Emergency Small Business Funding Program-COVID-19

The purpose of the Orange County Emergency Small Business Funding Program is to assist Orange County-based small businesses that are experiencing financial difficulties such as mandated shutdowns, employee layoffs, and operating losses as a result of ongoing efforts at the Federal, State and local authorities to contain and minimize the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications for Orange County’s Round #3 Emergency Small Business Grant Program will be available at this link: https://orangecountyeconomicdevelopment.submittable.com/submit/181523/round-3-emergency-small-business-grant-program beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, January 4, 2021. The application and supporting materials must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, for the application to be considered.

Businesses that have already received COVID-19 related financial assistance from either the state, federal or local governments are eligible to apply for this round of funding. Examples of these types of programs include Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan, Carrboro Small Business and Non-Profit Emergency Loan/Grant Fund.  

Program Funding

Orange County is providing up to $250,000 in funding to support individual grants of approximately $3,000 per applicant for all finalist applicants to the Round #3 program. Final award amount will be determined based on the total number of eligible applications received.

General Terms and Conditions

  • Open to Orange County, N.C., based for-profit businesses.
  • Minimum of one-year in operating history, and hold applicable 2019 business privilege licenses.
  • Ineligible businesses include, but are 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 February 1, 2021, or currently in bankruptcy (Corporate or Personal) are not eligible. Companies that have a past due balance as of February 1, 2021 with the Orange County Small Business Loan Program are also ineligible.
  • Profit and Loss statement indicating profitability prior to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Information Required as Attachments

  • 2019 Tax Return and/or Profit/Loss Statement from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019
  • September 2019 Revenue (Subsidiary ledger and verified by copy of NC DOR E-500 Sales and Use Tax Report) and September 2020 Revenue (Subsidiary ledger and verified by copy of NC DOR E-500 Sales and Use Tax Report
  • Bank Statements (from March-October 2020)
  • Copy of front and back of North Carolina driver’s license or government-issued ID.

Requirements to Receive a Grant

Grant Recipient shall endeavor to meet the following conditions but in no case fail to meet at least one of the following conditions for at least one year: 

  1. Job Retention, within six months of the award retain at least 50% of the work force that existed on January 1, 2020 and retain 100% within one year of the award date; 
  2. Living Wage, pay 90% of Borrower’s work force a living wage of $15 per hour; or  
  3. Community Participation and Involvement, in kind service, discounts or donation to first responders, healthcare and other front line workers in the amount of at least $250 annually for award recipients with net income of up to $100,000 and at least $500 annually for all others. Any value derived from discounts shall be the result of at least 15% off retail price.  Determinations regarding qualifying recipients of in kind services or donations shall be at the sole discretion of the County.  

Grant recipient shall supply evidence of compliance through NC Employment Commission reports, IRS 941 Payroll quarterly reports, Orange County Living Wage certificate or, if those are inapplicable, owner affidavit.

Grant recipients shall commit to a minimum of 2-hours of mentoring with the Small Business Technology Development Center within the 9-month period following the grant award. Grant recipients must provide proof of initial contact with SBTDC prior to the County transferring grant funds.  

SBTDC (Small Business & Technology Development Center)
UNC Chapel Hill
1700 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd Suite 115 / CB# 1823,
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 962-0389

Eligible Uses of Funds

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