Millions of dollars in grants are awarded to small businesses each year through federal, state and local government programs.
And some local businesses have received funding to help their establishments.
Recently, two small businesses in Charlotte were recently awarded $75,000 grants to develop innovative technologies, according to a press release from the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
software company Amissa received a grant to develop an artificial intelligence platform to improve the safety and care of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and Smart Girls HQan education solutions provider, has secured funding to create a game-based educational platform that inspires young girls to pursue careers in STEM.
Although governments do not provide grants for business start-ups, debt repayments, or operating expenses, Charlotte small business owners can apply for loan programs to cut costs, with resources found online and elsewhere such as Charlotte Business Resources.
Here are some small business loan programs in the Charlotte area.
Meck Loan is a loan program of the Carolina Small Business Development Fund, a non-profit organization that supports small businesses in North Carolina, which provides attractive loans to small businesses in Mecklenburg County.
To qualify, businesses must have 50 or fewer full-time employees and annual sales of less than $2 million. Owners are also required to provide up to three years of personal tax returns, personal financial statements, and a copy of their driver’s license.
Applicants must also submit the following documents:
Up to three years of business tax returns
Profit and loss accounts since the beginning of the year
Cumulative balance sheet
Current company bank statement
Rental agreement or mortgage statement
A year of cash flow projections spreadsheet
To start the process, interested applicants can contact the Carolina Small Business Development Fund Business Solutions Team. on line or at 704-409-5900.
Mobilization loan for small businesses
The City of Charlotte offers Mobilization loans for small businesses of up to $75,000 to help small business owners in Mecklenburg County obtain short-term, low-rate financing when participating in municipal projects.
Eligible companies must be certified as small enterprises for at least two consecutive years, according to the City of Charlotte’s website.
Applicants for this loan will need the following:
Two years of business tax returns
Two years of personal tax returns
A current personal financial statement showing a personal net worth of less than $750,000
Copy of eligible municipal contract
Statement of use of funds
Two letters of recommendation from the contractors
Two letters of recommendation from professional references
Written explanation of past credit issues if necessary
Loan applications can be fulfilled on line. Those who do not qualify for the loan will be referred to other community resources for financial assistance, according to the city’s website.
US Small Business Administration
The US Small Business Administration helps small businesses by offering plenty of loans to help startups get the financing they need, with lower down payments, flexible overhead, and no collateral needed for some.
Here are some of the types of loans they offer:
7(a) Loans: A group of SBA loans that guarantee portions of the total, cap interest rates, and limit fees
504 loans: Long-term, fixed-rate financing for the purchase of real estate, equipment, machinery or other assets
Microloans: loans of $50,000 or less to help businesses grow
In order to obtain an SBA-backed loan, applicants can enter their zip code on Lender Match to find local lenders.