Attention, small business owners: another round of pandemic relief grants is in the pipeline.
Although the debut of Phase 2 of North Carolina's Business Recovery Grant Program (BRC) is on hold, Jerry Coleman, director of Cape Fear Community College’s Small Business Center, says applicants should be ready to pounce when the portal opens. Announced just days ago, the program was paused to enable the N.C. Legislature to discuss a possible expansion of the program to cover other types of businesses.
The program will be similar to Phase 1, which provided one-time payments of up to $500,000 to arts, entertainment and recreation businesses, as well as to accommodation and food-service businesses.
It also offered reimbursement grants to businesses and organizations in the arts and recreation industries that did not receive other types of relief, such as Paycheck Protection Program loans. Applicants must have experienced significant economic loss as a result of COVID-19.
The grant amounts are based on a percentage of the applicant’s economic loss, or $500,000, whichever is less, according to the N.C. Department of Revenue, which administers the program.
As in Phase 1 of the BRG program, funds for Phase 2 come from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State Fiscal Recovery Fund. Phase 1 had a pool of $500 million, and there are still grant funds available from that initial phase, according to Dia Harris, spokeswoman for the NCDOR.
“Although we do not know the exact amount at this time, we anticipate those funds will be used for Phase 2,” she said.
NCDOR officials are still processing applications from Phase 1, which closed Jan. 31, 2022.
“The Hospitality and Tourism Industry in our area was impacted severely during the past couple of years as a result of the pandemic,” Coleman said. “The NCDOR Business Recovery Grant has provided much-needed support for businesses in our community. We are pleased to hear that the State Legislature is considering expanding this grant to include additional types of businesses. Small businesses in the area need to keep their eye on Phase 2 of the grant to understand its eligibility requirements and to be ready to act when the application period opens.”
to access the NCDOR website for current BRG information.