Financial Resources

  1. Business Investment Grant
  2. Agriculture Grant

The purpose of the Orange County Business Investment Grant Program is to stimulate successful non-farm Business Investment development and expansion in Orange County. Use of Funds – Priority will be given to ventures demonstrating a clear need for grant funds to grow their business, hire additional staff, grow the commercial tax base, and/or create a significant social and economic impact in the County.

START-UP GRANT (up to $1,500)

Intended for applicants that have been in operation for 6-months or less and have a connection with business counseling services through organizations such as Launch, Piedmont Food Processing Center, Midway Business Center, Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), Durham Tech Small Business Center etc.

SMALL GRANT ($1,500.01 - $5,000)

Grant applications for $1,500.01 to $5,000.00 are intended for applicants that have been operational for at least 6-months. 

LARGE GRANT ($5,000.01 – $10,000)

Grant applications for $5,000.01 or more are intended for applicants that have been operational for at least 1-year and will require additional financial information and a formal business plan.  Should market conditions change, or in the event of an applicant with extraordinary conditions, a grant amount exceeding the maximum may be considered by the Subcommittee. All grants are subject to availability of funds.

Grant Guidelines

Next Application Deadline: September 30th by 5:00 pm (Applications will be accepted quarterly (December 31st, March 31st, June 30th, September 30th)

Grant Applications

Orange County actively seeks to support and increase the participation of women and BIPOC owned businesses in this grant program. Partner organizations are available to assist any applicant with the required documentation to submit the grant application. Please reach out to the Economic Development Department ( or 919-245-2325) with any questions, or for assistance getting connected with any of the partner organizations listed below. 

SCORE Chapel Hill (Service Corps of Retired Executives)
104 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
(919) 240-7765

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

The Small Business Center (Durham Technical Community College)
The Chesterfield
701 W. Main Street, Suite 203, Durham, NC 27701

Additional Financial Resources:

Carrboro Revolving Loan Program

The Town of Carrboro Revolving Loan Fund has assisted over 30 new and existing businesses become a reality in Carrboro.

Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership

Orange County Arts Commission


7(a) Loans

The 7(a) Loan Program, SBA’s most common loan program, includes financial help for small businesses with special requirements. This is the best option when real estate is part of a business purchase, but it can also be used for: 

  • Short- and long-term working capital 
  • Refinance current business debt 
  • Purchase furniture, fixtures, and supplies 

The maximum loan amount for a 7(a) loan is $5 million. Key eligibility factors are based on what the business does to receive its income, its credit history, and where the business operates. Your lender will help you figure out which type of loan is best suited for your needs.

504 Loans

The CDC/504 Loan Program provides long-term, fixed rate financing of up to $5 million for major fixed assets that promote business growth and job creation.

504 loans are available through Certified Development Companies (CDCs), SBA's community-based partners who regulate nonprofits and promote economic development within their communities. CDCs are certified and regulated by the SBA.


The microloan program provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and certain not-for-profit childcare centers start up and expand. The average microloan is about $13,000.

The SBA provides funds to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance. These intermediaries administer the Microloan program for eligible borrowers.