Relief being offered for Charlotte and Mecklenburg County small businesses

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Relief is being offered for Charlotte and Mecklenburg County small businesses.

The Brooklyn- and Charlotte-based company is offering 50 businesses up to $20,000 in zero-interest two-year loans. Payments are deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees required.

[LINK: Small Business Resources]

“Our country relies on small business for not only its economic foundation but also its societal one," Kevin Song, founder of Withco said in a news release. “While our core solutions are built for long-term small business resiliency and opportunity, we felt obligated to rise to the occasion and address the impact being felt by even the most successful small business owners today."

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Founder Kevin Song is challenging major companies to join him in this effort. Withco has allocated $150,000 of its own capital to the program. Local businesses partnering with Withco are Common Market, Legion Brewing, Moxie Mercantile, Not Just Coffee, Hilliard Studio Method and Stomp Chomp & Roll.

"It is sort of a call to action for big businesses in Charlotte to step up and do more," he said.

Withco is accepting applications until May 10 at 5 p.m. The goal is to have businesses funded no later than June 1. Click here to apply for funding from Withco.

The city of Charlotte is providing relief for micro-businesses, businesses that employ five or fewer employees.

The city’s Micro Business Relief Fund will support 100 micro-businesses located in opportunity zones. Each business is eligible for up to $10,000 in grants.

Small business is the lifeblood of our economy and micro businesses are essential to maintain what we have established and cultivated here in Charlotte,” Mayor Vi Lyles said in a news release. “As we recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19, we need all sectors of our business community to grow and thrive, and this relief fund is one of the ways to make it happen.”

Applications for the city’s Micro Business Relief Fund open May 4 at noon. Click here to apply for funding from the city of Charlotte.

Mecklenburg County also has a dedicated fund for micro-businesses. Statistics provided by Mecklenburg County show 121 micro-businesses applied for funding. Of those 121, 42 micro-businesses were determined to be eligible. Of those 42 businesses, 11 have been approved for funding, which is totaling close to $90,000.

The county has committed $1,000,000 of Community Development Block Grant Funds for micro-businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Micro-businesses in the county, excluding those in Charlotte and Mint Hill, are eligible for loans up to $10,000. The loans have a maturity of three years and are 0% interest.

Click here to apply for the county’s Microbusiness Stabilization Fund.

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Mecklenburg County also has a pot of money for small business relief. Businesses with up to 50 employees can apply for loans up to $35,000. Like the micro-business fund, small businesses in Charlotte and Mint Hill are not eligible.

According to figures released by the county, 309 businesses have applied and 77 have been approved, totaling $1.6 million in relief. The county says 237 businesses are still under review. Loans will be available with up to 10-year terms at an interest rate of 3%.

Mecklenburg County committed $5 million for this fund but has received more than $8 million worth of applications. The county is encouraging people to apply even though there are already so many applicants.

"Once we get through all of those loans being processed and we see how much demand there is, then we will go back to the county commissioners and see if there is any interest in adding additional dollars to the program," County Manager Dena Diorio said.

Click here to apply for the county’s Small Business Stabilization Fund.