More help is on the way for small businesses in Orange County. The Board of County Commissioners on June 2 approved a second round of emergency small business grants to companies who are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of ongoing efforts by Federal, State and local authorities to contain and minimize the spread of COVID-19.
Up to $410,000 in grants will be made available in amounts up to $5,000. Interested business owners will apply through the Orange County website (www.orangecountync.gov/578/Economic-Development). The application will be available at noon on Friday, June 5, and will remain open through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17. Applicants will be asked to submit supplemental materials through a secure website. These materials must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 21, for the application to be considered.
“Small businesses are the backbone of a community, and many are struggling to survive this economic crisis,” said Orange County Chair Penny Rich. “Our goal is for this grant program to help these businesses through this downturn so they can come back strong when the economy rebounds. We particularly encourage women-owned and minority-owned businesses to apply. A diverse business community strengthens the entire community.”
Businesses who have already received financial assistance from either the state, federal or local governments are not eligible to apply for this round of funding. Each grantee will be asked to indicate a public benefit, i.e. job retention or creation, tax base growth or community contribution, over time through the use of these funds.
For additional questions regarding the program and/or process, please see the Emergency Small Business Funding Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the Orange County website 9 (www.orangecountync.gov/2362/Emergency-Small-Business-Funding-Program).
General Terms and Conditions
- Open to Orange County, N.C., based for-profit businesses.
- Minimum of one-year in operation and hold applicable 2019 business privilege licenses.
- Ineligible businesses include, but not limited to, companies involved in real estate investment, multi-level marketing, adult entertainment, or firearms. Companies with outstanding local tax liabilities or tax liens as of June 26, 2020, or currently in bankruptcy (Corporate or Personal) are not eligible.
- Profit and Loss statement indicating profitability prior to coronavirus pandemic
- Maximum grant of $5,000 per small business with no repayment required.
Information Required as Attachments
- Financial documents for April 2019 and April 2020 demonstrating revenue decrease due to COVID-19.
- Financial documents can include: point-of-sales reports, bank statements, quarterly sales tax fillings, 2019 tax returns, or CPA-certified profit & loss statements
- Copy of front and back of North Carolina driver’s license or government-issued ID.
Each of the eligible uses of funds below will be evaluated in the context of being necessary for businesses to provide services in a different manner due to “social distancing” requirements or mandated closures caused by COVID-19
- Fund working capital or operational funds to retain employees during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Purchase equipment, commercial-use vehicles, or machinery for the business
- Improve owner-occupied commercial property; owner must occupy 50% or more of total space
- Sustain or expand business services or products
- Retain or expand workforce development and job creation
- Fund tenant up-fit and lease-hold improvements to the business
In April, the Board of Commissioners approved $300,000 for grants and loans for small businesses. The county’s Economic Development department also manages two ongoing programs that provide $250,000 in grants and loans to small businesses and small ag businesses throughout the county. When these grants are distributed, the county will have provided almost $1 million in FY 2019-20 in assistance to small businesses.