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Posted on: March 25, 2020

Orange County Announces Emergency Small Business Funding Program

Board of Orange County Commissioners 2019

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners approved an Emergency Small Business funding program for Orange County small businesses experiencing revenue loss due to the coronavirus pandemic in the form of both grants and loans. The County will offer zero interest loans up to $20,000 with loan repayment over five years to eligible applicants. Grants will be awarded up to $5,000 to eligible applicants. An applicant can receive a maximum amount of $25,000 in the form of a loan and grant. The County will accept applications through April 10, 2020.

“This is an important measure to assist our small businesses during this crisis," said county manager Bonnie Hammersley.

Eligible small businesses may apply and qualify for either a grant, loan or both. An evaluation committee composed of two representatives each from the Small Business Grant Committee, the Agricultural Grant Committee, and the Small Business Loan (SBL) Board, and a representative each from Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough will make final determinations for both grants and loans. 

The program will be managed by the County’s Chief Financial Officer and the Director of Economic Development.

The timeframe for loan and grant awards is as follows:

Application Available

March 25, 2020

Application Deadline

April 10, 2020

Award Announcements

Mid-April through May 2020

Funding Availability

May through June 2020


Small business can apply here for this program. 

General requirements:

  • Open to Orange County, North Carolina based for-profit businesses
  • Minimum of one-year in operation and hold applicable 2019 NC  business licenses
  • Profit and Loss statement indicating profitability prior to coronavirus pandemic         
  • Maximum grant of $5,000 per small business with no repayment required.
  • Maximum loan of $20,000 per small business, according to the following terms

Learn more about the program here.

Other resources available to small businesses

NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program

Golden LEAF Foundation and the North Carolina Rural Center have just introduced a new loan program called NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loans. The new product is a rapid recovery loan designed to provide businesses with the capital they need before federal loans and insurance payouts are approved. The SBA process is an 8 to 21-day process. The process for this program is expected to be completed in 4 days. The online application process starts here.  The program offers bridge loans of up to $50,000 with 0% interest for the first 6 months followed by 48 months of principal and interest payments at 5.5% interest.  This program is intended to complement the federal SBA Loan program.  All applicants must:

  • Own and operate a legal business in NC or plan to do so.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Have credit showing a successful repayment history.
  • Not have any active judgments, foreclosures, or federal obligations in default.

Other agencies assisting businesses in this program include Business Link North Carolina (1-800-228-8443) and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

U.S. Small Business Administration Loan Program

The federal SBA agency opened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to North Carolina businesses on March 19. This SBA loan program helps small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 to overcome temporary loss of revenue with low-interest loans up to $2 million with favorable terms (3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits, repaid over 30 years). Details can be found here or by contacting the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov




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