Press Release: Cleveland County Small Business Recovery Fund providing a grant program to help small businesses

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Mountain BizWorks in partnership with the Cleveland County United Way is set to Administer a $325K Emergency Grant Fund; Application Period Opens October 23, with Awards Announced in Mid-November

The $325,000 Cleveland County Small Business Recovery Fund was established for local small businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. 

The online application portal opens October 23rd and runs through November 6th. Awards will be announced before Thanksgiving. Interested applicants will be able to sign up here to learn more about the program, including opportunities for training and technical assistance in applying for grants.

The Fund allows emergency grants of up to $10,000, available for businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.  The applicant must demonstrate at least a 25% decline in revenue and a change in operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Such entities can use the grants to restart and rebuild their business as restrictions continue to be lifted and recovery begins.  Funds can be used to help with rent, payroll, inventory, and other expenses associated with the reopening. Businesses must have 25 or fewer full-time employees and must be based in Cleveland County.

“Many small businesses have been directly impacted by the pandemic. Business owners have adjusted their operations and adapted, however, the concern for sustainability is still there,”  said Steve Padgett, Director of the Small Business Center at Cleveland Community College. “I want to thank the Board of Commissioners for their continued support.  This pool of funding is another way to assist our small businesses that are the lifeblood of our local economy.”

The Cleveland County Small Business Recovery Fund will be administered by Mountain BizWorks, a local U.S. Treasury-certified nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) with a 30-year history of providing tailored small business financial services in Asheville and the region, and experience managing several emergency response funds.

Grants will go through a standard review process based on grant criteria established and scored by Mountain BizWorks. There will be a financial component as well as an impact component to the application process and scoring. Grant applications will be confidentially reviewed by a team of Mountain BizWorks lenders, staff, and business coaches, and there will be an internal investment committee, similar to Mountain BizWorks’ normal funding approval process, that will review and approve all grant awards, per the program goals and guidelines.

Learn more about the program and apply here

Learn more about the United Way of Cleveland County Here


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