FAQs | Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief Program (MURR)

We're publishing these answers to the most common questions about the Mortgage, Utility and Rate Relief Program (MURR).

MURR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Eligibility

Eligibility

  1. What Organizations Are Eligible for Support?

Certain for-profit businesses that have experienced significant business disruption in that they have not been able to operate or have been severely constrained in operation may be eligible for support.

  1. How Do I Know if My Business is Eligible?

The Department has provided a list of business types that have not been able to operate during the pandemic period (link). The Department will verify eligibility by using the relevant North American Industry Classification System code (NAICS code) for determining eligibility.

  1. What Else Determines Eligibility?

The business must verify that it plans to continue to remain in operation. The business must have rent or mortgage insurance costs and utility costs during the period April 2020-August2020 that have not been reimbursed or otherwise paid for by federal COVID-19 relief dollars, including the Paycheck Protection Program.

The business owner can apply for up to two North Carolina locations. The cap on employees per location is 50.

The business should not have overdue tax debts.

  1. My Business Received Some Federal Assistance. Am I Disqualified?

Not necessarily. The Department will allow you to submit more than four months of information on your mortgage interest, rent and utility obligations that your business actually paid. You will also submit information on how much, if any, was paid for with federal COVID dollars. The amount that was not paid by federal dollars, for up to four months, is eligible for a MURR payment.

  1. If My Business Qualifies, Am I Guaranteed Funding?

Unfortunately, no. The MURR program is first-come first-serve until funds are exhausted.

  1. Are There Any Employee Retention Requirements?

No. This program is designed for relief for businesses that need help paying fixed costs to continue to operate.

  1. Are Nonprofits Eligible for Assistance?

No.

Payment Amounts

Payment Amounts

  1. What Is the Maximum Payment Allowable?

The business may apply for up to four months of rent/mortgage interest and utility costs, up to a cap of $20,000 per location. The business may apply for up to two locations.

  1. What Is Included in Utility Costs?

Electricity, natural gas, water, sewer, telephone and internet service.

  1. My Business Paid More than the Cap in Rent Alone. Do I Have to Submit Utility Expenses As Well?

Under those facts, no.

If your business paid more than $20,000 in rent/mortgage interest/utility costs over a four month period (or longer, if some of those obligations were paid with other federal CARES funds), you only have to submit evidence of payment for eligible expenses for up to $20,000.

Put another way, if your rent/mortgage interest obligations at a single location total more than $20,000 over a four month period, you may just provide those obligations. If they do not exceed $20,000, you may provide utility bills and evidence of payment sufficient to reach the cap.

We want all the paperwork we need to comply with federal and state law, but only the paperwork we need to comply.

  1. Will My Payment Be Prorated?

Generally no. The program will only pay for rent/mortgage interest and utility costs not paid for by other federal CARES sources. Also, the program will fully pay those who apply while funds are available, but funds are first-come, first-serve.

  1. Is This Payment a Grant?

No, it is structured as a direct payment, which reduces the paperwork for the business.

  1. Is This Payment Subject to Federal and State Income Tax?

Yes.

  1. How Will My Business Receive a Payment?

The Department of Commerce will enroll you as a vendor and you will have to complete a W-9 form. It is our intent to electronically deposit payments into the business’s bank account.

Application Process and Other Details

Application Process and Other Details

  1. What Do I Have to Do to Request a Payment?

You must complete a MURR application. During the application process, you will have to attach certain documents including:

  • A) Latest tax form page with NAICS Code listed.
  • B) Documentation of lease agreement/mortgage agreement
  • C) Evidence of payment of lease/mortgage/utility costs during the April-August 2020 period.

The application will come in two parts:

  • 1) The first part will request basic information on the business to establish eligibility.
  • 2) Once part one is completed, you’ll receive – within a few minutes – a second part of the application, where you will provide (upload) the documentary backup documents list above.

THE APPLICATION IS NOT COMPLETE UNTIL BOTH PARTS ARE SUBMITTED AND RECEIPT OF THE FULL APPLICATION IS VERIFIED. YOU MAY LOSE YOUR PLACE IN LINE IF EVERYTHING IS NOT COMPLETED..

  1. How Much Funds Are Available?

There are $20-$40 million in funds available, meaning that there can be between 1,000 to over 2,000 business locations assisted. The source of the funding is the state Coronavirus Relief Fund allocated to North Carolina from the federal government.

  1. If Funds Run Out, Will There Be a Second Round?

That depends on many factors, but potential applicants should not wait.

  1. Why Is My Business Not Eligible?

You can email us with questions (murr@nccommerce.com) but we generally expect that the funds we have available will be completely deployed. This program targets businesses that have had no opportunity to earn revenue since April.

  1. Are There Limits on Uses of Funds?

Yes. Business owner attests that funds will not be used to pay off existing debts, tax liens, judgments, or collections.

  1. Are Payments Considered Public Information?

Yes. It is likely that members of the public and/or media may request the names of the businesses and the amounts received, which is public information given that the Department of Commerce is a governmental entity and the source of the funds is an appropriation from the federal CARES Act.