The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Raleigh’s small business community has been significant. In response, Raleigh City Council approved the designation of $1 million to further support Raleigh small businesses, defined at 49 employees or less.
“Raleigh is home to more than 33,000 small businesses, making them a significant force in our local economy," said Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. “From tech companies to restaurants to landscapers and logistics firms, the innovation and unique niches they fulfill contribute tremendously to our City and the quality of life we enjoy."
Mayor Baldwin and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce will hold a call with about 40 corporate partners to invite the corporate community to match the $1 million from the City of Raleigh. Mayor Baldwin notes that Raleigh is home to a unique retail and restaurant culture. This culture is a vital part of what attracts and retains Raleigh’s smart and diverse talent. Corporate partners investing in Raleigh small businesses is an investment in their workforce and an investment of what some call Raleigh’s cultural soul.
“If just 40 businesses contributed $25,000 each, we would reach our goal. We are all in this together and can only be successful together," Mayor Baldwin said.
Small businesses seeking funding must be a storefront business, have a revenue cap of $2.5 million, and be able to show at least a 25% revenue loss due to COVID-19. Businesses must not owe back taxes to the City of Raleigh. Up to $10,000 is available to each applicant until funding sources are depleted.
The funds will be distributed through two well-known community and small business partners: Carolina Small Business Development Fund and Wake Technical Community College.
Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF)
CSBDF, a statewide nonprofit and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) headquartered in Raleigh, lends to start-ups and existing businesses across the state, with emphasis on businesses that have difficulty accessing financing through traditional lending sources. The City of Raleigh government has established seed funding for qualifying small businesses that have been adversely impacted by the pandemic.
Funds may be used to cover the day-to-day operating expenses of the business and will not be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The application period will be open for a fixed time period. Businesses are eligible to receive up to $10,000. CSBDF has a history of supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs in Raleigh, particularly in Southeast Raleigh. Details for how to apply will be provided as it becomes available.
Wake Tech Community College
Wake Tech is an organization with a long track record of small business support in the community through strategic economic development efforts. The $100,000 Wake Tech will receive will be used to benefit microbusinesses (14 or less employees) that have participated in the Launch Raleigh program or have been clients of the Wake Tech Small Business Center in the past year. These microbusinesses are eligible to receive up to $3,000. Wake Tech will not accept new applicants at this time. Wake Tech will deploy the money to the businesses who have already applied for funding.
Invitation to Join the Movement
You can invest in Raleigh’s cultural soul by contributing to the small business relief efforts. Funds can be donated to each organization following the links below:
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