We're here for startups and small businesses

Every day, we learn more about coronavirus (COVID-19). This much is already clear: the virus not only represents a public health risk and strain to our health care system. It also creates a dire financial situation for many businesses – particularly startups and other small business – in communities across the Research Triangle region, North Carolina and beyond.

Innovate Carolina will provide updates to entrepreneurs about resources – including the latest information, advice from entrepreneurial experts and financial support – that are available from organizations across the local region, state and country. If you know of a resource that can help others bolster their businesses, please send us an email.



General Business Guides
Coronavirus Small Business Guide
(US Chamber of Commerce)
Guidance for Small Businesses (U.S. Small Business Administration)
Guidance for Businesses and Employers (CDC)
Local Assistance (U.S. SBA)
Coronavirus Resource Guide
(NC Chamber)
COVID-19: Implications for Business (The Conference Board)
New and Small Business Policy Response (Center for American Entrepreneurship)

International Economic Development Council: New set of training courses for professionals working in entrepreneurship-led economic development (IEDC)

Baker McKenzie – Beyond COVID-19 Resource Center: Baker McKenzie has put together a global resource center with insights and webinars that can help you understand, prepare and respond to legal challenges related to COVID-19. 
Ward & Smith – Resources for COVID-19 Response: A collection of article written by Ward & Smith on a variety of COVID-19 legal topics.

MeetingMaker (host your 1:1 meeting for free during COVID-19 social distancing period)
WebEx by Cisco (free 90-day license for non-WebEx customers)
Trend Micro (free access to consumer security product for your employees to install on their computers)
PC Matic (free cybersecurity protection and remote management tools until June 20, 2020)


SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application
:  The form and instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
SBA Paycheck Protection Program
: A loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll. (U.S. Small Business Administration).
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance: This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties (U.S. Small Business Administration).
SBA Express Bridge Loans: Enables small businesses that currently have a businesses relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly (U.S. Small Business Administration).
SBA Debt Relief: The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during teh COVID-19 pandemic (U.S. Small Business Administration).
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources (U.S. SBA)
Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant (USDA)
Local Food Promotion Program (USDA)
Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants (USDA)
Coronavirus Tax Relief: The IRS established a section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others (Internal Revenue Service).
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is a federal program for people who are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 and not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits, such as self-employed workers and independent contractors.

North Carolina
NC Job Retention Grant: The maximum Job Retention Grant amount may be up to two months of the eligible entity’s average monthly payroll costs from 2019, plus an additional 25% of that amount. (NC Department of Commerce) [Applications due Sept. 1]
NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program
: Supports NC small businesses and family farms as they recover (NC Rural Center and Golden Leaf Foundation).
[now closed due to overwhelming demand]
Truist – NCIFund COVID-19 Grants: Provides funding for NC-based businesses that experienced a 15 percent reduction in sales due to COVID-19. (Truist and NCIFund) [now closed due to overwhelming demand]

Durham Small Business Recovery Fund: Eligible businesses are those with fewer than 25 employees, including home-based businesses and food trucks, which are subject to additional criteria (City of Durham and Carolina Small Business Development Fund). 
Orange County Emergency Small Business Fund: $410,000 for second round of grants (max grant of $5,000 per business) to eligible small businesses across the county (Orange County). 
Wake Forward: Wake Forward allocates $5 million in total to support small businesses in Wake County (Wake County).
Raleigh Small Business COVID-19 Relief Funds: The City of Raleigh has partnered with Carolina Small Business Development Fund to provide grants for qualifying small businesses (City of Raleigh).
Town of Carrboro Small Business and Non-Profit Emergency Fund: Serves Carrboro with short-term payroll during the state/town emergency (Town of Carrboro)
[now closed due to overwhelming demand]
Rapid Response Fund of the United Way of the Greater Triangle: Supplies funding for Triangle nonprofits that provide food, hygiene, childcare, etc (Triangle United Way). 
Durham Arts Council: Arts Recovery Fund (Durham Arts Council): Supports local nonprofit arts organizations, artists, collectives, presenters, venues and businesses (Durham Arts Council).
Durham Artist Relief Fund (Northstart Church of the Arts)
Orange County Arts Support Fund (Orange County Arts Commission)
NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund (North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association)
Duke-Durham Fund Phase 1: The fund, with an initial commitment of $5 million from Duke, will provide assistance to area non-profits, small businesses and community-based organizations. 

Private Sector/Foundations
Facebook Small Business Grants Program: $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses (Facebook).
SalesForce Small Business Grants: SalesForce has partnered with Ureeka to offer eligible small businesses the chance to receive a $10,000 grant. 
Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund: LISC will use Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure (Verizon)
Google Small Business and Crisis Response: Provides $340 million in Google Ads credits available to all small-and-midsized businesses with active accounts over the past year and a pool of $20 million in Google Cloud credits for academic institutions and researchers to leverage Google’s computing.  
Coronavirus Financial Bridge Loans: Provides unsecured cash loans of up to $100,000 to U.S. citizens nationwide (DVI Funding).
Honeycomb Crowdfunded Small Business Loan Relief: Community-sourced loans for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus (Honeycomb Credit).
Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund: Micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need (James Beard Foundation).
Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation: Relief funds and resources that will help restaurants and workers (RWCF).
One Fair Wage Emergency Fund: National donation-fueled fund to support tipped and service workers (OFW).
Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (USBG National Charity Foundation): Grants will be made in the form of lump sum distributions to the recipient; you don’t need to be a member to apply.
Red Backpack Fund: This fund will make at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. (The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation managed by GlobalGiving)
Go FundMe: Small Business Relief Fund If a business raises starts a GoFundMe fundraiser and raises $500 and meets certain eligibility criteria, they may be considered to receive a $500 matching grant.
Hello Alice: COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grant: Supports small business owners impacted by coronavirus. In addition to funding, grant recipients will receive ongoing support.
Omidyar Network: COVID-19 Economic Response: Infusing 501(c)(4) funding into national, state, and local advocacy and organizing efforts aimed at passing economic stimulus to address the immediate toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on working people.
Southern Smoke: Emergency Relief Program: Provides emergency funding to restaurant and bar owners and employees, as well as restaurant supplier employees, who are facing unforeseen expenses that cannot or will not be covered by insurance.
Save Small Business Fund: Provides $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities.  (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)


Here to Help: Local Business Virtual Conference Series: Tune in at 2 p.m. every Thursday to get advice from industry experts and hear ideas from other local business owners. (WRAL and Capitol Broadcasting Company)
Ask Me Anything: Jay Bigelow (Council for Entrepreneurial Development, North Carolina)
8 Steps for Successful Fundraising During the Coronavirus Crisis (Amy Eisenstein)
Managing Your Cash Flow During the Coronavirus Crisis (Multifunding Business Loan Advisors)


Orange County Economic Development
Durham Office of Economic and Workforce Development

Chatham County Economic Development
Chatham County Chamber of Commerce
Wake County Economic Development
Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership
Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC)
Chapel Hill: COVID-19 Resource Spreadsheet: A collection of resources to help the Chapel Hill community meet citizen needs, especially marginalized people affected by COVID-19 (Community Empowerment Fund).
Durham: COVID-19 Resource Spreadsheet: A collection of resources to help the Durham community meet citizen needs, especially marginalized people affected by COVID-19 (Community Empowerment Fund).
Triangle Community Foundation: COVID-19 Response: A collection of resources for nonprofits and students (Community Community Foundation).


Coronavirus Hub: Connects companies with capacity and resources with those that need them (BIO International).
RestoreYourEconomy.org. Resources and information related to COVID-19 and its economic impacts (IEDC, U.S. EDA).