Councilman goes door-to-door encouraging Wilmington small businesses to apply for $4.5M in grants

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County have partnered to give local businesses $4.5 million in grants to help them as they continue to recover from the pandemic.

The city contributed $2 million of the American Rescue Funds to the grants to help small businesses.

City Councilman Clifford Barnett took to the streets in the Castle Street District, popping into several businesses to let them know about the grants and how to apply.

“It’s very important that local businesses take advantage of this opportunity especially if they’ve been impacted by covid,” Barnett said.

Barnett says the funds will likely go back to the state if businesses don’t apply for the grants. He emphasized the applications are simple, but businesses need to fulfill the following qualifications to be eligible.


  • Business is independent, locally owned, and physically located in New Hanover County.
  • Businesses need to have been in operation for six months prior to March 2020.
  • One or more business owners is a New Hanover County resident.
  • The business has more than one employee (including full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees).
  • Businesses must have a valid Tax ID.
  • The business has experienced layoffs, furloughs, expenditures, or loss of revenue due to COVID-19.
  • Business or registered agent does not have a pending bankruptcy.
  • Business is in good tax standing with all Federal, State, and local governments or has a payment plan in place prior to March 10, 2020, when Governor Roy Cooper declared a statewide state of emergency.
  • Business is not a financial institution, non-profit, or home-based business.
  • Business is not disbarred or suspended from working in North Carolina.

Additionally, Barnett says they would love to award grants to minority and women-owned businesses.

Award amount will be determined by the size of the business. Businesses with 1-10 employees would receive $10,000; 11-25 employees would receive $25,000; and 26+ employees would receive $50,000.

The deadline was previously July 15, but it has been extended by two weeks.

If you are interested in applying, visit the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce website.

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