'Fingers are crossed:' Raleigh small businesses anxiously wait for grant to go live

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's been more than a week since the Raleigh City Council approved a measure to fund two grant programs for small business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One is for traditional small businesses, with 49 or fewer employees, and the other for micro businesses with fewer than 14 workers.

The announcement sparked a lot of excitement on Main Street, but small business owners are still waiting to tap into those funds.

"We're reloading, reloading, reloading hoping that something comes through," said Dogwood Country Club owner Dave Nastalski.

ABC11 has learned that the fund for micro businesses has been exhausted. The money has already been handed out to folks who were waiting in the queue.

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The City said 58 of Raleigh's micro businesses received cash.

An official said there will be a round two as more funds are put into the pot.

The Carolina Small Business Fund hasn't put the application online yet.

Small businesses could get up a grant up to $10,000 if they meet qualifications.

Nastalski closed the doors to his indoor simulation golf course more than a month ago. He has received some funds from the Paycheck Protection Program and is eager to apply for Raleigh's grant.

"There's a limited amount of funds obviously. There's a ton of businesses that need it, right? Downtown is over 90 percent small business so there's going to be people scrambling for it, so we're hoping, our fingers are crossed that we'll be in the running," Nastalski said.

The City can't say when the application process will go live.

"A program with such demand coupled with limited resources needs great attention and care to standup. As we work with our partners to standup this effort, we are doing so from a place of equity and speediness," said Raleigh Economic Development Manager Veronica Creech.

If you're a small-business owner hoping to benefit, you can subscribe to a mail listing and get a notification when the application process opens.
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