By WECT Staff | June 1, 2020 at 9:36 PM EDT – Updated June 2 at 6:04 AM
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved a $1.3 million grant program at Monday’s public hearing to provide grants to businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Business owners who live in New Hanover County (NHC), have businesses with more than one but fewer than 25 employees and operate a business in NHC are eligible to apply for one of the $10,000 grants.
Businesses located in the unincorporated area, City of Wilmington and the towns of Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach are also eligible.
Grant funds can be used for expenses related to social distancing and enhanced sanitation processes to ensure safe reopening and to hire or rehire employees.
Applications are being accepted now through Friday June 5 at 5 p.m. The application takes only minutes to complete and should be emailed to email@example.com.
“Creating this fund is an important step to provide a lifeline to our local small businesses during this crisis,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman.
Boseman explained she saw similar efforts in Charlotte and Mecklenberg county, which have been pursuing a loan program. She said she wanted to follow the path of a grant system, so there aren’t additional bills to pay for business owners down the line.
The grant program was funded by the Coronavirus Relief and Economic Stability (CARES) Act which allocated $4,064,953 to New Hanover County to offset expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the May 18 board meeting, the NHC Commissioners approved a spending plan that included a small business grant program.
Wilmington Business Development (WBD) and Live Oak Bank are collaborating with NHC to administer the program.
“Our small business community is vital to our county’s economic prosperity and we are happy to play a part in facilitating this program,” said Huntley Garriott, Live Oak Bank President.
Wilmington Business Development will collect applications and eligible businesses will be selected randomly through a computerized lottery system.
Successful applicants will be notified by email around June 10.
After verification and receipt of a notarized application, funds will be disbursed through Live Oak Bank in mid-to-late June and have to be spent by December 30, 2020.
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