Mecklenburg County, NC has approved $5 million in small-business loans to help small local companies that have been negatively impacted by coronavirus.
The Small Business Emergency Stabilization Loan Fund will provide small businesses with 50 or fewer employees loans between $5,000 to $35,000 at 3% interest and up to a 10-year term, with interest-only loans for the first 12 months, to use for rent, payroll, utilities, and other immediate expenses. State law prohibits the county from issuing forgivable loans, so they must be repaid.
The nonprofit Carolina Small Business Development Fund will run the loan program.
Small businesses may qualify for the program if they meet the following conditions:
- Business premises are physically located in Mecklenburg County.
- Business has 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
- Business has been in operation for at least 24 months.
To apply, you’ll need the following information:
- One-page simplified loan application (online)
- Statement describing how the COVID-19 has adversely impacted the business
- Copy of driver license
- Copy of lease agreement or mortgage statement
- Tax returns (business) 2018 & P&L statement for 2019
- Tax returns (personal) 2018
- Year-to-date P&L statement including balance sheet
- One year of income and expense projection including cash flow
No collateral is required, and businesses will not be charged any fees. Disbursements should be available within 10 days of applying.
A separate relief effort will help Mecklenburg County’s smallest businesses -- “micro-businesses” with fewer than 5 workers. They can receive loans of up to $10,000. Those loans will be “fully forgivable” provided funds are used for payroll costs, interests on mortgages, and rent and utilities.
Applications will open on April 13, and loans are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Eligible businesses must show the owner or the majority of employees earn 80% or less of the area median income ($66,800) — and that their revenues dropped by at least 25% due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The cities of Charlotte and Mint Hill are not eligible to participate in the micro-business loan program due to existing federal block development programs and limitations on how such grant money can be dispersed.