COVID-19 Updates

Resources and updates for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and community economic development practitioners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Latest on our Response

The safety and wellness of your business are one of our top priorities. We are taking the spread of this virus seriously and we encourage all of our borrowers to do the same.  Our organization is also feeling the effects of the pandemic and we continue to explore strategies to provide you with the best service we can while navigating these uncharted waters.  We recognize that your small business is being impacted significantly and we will remain available to assist our small business borrowers in need of payment concessions during this difficult time.

On this page, we list resources provided by our parent organizations: Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF) and Shaw University.

Carolina Small Business Development Fund's Small Business Disaster Programs

Raleigh Small Business COVID-19 Relief Funds

The City of Raleigh government has partnered with CSBDF to provide $1 million in grant funds to qualifying small businesses that have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. For more information, visit this page.

Mecklenburg County Small Business Emergency Stabilization Loan Fund

In response to the economic impact of the current health crisis, Mecklenburg County has partnered with CSBDF to create the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Stabilization Loan Fund. Loans of $5,000 to $35,000 are available to qualifying small businesses in Mecklenburg County that have been affected by COVID-19. For more information about the program, visit this page.  Effective April 16 at 6:00 PM, based on overwhelming demand and requested loan amounts, we project that funding is no longer available for this program. The application remains open, however, and will process applications in the order in which they have been received if new funds become available.

NC Rapid Recovery Loan Program

In response to the unique economic challenges of COVID-19, a consortium of public, private, and nonprofit partners, including Carolina Small Business Development Fund, have come together and launched an innovative recovery-lending program to help support entrepreneurs. Please note that, due to overwhelming demand, funds for this program have currently been exhausted. However, applications are still being accepted and will be processed as funding becomes available. For more information, click here.


Currently, the SBA offers two programs that we recommend. For questions about either program, please contact SBA disaster assistance at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs): Loans are available for up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay, but can be up to 30 years.

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) [As of April 23, 2020 more funds for this program have been appropriated.]: Through the SBA’s 7(a) lending program, small businesses are eligible for additional assistance in the form of a partially forgivable loan. This program will cover up to 2.5 times the business’s average payroll costs, up to $10 million. Based on the number of employees the business retains or rehires, an equivalent of 8 weeks of the business’s payroll, facility, and utility costs can be forgiven. We recommend businesses interested in this program review the US Chamber of Commerce’s guide before applying. Please note that Carolina Small Business is not a participating lender in the PPP program at this time. To view lenders that are providing this product in North Carolina, refer to the SBA website.

Other Resources & Tools


We’re reaching out across the state to learn more about how this crisis has impacted our clients. Partners and supporters of our work have asked to learn more about the challenges small businesses are facing in this crisis. We have shared some of the sobering stories we’re hearing here. We encourage all of our supporters to patronize these small businesses, to help them endure during this difficult time.

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