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  • In partnership with New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington, the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce will be administering a $4.5 million grant, which is intended to support businesses who were hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions on business. 

     

    The Hospitality, Retail, and Service Grant will benefit businesses located in New Hanover County in the retail, service, leisure, hospitality, and childcare sectors. Applications will be accepted beginning on July 1 through the end of the day on July 30, 2021.

     

    Grants will be scaled in size based on the number of employees retained by the applying companies and the need demonstrated using the following metrics: 

     

    ·       2 - 10 employees - up to $10k

    ·       11 - 25 employees - up to $25k 

    ·       26 employees and up - up to $50k

    These funds must be spent by August 30, 2022 and can only be used for payroll to hire and rehire employees or for additional expenditures related to the business complying with State and Local orders to be COVID-19 compliant. These funds may not be used for rent, utilities, or expenditures related to normal business operations outside of payroll. 

     

    Qualifications:

     

    ·       Business is independent, locally owned, and physically located in New Hanover County.

    ·       Businesses need to have been in operation for six months prior to March 2020.

    ·       One or more business owners is a New Hanover County resident.

    ·       The business has more than one employee (including full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees).

    ·       Businesses must have a valid Tax ID.

    ·       The business has experienced layoffs, furloughs, expenditures, or loss of revenue due to COVID-19.

    ·       Business or registered agent does not have a pending bankruptcy.

    ·       Business is in good tax standing with all Federal, State, and local governments or has a payment plan in place prior to March 10, 2020, when Governor Roy Cooper declared a statewide state of emergency.

    ·       Business is not a financial institution, non-profit, or home-based business.

    ·       Business is not disbarred or suspended from working in North Carolina.

    Once all the applications are in, a lottery program will randomly select the awardees. If you are selected to receive funds, you will be notified by August 13, 2021.

     

    It will then be your responsibility to provide all requested documentation within 48 hours of notification, including a completed, verified, and notarized application form and Hospitality, Retail, and Service Grant agreement. If you are awarded a portion of the grant funds being provided by the City of Wilmington, you will need to complete a city vendor packet. If you are awarded a portion of the grant funds being provided by New Hanover County, you will need to sign up for the county’s Vendor Self Service system.