Local Business & Employment Resources

Navigating the PPP Loan Forgiveness Process

If you need assistance navigating the PPP loan forgiveness process, take 15 minutes to watch this video. Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, walks you through the essential steps, including forgiveness calculations and repayment terms. 

A Playbook for Your Small Business

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has developed A Playbook for Your Small Business to assist small businesses as they begin to reopen and bring back employees. 

Smart Restart

The Union County Chamber of Commerce has developed a Smart Restart guide to assist businesses as they reopen and bring employees back to work. 

Union County Small Business Strong 2020

The Union County Chamber of Commerce is launching the Union County Small Business Strong 2020. This week-long Virtual Conference, beginning May 11, includes:

  • Business Builders – a live panel of subject-matter experts outlining next steps to successfully reopen your business, and a second discussion on managing change led by a dynamic industry leader
  • Pivot, Don’t Panic – recorded interviews with industry experts and business owners who have found creative ways to thrive in these challenging times
  • Tools to Rebuild – resources to empower you to prepare to grow your business again
For more information or to register for the virtual sessions, visit the Union County Chamber's Small Business Strong page

Congress Replenishes PPP and EIDL Programs

More small business aid is on the way after Congress passed legislation to replenish emergency loan and grant programs for small businesses, self-employed individuals and independent contractors.

The measure includes an additional $310 billion for the depleted Paycheck Protection Program and an additional $60 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. This new funding is expected to go quickly.

Here are step-by-step guides to apply for funding through PPP and EIDL.




State Resources

North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan

The Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIFund) North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan program is primarily designed to be a timely source of bridge financing until businesses can access SBA Disaster or other federal disaster funding. Loans issued by NCIFund are not designed to be a singular source of assistance for small businesses. Repayment is expected either from more permanent funding sources or from the future cash flow of the business. Learn more about the recovery loan program.

North Carolina Restaurant Workers Relief Fund

Any hospitality employee of a North Carolina restaurant or hotel facing significant financial hardship due to a lay-off, furlough or reduction in hours as a direct result of COVID-19 can apply for the NC Restaurants Workers Relief Fund. Learn more about the fund and how to apply.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)

NCDHHS has a comprehensive list of executive orders passed by Roy Cooper that impact businesses in North Carolina, and resources guidance on how to continue modified operation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about NCDHHS resources.

Save Small Business Grant Program

The US Chamber has launched the Save Small Business Fund, a grant-making initiative funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners. The fund is providing $5,000 in short-term relief to small businesses across the United States. These are one-time supplemental cash grants.

Qualification information:
  • Employ between 3 and 20 people
  • Have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Be in an economically vulnerable community
  • In Union County, that includes the following Zip Codes: 28103, 28108, 28110, 28112, 28174
Grants will be distributed on a weekly, rolling basis until all funds have been allocated.

The grant application will go live on Monday, April 20 at 3:00 PM.

Learn more details of the program and apply here. 

Beware of Scams and Fraud Schemes

Fraudsters have already begun targeting small business owners during these economically difficult times. Be on the lookout for grant fraud, loan fraud, and phishing. 

For more information on potential scams, visit SBA Fraud Alerts

Comparison: SBA Emergency Loans

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, allocates $349 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the current circumstances they are encountering. The CARES Act provides funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, modifies the existing Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and provides immediate loan payment relief for current SBA 7(a) borrowers.

For more information, view an overview of the key components of and eligibility requirements of these programs.

Companies That Are Hiring Now

Many local businesses and employees have felt the negative impacts of COVID-19 on their jobs and incomes. In a bit of good news, many of the "essential" businesses are hiring and some are even offering bonuses. View a list of these companies. 

Verizon-LISC COVID-19 Recovery Fund

We just received this important information. This is NOT A LOAN...this IS A GRANT! DEADLINE TO APPLY - SATURDAY April 4th

As LISC Charlotte is working on other local small business fund initiatives, LISC is grateful for Verizon’s National partnership for making the Verizon-LISC COVID-19 Recovery Fund a reality. Charlotte area small businesses are encouraged to apply for grant support to help address your immediate financial impact due to the pandemic.

LISC will use the Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.

• WHAT IT CAN BE USED FOR? Paying rent and utilities
• Meeting payroll
• Paying outstanding debt to vendors
• Other immediate operational costs

Click here to access the application. Your application must be completed by Saturday, April 4th, 11:59 p.m. ET.

· For business owners with multiple businesses, please answer this survey based on your largest business owned.
· Each awardee is limited to one grant per tax ID. You will need this ID to complete the application.
· Eligibility is based on accurate and complete submission of request to include required documents uploaded.
· This program is not eligible to employees of Verizon or LISC.
· Your application must be completed by Saturday, April 4th, 11:59 p.m. ET.

Email verizongrantinfo@lisc.org for questions and troubleshooting. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Small businesses across the country are confronting extreme economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial support at this critical time can make the difference between staying in business or closing permanently, leading to lost income, jobs and economic stability. Thanks to a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, LISC is offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available.

U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Relief

The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) has approved the request for North Carolina’s disaster relief declaration. This will allow small businesses impacted by the coronavirus to apply for a low-interest SBA disaster loan as a result of COVID-19. For more information or to apply for a loan:


You can also view a fact sheet outlining the process to apply for a disaster loan, including the documentation required, at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Documents/Three_Step_Process_SBA_Disaster_Loans.pdf


Check out this webinar with with Levi Kinnard of the US Small Business Administration to share information about the Economic Disaster Injury Loans available to small businesses dealing with the challenges related to the COVID-19 Outbreak.

Small Businesses: Emergency Loan Guide and Checklist

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released a guide to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Act "allocates $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn." The guide helps businesses determine if they're eligible and the necessary steps to take to secure a loan. 

Unemployment and Tax Information

Due to high volume on their customer call line, the Department of Commerce recommends the fastest and most efficient way to file for assistance is online: https://des.nc.gov/apply-unemployment/. 

To find the latest information on unemployment insurance changes due to COVID-19, visit https://des.nc.gov/need-help/covid-19-information.

Charlotte SCORE

The Charlotte SCORE chapter has more than 75 certified mentors that provide free one-on-one mentoring to business owners and entrepreneurs in the Charlotte region. They are available, along with the following resources, to assist businesses during this time. 

SCORE has also developed the following resources specifically for the COVID-19 situation:
  1. How Businesses Can Prepare for Coronavirus
  2. Small businesses disaster preparedness resources

Relief for Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities

Per a press releases, "USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak."

To view the release and the resources available, click here