Covid19 Business Grants and Loans

Need emergency funding for your small business? Learn more about loan programs and select grant opportunities for small businesses affected by COVID-19. 

Loan Programs

NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending Program

This program is now closed.

Supported by the Golden Leaf Foundation, the North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending program supported North Carolina small businesses and family farms as they recovered from the economic impact of COVID-19. 

Learn more about the Rapid Recovery Lending Program.

SBA Economic Injury Loans

Update (June 16): The SBA is now accepting new applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Advances again.

The US Small Business Administration is offering designated states, including North Carolina,  low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  

The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. 

Learn more and apply for the EIDL loans

Grant Programs

New! Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act established this grant program to help restaurants and other similar businesses stay afloat after the COVID-19 pandemic. Recipients are not required to repay the funds as long as they are used for eligible purposes by March 11, 2023.


Eligible entities include:

  • Restaurants
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products

Grant Amounts

The maximum grant amount is $5 million per location, or up to $10 million in total per applicant. 

The minimum grant amount is $1000.


Apply and learn more about the RRF here.

New! Shuttered Venues Operators Grant

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.


Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives
  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements

Other requirements of note:

  • Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020
  • Venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount

Grant Amount

Grant amounts will reflect either of the following instances:

  • For an eligible entity in operation on January 1, 2019...
    • Grants will be for an amount equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue OR $10 million, whichever is less.
  • For an eligible entity that began operation after January 1, 2019...
    • Grants will be for the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month you were in operation during 2019 multiplied by six (6) OR $10 million, whichever is less.


Applications are now open! Apply for the SVOG here.

Note: On January 20, 2021, SBA updated the proposed plan for issuing grants during the first and second priority periods. To clarify, priority awardees will not need to satisfy the small employer set-aside. During the first 59 days of opening SVOG, SBA will reserve no less than $2 billion of program funding for grants to entities that have no more than 50 employees.

NC Commerce Job Retention Grant (JRG)

Applications for the Job Retention Grant (JRG) program are now closed, but we're publishing some older information about the program for reference purposes. 

The JRG program was initially funded for $15 million.  On September 4, an additional $45.5 million was appropriated to the program, bringing the total of available funds to $60.5 million.  However, this amount still falls short of meeting the needs of the current pool of applicants. Therefore, additional applications can not be accepted at the present time.

Small Diverse Business Emergency Relief Fund

Applications for this fund are currently closed.

The Institute, the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina, the Women’s Business Center of Charlotte, and the South Atlantic Small Business Transportation Resource Center are partnering on the establishment of the Small Diverse Business Emergency Relief Fund. With the state and local shelter-in-place ordinances for citizens, many small businesses and entrepreneurs are experiencing significant economic impact.

Contribute to the Small Diverse Business Emergency Relief Fund