Access to Capital
Small Business Recovery Program
Thank you for your interest in the Access to Capital Program.
The application is now closed.
If you have been contacted by our reviewers to update your application, you can access it at this link.
Grants will be awarded every two weeks through mid-October. If you do not receive a grant, you will receive a notification by the end of October 2020.
The Access to Capital program is a part of the City of Charlotte’s Open for Business Initiative and will distribute $30 million in federal CARES Act funding to small businesses headquartered within the city limits of Charlotte. Grants are either $10,000 or $25,000, depending on number of employees.
Foundation For The Carolinas serves as the City’s grantmaking partner for this effort. Assistance is available at 704.998.6499 or CLTCityGrant@fftc.org.
- Business must be headquartered within the city limits of Charlotte, NC.
- Must have 25 or fewer employees.
- Business must have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Business must have been established before January 1, 2020.
- Gross sales for 2019 must be at least $30,000 and less than $2 million.
- Applicants cannot currently be engaged in bankruptcy proceedings.
- Nonprofit organizations, liquor stores, check cashing agencies, gun shops, pawn shops and adult entertainment businesses are ineligible for this program.
- Applicants may not apply for multiple businesses.
- All small businesses that meet eligibility criteria can apply – including those that have received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program, Golden LEAF, the City’s Micro Business Relief Fund or other government sources.
It is anticipated that the number of applications will exceed the available funding. Applicants are not guaranteed to receive a grant.
Each day, applications will be selected randomly by geography via software from the applicant pool to ensure dollars are distributed to businesses throughout the city and that applications received throughout the process have the opportunity for an award.
Any eligible applicant reviewed that meets the program criteria will receive an award.
How to Apply
The application is now closed.
To successfully apply, please locate your signed IRS Form W-9, along with a total of three documents from Groups A and B below, including a least one (1) document from Group A. (see below for example submissions).
All applicants must upload and submit a signed IRS Form W-9 (Rev. October 2018). Please consider watching this quick tutorial on completing your W-9.
Group A (at least one document MUST come from this list, and it must match the business legal (or DBA name) and/or address on the application):
- IRS letter with business name and EIN or Social Security Number
- Bank statement with business name and/or address. Must be from 2020
- Utility bill with business name and/or address. Must be from 2020
- Mortgage statement with business name and/or address. Must be from 2020
- Sales and use tax report for Mecklenburg County from 2020
- Currently active certificate of insurance with business name and/or address
Reminder: Make sure you have at least one (1) document from Group A before moving to Group B. You only need to submit a total of three documents from Groups A and B.
- Signed and executed lease agreement with Business Name
- Form 1040, Schedule C for Sole proprietor. Must be from 2018 or 2019 tax years
- Page 1 of Form 1065 for Partnerships/LLCs. Must be from 2018 or 2019 tax years
- Page 1 of Form 1120 for C Corporations. Must be from 2018 or 2019 tax years
- Page 1 of Form 1120S for S Corporations. Must be from 2018 or 2019 tax years
- Profit & Loss Statement from the 2019 tax year
- Balance Sheet from the 2019 tax year
- All applicants must upload and submit a signed IRS Form W-9 (Rev. October 2018). Note: The 2018 version (Rev. October 2018) of IRS Form W-9 must be used. Older versions of IRS Form W-9 will not be accepted. For guidance on how to complete IRS Form W-9, please click here to view a sample copy with the required fields highlighted in yellow. Make sure to sign and date the form.
Please consider watching this quick tutorial on completing your W-9.
- Applicants with six or more employees must submit a 2019 IRS Form W-3.
- Applicants from industries not named in the March 26 Executive Order are required to download, complete and submit a notarized affidavit describing how the business was impacted by the pandemic.
Business X – which has three employees – might choose to submit a signed lease agreement, bank statement and utility bill, as well as their W9 as required. As a restaurant, they were included in the governor’s executive order and required no further documentation.
Alternately, Business Y – which has twenty employees – might choose to submit a mortgage statement, certificate of insurance and Form 1065 and, as well as the required W9 and their W3 (since they have more than six employees). This business, a small marketing firm, was NOT named in the governor’s executive order, so they also submitted the required, notarized affidavit describing how they were impacted by the pandemic.
Businesses with five or fewer employees are eligible for grant awards of $10,000, and those with six to 25 employees are eligible for grant awards of $25,000.
It is anticipated that the number of applications may exceed the available funding. Applicants are not guaranteed to receive a grant.
Awards will be distributed every two weeks through mid-October. Applicants only need to apply ONCE for consideration in all current and upcoming phases. Applicants may not apply for multiple businesses.
Equity and Access for Funding
The Access to Capital Small Business Recovery Program aims to provide funding rapidly, accessibly and equitably for Charlotte’s diverse small business community.
To ensure equity and access to all small businesses headquartered within the city limits of Charlotte, applications will be randomly selected each day for review via software. Any reviewed, eligible applicant that meets the criteria will receive an award based on their current number of employees.
Giovy Buyers was raised in Ecuador by rose farmers, so it’s no surprise she became a successful florist as the owner of Southern Blossoms in Dilworth. When the shelter-in-place order took effect in March, Giovy was forced to close her doors. Soon after, her supply chain broke down and all upcoming events canceled. A $10,000 grant from the Access to Capital program will help Giovy pay rent as well as her vendors.
After career in teaching, Claire Putterman followed her passion for baking and launched Modern Muffin in 2011, helping people find delicious ways to eat healthier. The pandemic brought her production to a complete halt, as retailers stopped taking new items and some closed permanently. A $10,000 grant from the Access to Capital program will help Modern Muffin restore production, return to retailers and increase their online presence.
West End residents can count on Dogon Market for groceries, clothing and other essentials. “Helping the community with competitive prices drove me to be in this field,” said owner Tidiani Karambe.
However, the pandemic resulted in shorter operating hours, less foot traffic and expired inventory. A $10,000 grant will help Dogon Market pay bills and replenish inventory. “The application process was easy to understand,” said Tidiani.
Blue Ribbon K9 Academy
Carol Fox’s love for animals was the catalyst for starting her dog training business, Blue Ribbon K9 Academy. However, shelter-in-place orders ceased operations and dog training became impossible while maintaining social distancing. With a $10,000 grant from the Access to Capital program, Carol will update her business technology with camera and video recording capabilities to provide virtual training.
Businesses Across Charlotte Receive Grants
Small businesses - such as restaurants, salons, fitness studios and more - in neighborhoods all throughout Charlotte have already received grants through the Access to Capital Program! The grant program is a part of the City for Charlotte’s Open for Business initiative, and will distribute $30 million in federal funding to small businesses in Charlotte.
Flavor Seed was created when Adam Jenkins was inspired to honor his late father’s dream of owning an organic spice company. The pandemic stunted the company’s growth when engaging directly with customers was no longer an option. Adam plans to use the $10,000 grant received from the Access to Capital program to purchase new inventory and increase Flavor Seed’s online marketing presence.
Gracie Barra Charlotte
Brazilian-born Diogo Silva de Souza, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and his wife Thea moved to Charlotte in 2011 to pursue their dream of opening their martial arts academy, Gracie Barra Charlotte. The shelter-in-place order meant closing the doors of the academy and the loss of a community and lifestyle that improves lives physically, mentally and spiritually. With 70% of their income lost, a $10,000 grant will allow Diogo and Thea to pay the rent owed to the current landlord and relocate Grace Barra Charlotte to a smaller and more affordable location.
B. Well Homes
Adrianne Pinkney’s business strategy for B. Well Homes is to provide “a home away from home” as a short and long-term rental solution to travelers in the Charlotte area. Travel ceased when the pandemic hit in March and within days guests were cancelling reservations leaving her properties vacant through June. A $10,000 grant from the Access to Capital program will allow Adrianne to pay the mortgage on her properties and re-hire one of her team members.
Matt Vivanco’s passion as owner of mvivancoPHOTOGRAPHY is to capture intimate love stories at weddings through the viewfinder of his camera. Wedding cancellations and postponements created a financial strain on his business that meant cancelling client subscription services and using personal finances as a resource to remain in business. Matt plans to use the $10,000 grant he was awarded to reinstate client services and acknowledge his clients with care packages filled with gifts from local businesses.
Studies abroad and a love for languages led Ron Ponton’s desire to start PSquared Linguistics as a business offering translation services for schools, law firms and government entities. PSquared Linguistics suffered a tremendous financial impact when schools shut down and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services closed. A $10,000 grant from the Access to Capital program will allow Ron to explore new initiatives to pivot services to remote learning and keep his staff employed.
Foundation For The Carolinas and the City of Charlotte thank our partners in this effort: