and process during the Oct. 28 9 a.m. webinar, or email questions to info@charlottecentercity.org with the subject “Need Round 3 Insight.”

“The Small Business Innovation Fund is now supporting more than 70 businesses investing in their future during this pandemic, which is a true testament to our community’s future and resiliency,” Michael J. Smith, president and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners said. “We are excited to expand this program across the city as we continue to innovate and outperform during this recovery.”

To register for the Oct. 28 webinar:


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