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COVID-19 Small Business Funding

Federal Loan and Grant Programs

The following is a three-step process to help you navigate the five federal funding streams:  

Step 1 – Adjust existing debt load: If you already have an existing 7(a) loan with the SBA, then your payments will be deferred. According to the SBA, they will pay the principal, interest, and any associated fees for six months beginning with your April payment (if you have already made it, we have been told you can ask for it back). Talk with your lending agent to confirm details.

Step 2 – Access fast cash: The week of March 30, 2020, the SBA made available up to $10,000 in fast and forgivable “grants” for small businesses and nonprofits (April 13 update: grants will be limited by the size of your organizations with a limit of $1,000 per employee). The application for this cash infusion should not take more than 25 minutes to complete. We are encouraging all our members to do this. The SBA promises a 3 day turn around but no grants have been received, even after two weeks.  Get started now (follow the prompts for the EIDL Grant). 

Step 3 – Apply for an emergency loan: There are three federal economic emergency loan programs for your consideration:

There are five federal loan and grant programs available right now to help your small or mid-size business during this COVID-19 crisis:  

  1. “Economic Injury Disaster Loan” (EIDL) 
  2. “EIDL Grant” (formerly called “ EIDL Cash Advance”) 
  3. “Express Bridge Loan” 
  4. “Paycheck Protection Program” (PPP) 
  5. 7(a) Loan Payment Relief

SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processing these applications on a first-come, first-served basis. SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses.

If you already have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender and have an urgent need for cash, then the SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan will allow you to access up to $25,000 quickly. This loan can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while waiting for the decision and disbursement on an EIDL. 

PPP is again taking applications effective 4.27.2020 at 10:30 a.m. 

The PPP is a $350+$310 billion program established through the recent CARES Act on 3/27/20 (and recharged with funding on 4.23.2020) that uses loan forgiveness to help businesses keep employees on payroll. The PPP is administered through local and regional banks and includes loans of up to $10 million to cover payroll, interest on mortgage payments (principal or prepayments excluded), rent, utilities, and interest on any debt. Forgiveness covers the portion of the loan proceeds that are used for the first eight weeks of payroll and certain other expenses. Learn more and begin your application now through an SBA approved lender. PPP FAQ Document from the US Treasury

We know the federal funding streams are complicated and information is changing daily. The SBA's breakdown of funding options is extremely useful. 

The Chamber is archiving all of our past seminars and briefings here.

Covid Loan Tracker is surveying small businesses across the country and reporting their experiences with the PPP, including loan amounts, processing time, etc. Check it out, and keep in mind this is only based on self-reporting. 

State and Local Emergency Capital

NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program: The Golden LEAF Foundation announced a loan program, managed by the NC Rural Center, called the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program that is intended to support small businesses as they recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. The program provides loans up to $50,000 with six months of no interest and no payments. On May 4th, as part of NC's COVID-19 relief package, another $125 million was directed to the program.

North Carolina Main Street’s local, state, and private & nonprofit loan and grant opportunities

(CLOSED) Orange County Emergency Small Business Funding Program: Orange County small businesses are invited to apply for zero interest loans up to $20,000 with repayment over 5 years and grants of $5,000 may be available as well. The deadline was April 10, 2020.

(CLOSED) Town of Carrboro Small Business and Nonprofit Emergency Fund: On April 21st, Carrboro town council voted to reopen the fund for a second round of loans. The application will reopen soon--stay tuned for updates. This is a 90 loan/10 grant program with a maximum loan of $25,000 with 0% interest. This program is designed to help Carrboro-based businesses and Carrboro-serving nonprofits with short-term payroll coverage. The deadline for second round applications was May 5, 2020 at 5:00pm. 

Business Counseling

NC Small Business and Technology Development Centers (SBTDC)

The SBTDC provides real-time, one-to-one counseling for local business owners and managers as they navigate these challenging times, on topics including cashflow and staff scenario-planning, access to capital and help with applying for business loans. They also have an excellent state-level page of resources. The SBTDC Center in Chapel Hill serves small and mid-size businesses throughout Alamance, Chatham, Lee, Orange, and Person Counties. Schedule a free and confidential business counseling session now

Another free, confidential business counseling resource is at the Small Business Center at Durham Tech, which serves Durham and Orange Counties, and Central Carolina Community College, which serves Chatham, Harnett, and Lee counties.

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina compiled a list of resources here. Their business counselors are also available to answer questions by phone at 800.228.8443. 

Nonprofits: Triangle Community Foundation has compiled a really useful list of resources, available here.