Small Business Recovery Fund


Durham City Council has authorized the establishment of the Durham Small Business Recovery Fund program for small businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund consists of private money for grants and public funds for loans and is approximately $3 million, with $1 million from Duke University for grants and approximately $2 million from the City of Durham and Durham County. The fund is held and administered by the Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF). In addition to administering the grants, CSBDF also will process, service and collect loans on behalf of the City and County. The agency will also market the programs and provide technical assistance to businesses receiving loans.

Grant applications and loans are selected for review on a first come, first serve basis. Eligible businesses can apply to both the grant and the loan program. 

Click here to apply for the loan program. 


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Do you have questions about the application process, eligibility and required documentation? Check out two recordings of our webinars answering all your questions (in both English and Spanish)




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  • Business must be an independent business located within Durham County
  • Eligible businesses include sole proprietorships, home businesses, food trucks, and independent contractors
  • Businesses with 25 or fewer full-time employees
  • Franchises are only eligible if the franchisor is independent and locally owned
  • Business with revenue sup to $5 million, according to the most recent tax filing
  • Business with a minimum of 2 years in a profitable operation*
  • Business does not have credit accounts > 90 days past due at time of application
  • Business does not have any current open judgments or tax liens
  • Business total unpaid collections may not exceed $ 1,000
  • Business total unpaid charge-offs may not exceed $ 1,000
  • Business has not filed for bankruptcy within the past 3 years (collections and charged-offs due to medical bills are exempt).
  • Business demonstrates that financial obligations and operating expenses could have been met absent the economic impact of the COVID-19.

Use of Funds

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. Funds may not be used to pay off existing debts, tax liens, judgments, or collections.

Loan Terms

  • Loan size: $5,000 to $35,000 for 10 years; loan size is lesser of 3x average monthly expenses
  • Interest rate fixed at 3.00%

Required Documentation

  • Complete simplified online loan application
  • Statement describing how COVID-19 has adversely impacted the business
  • Copy of valid/unexpired driver’s license or other government-issued identification
  • Copy of business formation documents and/or partnership agreements
  • Copy of lease agreement or mortgage statement, if available and the place of business is owned by the client
  • 2018 or 2019 business tax returns
  • 2019 Balance Sheet
  • Debt Schedule
  • Most recent bank statement
  • Banking information including your routing, checking account number, and copy of a voided check

Note: *Businesses that can satisfactorily document reasons for a significant disruption in operations during 2019 that impacted profitability will be considered on a case-by-base basis. A “significant disruption” might include flooding, fire, or major damage or forced to close due to an emergency declaration. Satisfactory documentation might include insurance claims, letters from public health, pictures, etc. The business still needs to show at least 1 year of profitable operations.

To Apply

For more information and to apply, please visit the Durham Small Business Recovery Loan Fund page at Carolina Small Business’ website. Loan applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted. Decisions for loans will be made within 15 calendar days from receiving completed applications, with money provided five calendar days from the closing date.