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North Carolina Announces New Round Of Grants For Historically Underutilized Businesses

By Jenny Callison, posted Jun 6, 2022
A new round of grant funds is available to help certain small minority- and women-owned businesses recover from the negative impacts of the pandemic. Applicants must have 50 employees or fewer and have a maximum of $1.5 million in gross revenues, based on their 2020 business tax returns.
 
The N.C. Dept. of Administration’s Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) has opened applications for Round 3 of its RETOOLNC grant program for certified HUBs and disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) firms impacted by COVID-19. The program awards grants of at least $10,000 and up to $25,000 to eligible businesses. Other criteria for eligibility can be found in a program information packet.

Eligible home-based businesses, sole proprietorships and independent contractors may apply as well.

Small businesses that are not HUB-certified can attend a free online workshop to help them with the process and learn how to leverage the benefits of that certification. The workshop takes place Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. Registration, which is required, is available here

“I would encourage business owners to take advantage of this workshop,” April Scott, director of the Brunswick Community College Small Business Center, said Monday. She also urges businesses to apply for grants as soon as possible, because, according to the RETOOLNC website, applications will be reviewed and awarded in the order received until all available funds are exhausted.

“We know that minority and women-owned businesses were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper said in a recent news release announcing the new round. “The RETOOLNC program provides direct support to historically underutilized businesses to get the support they still may need to fully recover.” 
 
Grant funds may be used for legitimate business expenses, including but not limited to working capital, lease payments, existing real estate and equipment financing payments and covering payroll shortage, according to the program announcement.

The exact amount awarded to a business will be based on a four-month average of its operating expenses shown on its 2020 business tax return.
 
To apply for a RETOOLNC grant, click here.
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