About the Program
North Carolina’s Department of Administration Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) has partnered with Carolina Small Business Development Fund and the Institute of Economic Development to administer the RETOOLNC Grant Program Fund. The fund provides cash aid to for-profit small businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To qualify, the applicant business entity must meet all of the below criterion:
- Location of Operations: Primary operations must be in North Carolina, as determined by the entity’s shipping address and 2019 tax filings.
- Time in Operations: The small business entity must have been in continuous operations from March 2019 (or earlier) through the present.
- Certified as Underutilized: At the time of application, the entity must be certified as underutilized by the NC HUB office or NC DOT.
- Maximum Revenue Threshold: Annual revenues for 2019 must be less than $1.5M, as determined by 2019 tax filings.
- Maximum Employee Threshold: The small business has less than 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees at the time of application.
- Business Structure: The applicant is a for-profit business (this includes sole proprietorships, home-based businesses, and independent contractors) which is independently owned. If the entity is a franchise, the franchisor must be independently and locally owned. Entities classified as nonprofits, lobbying businesses, or real estate investment firms do not qualify.
- Tax and Legal Standing: The small business entity may not have any active bankruptcies, tax liens, or be delinquent on North Carolina state taxes.
- Impact Narrative: The entity’s representative must provide a detailed statement of how operations have been negatively impacted due to COVID-19.
If awarded, the base amount is $10,000. The business may be awarded higher amounts if the average amount of its operating expenses over 4 months, as based on the 2019 business tax returns, exceeds $10,000.
Allowed Use of Funds
Funds may be used for most legitimate business expenses. This includes, but is not limited to, using funds for: working capital, lease payments, existing real estate debt payments, equipment financing payments, and covering payroll shortage.