Charlotte Center City Partners and Honeywell are excited to announce the creation of the Center City Small Business Innovation Fund, an initiative designed to spur and support innovation and adaptation by storefront small businesses as they adapt to the new economic realities caused by the COVID-19 crisis and economic downturn. This program is launching with an initial investment of $2 million by Honeywell and in partnership with the Foundation For The Carolinas.
Center City is fortunate to have hundreds of restaurants, breweries, bakeries, coffee shops, salons, retailers, food trucks and other small businesses. Together, these businesses create the vibrancy and character that residents, visitors, workers, and major employers crave, and they distinguish Center City as an essential economic engine for the region.
But these entrepreneurs built their businesses to be fully open to the general public and are reliant on foot traffic for customers. Supporting storefront small business entrepreneurs as they navigate the new economic reality will make all the difference in our success and future competitiveness as an urban economy.
Small businesses will need to invest in supplies, training, design, technology, operations, infrastructure or furnishings to adapt their operations or business models. Many will need to pivot their business model. Businesses will need to innovate to stay competitive and advance. Charlotte has a strong history of leveraging private-public partnerships to pull off innovative and courageous moves. Small businesses will be able to apply for grants of up to $40,000 from the Center City Small Business Innovation Fund to advance those innovations.
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