The deadline is Friday for small businesses in New Hanover County impacted by COVID-19 to apply for $10,000 grants through a county program, according to an announcement Monday.
Businesses with fewer than 25 employees are eligible for the grants, part of the $1.3 million Small Business Grant Program.
According to a news release, funds can be used to hire or rehire employees, and for expenses related to providing social distancing and enhanced sanitation measures to ensure safe reopening.
Those who fill out an an application will be placed in a lottery system that will randomly select 130 grantees to each receive $10,000.
“New Hanover County is committed to supporting businesses through safe reopening and recovery, and I appreciate the leadership of the board to prioritize our small business community and provide this important economic incentive,” said county manager Chris Coudriet in the release. “The county wanted to make these funds easy to access, so the application process is simple and takes only minutes to fill out. And we hope to have this money in the hands of 130 businesses within a matter of weeks.”
Wilmington Business Development (WBD) and Live Oak Bank will serve as third-party administrators of the program, with WBD collecting applications and Live Oak Bank disbursing the funds after awardees are selected, according to the release. The entities are providing their services for free.
After the application deadline June 5, businesses will be randomly selected through a computerized lottery system and will be notified around June 10.
Selected business will be required to provide additional documentation, and then the funds will be disbursed by mid- to late-June, the release stated.
New Hanover County was allocated a little over $4 million through the CARES Act to be applied toward expenses incurred in response to COVID-19, according to the release. On May 18, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved a spending program that included the $10,000 grants.
"The grant program is explicitly allowed as a use of the funds, according to guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department," the release stated.
Learn more about the grant program, who is eligible and view a list of Frequently Asked Questions on the county's website.
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