Resources for N.C. Businesses | COVID-19

Is this your first time visiting this page of resources?  We also recommend you visit this related page on our site.

Answers, Resources to Assist You, and Other Information For Managing Your Business Now

Financial Support

Financial Support

Financial Support | Sources

  • The State of North Carolina's Mortgage, Utility and Rate Relief Program (MURR) can provide up to $20,000 in relief from some fixed costs, for certain businesses that have been unable to open due to COVID-19.
    DETAILS: Applications are now being accepted for this program that Governor Cooper announced on September 22.  Requests are being processed on a first come, first served basis.  The program has $40 million available for distribution.  Relief amounts will be calculated by looking at four months of qualifying expenses for a given business location.
    | NEXT STEPS >
    Review details and apply online for the Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief Program (MURR).
  • Your small business could receive up to a $2 million loan, to provide vital economic support to overcome the temporary loss of revenue you may be experiencing.
    DETAILS: An Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can help pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
    | NEXT STEPS >Following a suspension, SBA is again accepting new applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program, based on available appropriations funding. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit covid19relief.sba.gov or call the SBA at 1‐800‐659‐2955 for more information. The SBA is also publishing a helpful overview of all their COVID-19 relief programs.
  • If you're waiting for a decision on a pending SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and have an urgent need for financial support, an SBA Express Bridge Loan up to $25,000 might be available.
    DETAILS: If you currently have an existing business relationship with an SBA Express Lender, this pilot program allows small businesses to access funds while applying for an EIDL. This loan will be repaid in full or in part by the proceeds from the SBA.
    | NEXT STEPS > To get started, see this list of North Carolina SBA District Offices and contact the office nearest you.
  • A Debt Relief Program from the SBA might be able to provide your business a reprieve, as you overcome challenges created by the COVID-19 situation.
    DETAILS: The 7(a) Loan is the SBA’s largest financing program. Under this debt relief program, the SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months. The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
    | NEXT STEPS > Find the list of SBA-approved lenders to work with in this SBA Resource Guide for North Carolina.
  • North Carolina small businesses and family farms can receive a rapid recovery loan from state sources, to bridge the gap between the start of the crisis and the time when other sources of relief are available.
    DETAILS: The North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending program helps small businesses bridge the gap between when a crisis strikes and when federal loans, insurance payouts, and other relief funds are approved, or businesses have time to recover. The NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program now allows businesses to borrow up to $250,000 with no payments and 0.25 percent interest for the first 18 months. The loan’s terms have also changed from a 60-month repayment term to a 102-month repayment term. We are urging small businesses and family farms in need of assistance to consider applying for this program to sustain or adapt their business to the realities of the pandemic. The application deadline for this program is October 15, 2020.
    | NEXT STEPS > Visit ncrapidrecovery.org for more information.
  • The State of North Carolina's Job Retention Grant Program (JRG) was designed to provide certain businesses or non-profit organizations a grant up to $250,000.
    DETAILS: Applications are no longer being accepted.  665 applications were received by the September 1, 2020 deadline As of September 16, no funds have been awarded as yet, as N.C. Commerce staff reviews the pool of applicants.
    | NEXT STEPS >
    Review updates on the current status of the Job Retention Grant Program (JRG).
  • The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), now closed to new applicants, can provide a small business with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs, including benefits. Qualifying businesses will not need to repay the funds.
    DETAILS: Money from this program is provided in the form of a loan, but one that will be fully forgiven when the designated percentage of the loan is used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. No collateral nor personal guarantees were required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees. Loan forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease. Business could apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating.
    | NEXT STEPS > Current law says the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is now closed, as of August 8, 2020. As such, SBA is no longer accepting PPP applications from participating lenders. Read more about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) website.
Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance | Employer Tax Issues, Guiding Employees

  • As an employer, your unemployment insurance tax account will not be charged, for those individuals who are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19.
    DETAILS: Gov. Cooper’s Executive Order 118 established an approach to minimize the potential impact on your standard unemployment insurance tax obligation. Unemployment insurance tax is a tax on employer payrolls paid by employers, from which unemployment benefits are then paid to qualified unemployed workers.
    | NEXT STEPS > Find answers to common questions employers like you are asking, with this helpful list of questions available of the website of the Division of Employment Security.
  • As guidance for your affected employees seeking unemployment insurance benefits due to the COVID-19 situation: several Standard requirements of the system are waived, including the one-week waiting period; the 'able to work' and 'available to work' requirements; the work search requirement; and the actively seeking work requirements.
    DETAILS: The unemployment insurance system pays temporary assistance to eligible individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. Not everyone who applies for unemployment benefits will qualify.
    | NEXT STEPS > Affected workers can find answers to common questions, with this helpful list of questions available of the website of the Division of Employment Security.  People can apply for benefits online at the Division of Employment Security's (DES) website, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or via their Customer Call Center at 888-737-0259.
  • As an employer, when your company announces plans to either close a facility or conduct a mass personnel layoff, you may be required to file a report with the state, under certain circumstances, known as a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification – commonly called a WARN notice.
    DETAILS: WARN notices, among other actions, trigger the state's Rapid Response team into action, which provides transition support for the people impacted by the action.
    | NEXT STEPS > Read more about the process of filing a WARN report, elsewhere on our website.
Sell Critical Supplies to the State

Sell Critical Supplies to the State

  • North Carolina seeks companies and manufacturers that can produce critical supplies to help our state meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    DETAILS: North Carolina Emergency Management has assembled a vetting team to review vendors wishing to supply critical products to the State of North Carolina. Supplies urgently needed include: NIOSH-Approved Respirators (N95s, etc), Other Respirators (KN95s, etc), Procedural or Surgical Masks, Powered Air-Purifying Respirators, Goggles, Safety Glasses, Face Shields, Nitrile Examination/Medical Gloves, Nitrile Non-medical Gloves, Coveralls, Gowns (Isolation or Surgical), Hand Sanitizer, Disinfectant (Spray or Wipe), and Invasive Ventilators.
    | NEXT STEPS > If you or your company can sell Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or other critical supplies to N.C., please complete this online form.
Business Tax Issues

Business Tax Issues

Counseling and Advice

Counseling and Advice

Counseling and Advice | Sources

North Carolina’s small business service providers are here to help you navigate the COVID-19 situation in our state. This experienced group of organizations has a long history of helping businesses prepare for and then recover from disasters. Find the advice and guidance you need to manage your business through this new crisis. More information is posted regularly at this COVID-19 online help site.

  • Receive one-on-one counseling and professional advice and programming from the experts at the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC).
    DETAILS: SBTDC has supported small businesses in North Carolina for over 35 years. In the current environment, SBTDC is being flexible and innovative in its delivery of services. With physical access to most of its host campuses limited, SBTDC's professional counselors are meeting with clients by virtual technology or phone.
    | NEXT STEPS > Existing SBTDC clients will continue to have full access to their counselor remotely. New clients seeking assistance should click here for information on connecting with a counselor.
  • Receive advice and access webinars, on-demand content, and articles from the N.C. Community Colleges’ Small Business Center Network (SBCN).
    DETAILS: SBCN can assist you with SBA disaster loan applications and other sources of funding.  Center personnel can also review your financial obligations and your status with creditors, offer strategies for scaling operations and generating revenue, and provide referrals to additional sources of assistance. In addition, a host of COVID-19 resources are available online to help your business cope with the current situation.
    | NEXT STEPS > Access helpful information online here.
  • If your business is at risk of laying off significant numbers of workers, consider participating in a consultation and assistance program designed to help minimize job losses.
    DETAILS: “Business Edge” is a program that works with 'at risk' firms.  Offered by the Workforce Solutions division within the N.C. Department of Commerce, in partnership with local workforce boards and other agencies, the program connects you with experts who can help assess your current needs and available options, including helping you access potential services that address your needs.
    | NEXT STEPS > To get started, send an email to DWS_BusinessServices@nccommerce.com or read more about the service elsewhere on our site.
  • Public health guidance for businesses and restaurants is available.
    DETAILS: The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services publishes guidance for dealing with the current COVID-19 situation, including specialized advice for businesses and restaurant operators.
    | NEXT STEPS > Visit the DHHS COVID-19 web portal for more information.
Supply Chain Issues

Supply Chain Issues

  • Find a manufacturer or supplier for your supply chain needs by searching the 'Manufactured in NC' statewide database.
    DETAILS: This database of suppliers for most every kind of thing produced in North Carolina is a great resource for your business. Whether you’re a manufacturer who wants to better localize your supply chain, or you're a business searching for suppliers, you’ll discover new options when you use this database.
    | NEXT STEPS > Visit and search the 'Manufactured in NC' website.
  • Biomanufacturers, life science companies, and others can connect with resources using the new Coronavirus HUB from BIO.
    DETAILS: BIO, the industry trade association also known as the Biotechnology Innovation Organization has launched a website to connect companies offering relevant supplies, capacities and resources to companies, researchers and healthcare providers that need them. This new hub enables users to post requests for urgently needed items, as well as to post the availability of supplies and capacity. The portal connects in real time through customized announcements and is searchable by keywords. Please note that connection requests for medical supplies will be facilitated in partnership with Healthcare Ready, and to ensure an organized and optimized allocation of these particular items of need, BIO will not publish nor make searchable this category of resources.
    | NEXT STEPS > Visit the BIO Coronavirus HUB.
Government Action

Government Action

Relevant Legislation or Executive Orders | Information

The federal government and the State of North Carolina are taking action to meet the COVID-19 situation.  While the following listing may not be comprehensive, you may find these items particularly relevant to your business.

State

Federal

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. More details are available here, including FAQs.
  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act is a comprehsive law effective on March 27, 2020 that is designed to provide fast and direct economic assistance for American workers and families, small businesses, and preserves jobs for American industries.  Details on the CARES Act can be found here.
Subscribe For Future Info

Subscribe For Future Info

Subscribe | Receive Information on Future Programs and Services

  • Do you want to receive information about any future programs or services for small businesses related to the COVID-19 situation, as they become available?
    | NEXT STEP > Call Business Link North Carolina (BLNC) to register at 800.228.8443.  BLNC staff are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. Se Habla Español... BLNC offers Spanish-speaking counselors. Please note, however, that BLNC may be experiencing a higher-than-normal call volume, and you may be asked to leave a message.
  • Do you want to receive information from the North Carolina Department of Commerce?
    | NEXT STEP > Subscribe to SYNC, the department's regular email newsletter.