The Raleigh City Council unanimously approved the Small Business Assistance Program.
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Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin started cheering after the vote.
"I'm really, really proud," Baldwin said.
Officials hope the grants will serve as a bridge money getting people through an incredibly turbulent time.
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"This is a really urgent moment," said Raleigh City Council Member Patrick Buffkin. "We need to get the money out there as quickly as a possible to have an impact."
Many people applied for the Paycheck Protection Program or a relief loan only to be denied.
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"Mom and pop (stores), main street - the funds are not making it to the heart of the community. It's not making it to our cultural soul," said Raleigh Economic Development Manager Veronica Creech.
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There are a few eligibility requirements:
- Have to show there's been at least a 25 percent loss in revenue
- You cannot owe the city in back taxes
Business owners can only apply for one grant regardless of how many businesses they have under their name.
Raleigh is working with two partners to offer support.
The first option is for traditional small businesses with 49 employees or less. Owners will be working with the Carolina Small Business Development Fund.
Any money received can be used for business expenses at the owner's discretion, however, individuals cannot use the cash to pay themselves.
The other option is for micro businesses, who have 14 or fewer staff members, and this grant will go through Wake Tech.
Sole proprietors will be able to apply for a micro business grant as long as they work outside of their home.
Officials hope by handing out this money, the small business sector will remain cemented in our community.
"While Raleigh specific numbers are still emerging, national small business surveys estimate that about 25 percent of small businesses are at risk of never opening again post COVID-19," said Creech.
The city says small business owners should be able to start applying next week and in two weeks, money will start being distributed.