NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Many have taken a hard hit to their finances due to COVID-19.
On Monday, New Hanover County Commissioners approved a $1.3 million grant program to put funds back into these small businesses.
“This is about getting resources to our business community quickly,” County Manager Chris Coudriet said.
County leaders have wasted no time on strategizing how they can help small businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“I began talking to county staff for several weeks about this program, because I knew that there was a need, and I am pleased to see it finally come together,” County Chair Julia Olson-Boseman said.
Thanks to $1.3 million in federal funds, the county will award $10,000 grants to 130 businesses that have been affected.
“Those interruptions could mean they’ve laid off employees, they furloughed employees, they’ve had additional expensures to imply with regulations, or they’ve had lost revenues due to COVID-19,” Chief Financial Officer Lisa Wurtzbacher said.
Coudriet said the county created the Small Business Economic Incentive Grant Program using funds from the CARES Act.
“The county is receiving and sharing money with our municipal partners with more than $4 million for help with COVID-19, but $1.3 million of those are going to go directly to helping small businesses,” Coudriet said.
Wurtzbacher added that businesses who qualify should apply.
“We’re looking for businesses who have employees of more than one employee, but less than 25 employees,” Wurtzbacher said. “Also, we’re trying to focus on New Hanover County businesses.”
Wurtzbacher said leaders are also asking that the business be at least six months old with no pending bankruptcies.
“They have to be in good tax standing with local, state, and federal agencies… They can’t be a financial institution, a non-profit, or a home based business,” Wurtzbacher said.
Small businesses can apply through Friday. Applicants will be placed in a lottery for 130 awardees. The Live Oak Bank and Wilmington Business Development will assist leaders with the process.
Those submitting applications can email them to email@example.com. Once selected, Wurtzbacher said the businesses will be notified by email on the week of June 8.