Access to Capital Small Business Recovery Grants FAQs
Will every business that applies receive a grant?
No, we predict demand to exceed available funds. Each day, applications will be randomly selected by geography from the applicant pool for review. Grants will be awarded to applicants that meet the criteria until the funds have been fully distributed.
If my application is received on the first day or near the beginning of the application program, am I guaranteed a grant?
No grants are guaranteed. By utilizing a process of random selection, which does not rely on the timing of when an application is received, we provide a more equitable approach for all applicants. However, the likelihood of receiving a grant increases the earlier your application is received because your application will be available for random selection each day.
Why aren’t grants available on a first-come, first-served basis?
Grant awards are not based on first-come, first-served criteria to ensure the application and the community outreach for the program are equitable and inclusive. As we work to grow awareness of the program, this helps ensure that all applicants have a more equal chance of receiving a grant - not just those who learn about the program first.
How are applicants randomly selected for review?
Applications are randomly selected for review each day via a software algorithm.
How often will grants be awarded?
Grants will be awarded three times during this program. Grant awards will be made on June 30, 2020 and the weeks of July 6, July 20 and August 3, 2020.
How will the $30 million dollars be divided between micro businesses and small businesses?
$15 million will be distributed in micro business grants and $15 million will be distributed as small business grants. Micro businesses (those with 5 or fewer employees) are eligible for $10,000 grant awards. Small businesses (those with 6 to 25 employees) are eligible for $25,000 grant awards.
Where did the funds for this program come from?
The grants program was created through federal funds and provided to the City of Charlotte through the CARES Act, which Congress passed in March 2020.
Will the application be available in multiple languages?
Yes, the application will be available in English, Spanish, Chinese, French, Nepali and Vietnamese.
Do I need to reapply for each phase?
No, businesses only need to apply once for consideration in all current and upcoming phases of this grant program.
Am I responsible for paying the funding back?
No, awards will be grants, not loans. There will be no repayment requirement.
Is the grant taxable to the business and/or its owners?
Businesses selected to receive a grant will be issued a Form 1099-MISC by the City and should consult their accountant or other tax advisor to determine whether the grant is taxable.
Are the funds restricted for specific uses?
Yes, funds are required to be used for any of these four purposes:
- Business rent/mortgage
- Business utilities
- Employee salaries/benefits
Will I have to document how the funds were utilized?
Yes, you will be required to respond to a survey documenting how the funds were utilized. The survey will be distributed in September 2020.
Where can I find the application?
Applications are available at www.fftc.org/CLTCityGrant.
When can I submit an application?
Applications are now available. The application closes on July 31, 2020 at 5 p.m.
Can I count part-time employees in my employee head count?
Yes, however, part-time employees must be covered under the IRS Form W-3 if you are applying for the $25,000 grant (for businesses with 6-25 employees).
If my business has more than six employees, how will I be asked to document this?
You will be asked to provide a 2019 IRS Form W-3.
I need to attach an IRS Form W-3. What does this look like?
You can view a blank copy of the IRS Form W-3 here.
What information is necessary to be filled on the IRS Form W-9?
See the linked sample W-9, with key information highlighted on the form. Please make sure the following information is accurate:
- Box 1: Business name should match the application.
- Box 2: DBA name (if included) should match the application.
- Box 3: Check only one of the seven boxes. If "Limited liability company" on the second row is checked, then the tax classification (C, S or P) must be entered.
- Box 5: Address must be entered.
- Box 6: City, state and ZIP code must be entered.
- Part I: Only one of SSN or EIN numbers should be entered. Do not fill in both boxes.
- Part II: Form must be signed and dated.
Additional information on how to fill out this form is available on the IRS website.
How can I be guaranteed to receive a grant?
There are no guarantees that your business will receive a grant. To increase your business’s odds of receiving a grant, ensure your business meets the program criteria and that your application is complete, and provide all the necessary documentation. Team members are available to help you with the application process. Contact 704.998.6499 or CLTCityGrant@fftc.org.
Can I call to see if I received a grant or check on my application status?
No, there will not be a method for you to check the status of your application.
Is it helpful if I supply more than three documents on the list?
No, please only upload three of the required documents, ensuring at least one comes from Group A as instructed on the application.
Can I submit a paper application?
Yes, you can download the application from the website, complete it and send it via mail to:
City Grant Application c/o Foundation For The Carolinas
220 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Will I receive confirmation that my application has been accepted?
Yes, you will receive a confirmation email once your application has been successfully submitted.
When will I know if I received a grant?
You will be alerted the week of June 29, 2020, the week of July 6, 2020, the week of July 20, 2020 or the week of August 3, 2020.
Will I receive notice if I did NOT receive a grant?
If you did NOT receive a grant, you will receive a notification email the week of August 10, after the application period concludes.
How and when will I receive the grant dollars?
Checks will be mailed from the City of Charlotte the week of June 29, 2020, the week of July 6, 2020, the week of July 20, 2020 or the week of August 3, 2020 following notification that you have been awarded a grant.
What is an affidavit?
An affidavit is a written statement notarized by a Notary Public. In this case, it is a downloadable document on the application site on which you certify that COVID-19 has impacted your business.
Where can I find the affidavit?
The downloadable Access to Capital Small Business Recovery Program Affidavit is available here, as well as on the application.
What is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public is an official of integrity appointed by state government - typically by the secretary of state - to help deter fraud by acting as an impartial witness when important documents are being signed.
Where can I find someone to notarize my affidavit?
Most packaging stores such as UPS or FedEx will have a notary on staff.
What happens if my information is incomplete or inaccurate?
Double-check all information before submitting. Incomplete applications, or those with incomplete data (e.g., wrong EIN or SSN), will be denied.
For full requirements, visit www.fftc.org/CLTCityGrant.
Can I apply as an individual?
If you have your own company and you are a sole proprietor, you are eligible to apply. If you do not have a business that was established prior to January 2020 you are not eligible.
Am I eligible to apply if my company is in Mecklenburg County, but not within the Charlotte City limits?
No, only businesses headquartered within Charlotte city limits are eligible.
My headquarters is not based in Charlotte, but my company provides services in Charlotte. Am I eligible to apply?
No, only businesses headquartered within the Charlotte city limits are eligible.
I own multiple businesses. Can I apply for more than one business?
No, you may not apply for multiple businesses that you own.
I own a business with several locations, can I apply for every location?
You may only submit one application for all locations in the City of Charlotte.
I own a franchise in Charlotte. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, you are eligible to apply if your franchise is located within Charlotte city limits. If you own multiple franchise locations in Charlotte, you may only submit one application.
I am the CEO of a nonprofit. Can nonprofits apply?
Nonprofits are not eligible for this funding.
What businesses were impacted by Governor Cooper's Executive Order?
Barber shops, beauty salons, hair salons. nail salons/manicure/pedicure providers, tattoo parlors, tanning salons, massage therapists (except medical massage), entertainment facilities without a retail or dining component (including but not limited to: bingo parlors and bowling alleys), indoor exercise facilities (e.g., health clubs, fitness centers and gyms), indoor/outdoor pools, live performance venues, movie theaters, skating rinks and spas (including health spas).
Are all types of businesses and industries eligible to apply?
No. Nonprofit organizations, liquor stores, check cashing agencies, gun shops, pawn shops and adult entertainment businesses are NOT eligible for this program.
My company is based outside of Charlotte, but I am a resident of Charlotte. Am I eligible to apply?
Only businesses headquartered within Charlotte city limits are eligible.
Does it matter where in the City of Charlotte my business is located?
No, the random selection of applications based on geography will ensure equal opportunity regardless of where a company is located within Charlotte.
I received a Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loan and/or a North Carolina Golden Leaf grant. Is my business eligible to apply?
Priority will be given to businesses that have not received additional relief from these programs. In the unlikely event that funds remain at the conclusion of the application period, eligible businesses that already received a PPP loan or Golden Leaf Grant may be randomly selected to receive a grant if they meet all other criteria.
Are there revenue requirements for this program?
Your business revenue for 2019 must have been between $30,000 and $2,000,000.
My company’s revenues were higher than $2 million in 2019 but will be lower in 2020. Am I eligible to apply?
No, your business revenue for 2019 must have been between $30,000 and $2,000,000.
I had more than 25 employees in 2019 but, due to COVID-19, I now have less. Am I eligible?
No. These grants are for businesses with 25 or fewer employees prior to COVID-19. Your W-3 must show 25 or fewer employees to be eligible.
Is there a physical location where I can go to receive assistance? What if I don’t have access to technology?
Beginning July 20, you will be able to visit several designated YMCA of Greater Charlotte branches where team members will be available to help you with the application process, including filling out the application online and scanning required documents. Please bring all required information with you to expedite the process. Locations, addresses and hours will be shared soon.
English is not my primary language. Can someone help me?
Applications will be provided online in Spanish, Chinese, Nepali, French and Vietnamese. For additional support, Spanish-speaking team members are available at CLTCityGrant@fftc.org. For support in Chinese, French, Nepali or Vietnamese, please email CLTCityGrant@fftc.org or call 704.998.6499 and a team member will follow up with you directly.
I am disabled. Is there a way I can get help with the application?
Yes, our customer service team is able to help. Please call 704.998.6499 or email email@example.com for assistance.