Small Business Assistance Program: Raleigh small business owners could soon get up to $10,000 in grants amid COVID-19

RALEIGH (WTVD) — Applications are not yet available on websites, but Raleigh small business owners will soon be able to apply and get up to $10,000 in grants to address revenue devastation from the pandemic.

The Raleigh City Council unanimously approved the Small Business Assistance Program.


Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin began cheering after the vote.

“I’m very, very proud,” Baldwin said.

Officials hope the grants will serve as bridging money to help people get through an incredibly turbulent time.

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“This is a really urgent time,” said Raleigh City Councilman Patrick Buffkin. “We need to get the money out as quickly as possible to have an impact.”

Many people applied for the Paycheck Protection Program or a loan relief only to be denied.

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“Mom and Pop (stores), Main Street: The funds are not reaching the heart of the community. They are not reaching our cultural soul,” said Veronica Creech, Raleigh Economic Development Manager.

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There are some eligibility requirements:

  • You must show that there has been at least a 25 percent loss in income.
  • You can’t owe the city back taxes

Business owners can only apply for one grant, regardless of how many businesses they have in their name.

Raleigh is working with two partners to offer support.

The first option is for traditional small businesses with 49 or fewer employees. The owners will work with the Carolina Small Business Development Fund.

Any monies received may be used for business expenses at the owner’s discretion, however individuals may not use the cash to pay themselves.

The other option is for micro businesses, which have 14 or fewer employees, and this grant will go through Wake Tech.

Sole proprietors will be able to apply for a microenterprise grant as long as they work outside of their home.

Officials hope that by providing this money, the small business sector will remain strong in our community.

“While Raleigh-specific numbers are still emerging, national surveys of small businesses estimate that about 25 percent of small businesses are at risk of never opening again post-COVID-19,” Creech said.

The city says small business owners should be able to start applying next week and in two weeks, the money will begin to be distributed.

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