Small Business Recovery Fund

Durham Small Business Fund image

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. 

Note: The applications for both the grant and loan programs are now available.


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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  1. About the Grant Program
  2. About the Loan Program


  • Business must be an independent business located within Durham City limits
  • 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 revenues of $500,000 or less according to the most recent tax filing
  • Businesses who have been operating for one year or more.
  • Business must demonstrate it has experienced at least 25% decline in revenue due to COVID-19.
  • 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).

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.


  • 2x average monthly expenses from most recently filed tax return or $10,000, whichever is less.

Required Documentation

  • Completed grant application
  • Statement describing how COVID-19 has adversely impacted the business
  • Copy of valid/unexpired driver’s license or other government-issued identification
  • Most recently completed & filed business tax returns (2018 tax returns are mandatory, 2019 are optional)
  • Payroll documentation or quarterly unemployment insurance filing
  • Monthly sales revenue for each month January-June 2020 (you may provide a point-of-sale report, Excel spreadsheet/ledger or another report from business accounting software)
  • Recipient banking information including your routing, checking account number and copy of a voided check

To Apply

The Grant Program is now closed. Loan funds from the Recovery Program are still available.