The purpose of the Orange County Business Investment Grant Program is to stimulate successful non-farm Business Investment development and expansion in Orange County.
SMALL GRANT ($1,500 or less)
Use of Funds – Priority will be given to ventures demonstrating a clear need for grant funds to grow their business, hire additional staff, grow the commercial tax base, and/or create a significant social and economic impact in the County.
LARGE GRANT ($1,500.01 – $10,000)
High Potential Founders – Although all applicants will be considered, business owners who exhibit the following characteristics will be given priority: a. Have a thorough understanding of their market b. Have assembled a talented team c. Have a passion for building their venture in Orange County High Potential Ventures – Priority will be given to “growth” ventures capable of expanding rapidly, renting office space in Orange County, and hiring Orange County employees. Use of Funds – Priority will be given to applicants demonstrating a clear need for grant funds to grow their business, hire additional staff, grow the commercial tax base, or create a significant social impact in the County.
Next Application Deadline: June 30th by 5:00 pm
Orange County actively seeks to support and increase the participation of women and BIPOC owned businesses in this grant program. Partner organizations are available to assist any applicant with the required documentation to submit the grant application. Please reach out to the Economic Development Department (email@example.com or 919-245-2325) with any questions, or for assistance getting connected with any of the partner organizations listed below.
SCORE Chapel Hill (Service Corps of Retired Executives)
104 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
SBTDC (Small Business & Technology Development Center)
UNC Chapel Hill, 1700 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Suite 115 / CB# 1823, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
The Small Business Center (Durham Technical Community College)
701 W. Main Street, Suite 203, Durham, NC 27701
The “Agriculture Economic Development” grant program will assist local farmers to develop new sources of agricultural income through the provision of cost-share grants. Individual grant limit is $10,000. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that their operation is a verifiable farm business. The farm tract and farming operation on which the funds are to be used must be in Orange County.
Next Application Deadline: December 31, 2021 – applications will be accepted quarterly thereafter (deadlines: March 31, 2022, June 30, 2022, September 30, 2022 and December 31, 2022) if there are remaining funds.
A small subcommittee of members from the Orange County Economic Development Advisory Board, the Farmland Preservation Board, and other relevant staff will meet quarterly to review applications and make decision on possible awards. For further information, please contact Mike Ortosky at 919-245-2336 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Financial Resources:
Carrboro Revolving Loan Program
The Town of Carrboro Revolving Loan Fund has assisted over 30 new and existing businesses become a reality in Carrboro.
Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership
Sidewalk Dining Grant
Sidewalk dining adds vibrancy and energy to our wonderful downtown and we want to encourage restaurants to get in on the fun! The Downtown Partnership is offering up to $500 as a matching grant for downtown Chapel Hill businesses to pay for sidewalk dining furniture as well as the cost of the sidewalk dining permit. https://downtownchapelhill.com/programs/sidewalk-dining-grant/
Facade Improvement Grant
The Facade Improvement Grant was created to encourage private investment through the renovation of facades in downtown Chapel Hill, to encourage good design, and to preserve the architectural character that is unique to Chapel Hill. Any business or property owner located within the Downtown Chapel Hill Municipal Service District is eligible to apply.
Orange County Arts Commission
The 7(a) Loan Program, SBA’s most common loan program, includes financial help for small businesses with special requirements. This is the best option when real estate is part of a business purchase, but it can also be used for:
- Short- and long-term working capital
- Refinance current business debt
- Purchase furniture, fixtures, and supplies
The maximum loan amount for a 7(a) loan is $5 million. Key eligibility factors are based on what the business does to receive its income, its credit history, and where the business operates. Your lender will help you figure out which type of loan is best suited for your needs.
The CDC/504 Loan Program provides long-term, fixed rate financing of up to $5 million for major fixed assets that promote business growth and job creation.
504 loans are available through Certified Development Companies (CDCs), SBA's community-based partners who regulate nonprofits and promote economic development within their communities. CDCs are certified and regulated by the SBA.
The microloan program provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and certain not-for-profit childcare centers start up and expand. The average microloan is about $13,000.
The SBA provides funds to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance. These intermediaries administer the Microloan program for eligible borrowers.