Raleigh, N.C.

Up to $11.3 million in forgivable loans is available to small businesses in communities hit by Hurricane Matthew, the N.C. Department of Commerce reminded business owners today.

Business owners in Fair Bluff, North Carolina are invited to participate in an educational workshop Wednesday, August 29 aimed to help them access federal relief funds and recover from the devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew.  The workshop is part of a wider effort to educate impacted businesses in all areas of the state that $11.3 million is available for small businesses through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery program (CDBG-DR), administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division.

The Carolina Small Business Development Fund, a certified Community Development Financial Institution and the Fair Bluff Chamber of Commerce are partnering with Commerce to conduct the workshop, to be held at Fair Bluff United Methodist Church located at 1030 Main Street, Fair Bluff, starting at 1 p.m.

“Helping small businesses hurt by Hurricane Matthew rebuild and grow is an important step in restoring the economic vitality of the communities hit hardest by the storm,” N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland said. “While many North Carolina businesses have gotten help to recover, others may not know help is available and we encourage them to apply for these forgivable loans today.” Eligible small businesses can apply for the financial support they need to stabilize their business operations at very low interest rates. Businesses may use the forgivable loans to cover commercial losses caused by Hurricane Matthew, including the replacement of damaged or destroyed equipment, and to replenish inventory and working capital. 

The $11.3 million in funding has been allotted to three non-profit, small business lending institutions to expand credit access for small businesses located in damage-declared counties, including Robeson, Cumberland, Edgecombe and Wayne. The lenders offer low-interest loans of up to $150,000 per business with deferred principal and interest payments.  The loans are forgivable over three years, with 1/3 of the amount forgiven at the end of each year, provided certain conditions are met.

In addition to the Fair Bluff workshop, impacted businesses may also learn more about the program by contacting a representative of one of the three participating financial institutions:

Carolina Small Business Development Fund
Amber Bond
(919) 803-1437

Center for Community Self-Help
Jessie Maxwell
(919) 956-4684

North Carolina Community Development Initiative, Inc.
Tara Campbell
(919) 835-6002

To be eligible for this program, a business must:

  • Meet the standards of a small business as defined in Title 13, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 121 (13 CFR part 121).
  • Require funds to recover from Hurricane Matthew-caused physical or economic damage, especially flooding.
  • Have no other source of funds for their unmet needs to meet Matthew recovery costs.
  • Have their primary place of business located in Matthew-caused flood-affected areas of North Carolina, especially the counties of Robeson, Cumberland, Edgecombe and Wayne.

Eligible uses for funds include:

  • Financing for payment of interior and exterior repairs and property improvements.
  • Financing for furniture, fixtures and equipment as well as the purchase and installation of equipment.
  • Using grant or loan financing to provide working capital or to pay for marketing costs, operating expenses and inventory.
  • Funds for relocations of any displaced persons due to the CDBG project.

For direct queries to N.C. Commerce regarding the Fair Bluff workshop or other aspects of the program, contact:
Robert Collins, N.C Commerce Disaster Recovery Section Chief
(919) 814-4691