Innovation Fund Round 3 Details

 

Small businesses across the entire City of Charlotte will be able to apply for grants from the fund. Applicants will outline their adaptations and innovations that have or will enable them to advance their business. Applicants will detail costs and an ability to implement as well as agree to share their lessons so others may learn from their experience. Grants will be prioritized to small businesses that create unique experiences for neighborhoods, including storefront businesses, distinctive products or services, and/or exceptional community engagement. Adaptations and innovations with the potential to replicate, scale, or foster collaboration will be prioritized in the review process.

Round 3 has closed for applications. Stay tuned for information about additional rounds. 

 

Funding:

  • Grants of either $20,000 or $40,000 per City of Charlotte business
    • Grants for joint applications from multiple City of Charlotte businesses may exceed $40,000 at the discretion of the Review Committee.
  • The grant funding must be used for an innovative investment to adapt to COVID and enable small businesses to be more resilient. Funds CANNOT be used for day-to-day operating expenses, like payroll, vendor payments, losses, utilities, rent, or mortgage.

Eligibility:

  • Small businesses must have an existing physical location in the City of Charlotte, NC.
  • The business headquarters is located within the Charlotte region.
  • The business had 50 employees (full and part-time) or fewer as of March 1, 2020.
  • The business experienced adverse impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The business is willing to participate in interviews to document and share their lessons learned.

Priority to:

  • Small businesses that create unique experiences for neighborhoods, including but not limited to storefront businesses, distinctive products or services, and/or exceptional community engagement.
  • Innovations and adaptations with potential to replicate and scale or create multi-sector collaborations.

Timeline and process going forward:

  • Application window: CLOSED
  • Review process through Technical Review Team and Review Committee: November 10th – December 16th
  • Grant confirmation, press release, contacting and setting up fund delivery time: December 17th – December 30st

Applicants should begin to prepare basic business information and responses to the questions below:

  • Business verification (only one of these documents will be needed from this list):
    • IRS Letter with business name and EIN
    • Bank Statement with business name
    • Utility bill with business name
    • Mortgage statement or lease agreement with business name
    • Sales and Use Tax Report for Mecklenburg County with business name
    • Certificate of Insurance with business name
    • Please note: 
      • The bank, utility, and mortgage statements, if attached, must be dated within the last 3 months.
      • the Sales and Use Tax Report for Mecklenburg County, if attached, must be from 2020. 
  • Business Financials (only one of these documents will be needed from this list):
    • Form 1040, Schedule C for Sole Proprietor from most recent tax return (2018 or 2019)
    • Form 1065 for Partnerships/ LLCs from most recent tax return (2018 or 2019)
    • Form 1120 for C Corporations from most recent tax return (2018 or 2019)
    • Form 1120S for S Corporations from most recent tax return (2018 or 2019)
    • Form 990 for Nonprofits from most recent tax return (2018 or 2019)
    • Profit & Loss Statement from 2019 tax year
    • Balance Sheet from 2019 tax year
  • Application questions:
    • What does your business do or offer?
    • How does your business create a unique experience for the neighborhood?
    • How has COVID-19 affected your business?
    • What adaptations and innovations have been made since March 1, 2020?
    • What adaptations and innovations do you plan to make to your business? Why?
    • Do you have the know how to make the innovation happen?
    • How much will it cost? How much are you requesting? How will you fund the difference?
    • What’s your timeline to implement?
    • Collaborating with another business?

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