Durham County Commits $1 Million to Durham Small Business Recovery Fund
Durham, NC – On Monday, June 22, 2020, the Durham Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) authorized County Manager Wendell M. Davis to execute a contract and commit $1 million to the Durham Small Business Recovery Fund for small businesses within the County and City impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The approval comes after the Board unanimously agreed to allocate $1 million of CARES Act funding to support small businesses affected by COVID-19 through a term loan program at the June 1, 2020 Budget Work Session and after receiving additional input from community partners and small businesses about their goals for a loan fund.
This funding is in addition to the $1 million committed earlier by each the City of Durham and Duke University, to the fund which is made up of private money for grants and public funds for loans. The fund is held and administered by the Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF), which is a nonprofit, certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). CSBDF will administer the grants, as well as process, service and collect loans on behalf of Durham County Government to create a single point of entry for small business applicants.
The fund aims to support businesses that have not been able access other sources of funding because they lacked existing relationships with financial institutions.
“We are excited that Durham County is able to join our partners at the City of Durham and Duke University in a unified Durham fund to support our small businesses impacted by the pandemic,” said Durham County Economic Development Officer Andy Miracle. “One of the elements that sets this fund apart is the additional technical assistance that is available for Durham businesses through the life of the loan. Beyond offering access to capital, the fund provides continued support so that our small businesses have the best opportunity to remain operational and achieve long-term success.”
To be eligible, businesses must be independently owned and physically located in Durham County, employ fewer than 25 employees, demonstrate at least a 25 percent decline in revenue due to COVID-19 and have less than $2 million in total revenue as well as other criteria. Small businesses with revenue of less than $500,000 may apply for grants up to $10,000, while businesses with revenue of more than $500,000 are eligible for loans of $5,000 to $35,000.
CSBDF will employ their recent experience administering similar programs in Mecklenburg County, the City of Raleigh and partnering in the State program (NC Rapid Recovery). As part of their scope, CSBDF will provide loan processing, servicing and collections; outreach and marketing to promote the program as well as technical assistance to businesses applying for and receiving loans.
Grant applications will be selected for review randomly. Loans will be awarded on a first come, first served basis and are now available to eligible businesses within Durham County. This approach in Mecklenburg has yielded an approval rate of approximately 50 percent for minority and woman-owned businesses with approximately 50 percent of the borrowers selected being minority or woman-owned.
The Durham Small Business Recovery Fund application process began on June 18, with the grant program application ending on June 28. Loan applications will be accepted until the funds are exhausted. Grants will be disbursed on or around July 7, while decisions on loans will be made within 15 calendar days from the receipt of completed applications, with money provided five calendar days from the closing date.
For more information about the program, visit www.carolinasmallbusiness.org.