Gov. Cooper announces $40 million COVID-19 relief for small businesses

Gov. Cooper announces $40 million COVID-19 relief for small businesses
Governor Roy Cooper announced a $40 million relief program to help offset fixed costs like rent, mortgage interests and utility bills in N.C. (Source: WBTV)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) - Some small businesses in North Carolina that saw disruptions to their operations due to the coronavirus pandemic may soon get help.

Governor Roy Cooper announced Tuesday a $40 million relief program to help offset fixed costs like rent, mortgage interests and utility bills.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy – powering our local communities and giving back in so many ways. They deserve our support, and this new initiative can help them weather this tough time,” said Cooper.

The N.C. Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief (MURR) can provide up to $20,000 in relief funds per qualifying business location. Business applicants from certain industry sectors that have not been able to operate during the pandemic can apply for up to two of their business locations.

According to Cooper, applicants can apply for up to four months of mortgage interest or rent expenses, and utility expenses. The help is aimed at offering relief for “some of the fixed costs a business cannot easily control on its own.”

Applications to the program will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis and must certify that they were closed during the period from April 1-July 31, expect to be able to operate after the pandemic has passed and have not been reimbursed by any other federal source “for the expenses for which they seek reimbursement through this program.”

Eligible applicants include:

  • Amusement parks
  • Banquet Halls (with catering staff)
  • Bars, taverns, night clubs, cocktail lounges
  • Bingo parlors
  • Bowling alleys/centers
  • Dance halls
  • Indoor fitness and recreation centers
  • Motion picture/movie theaters (except drive-ins)
  • Museums

Officials say the Department of Commerce will begin accepting applications soon, but have not provided an exact date.

Business leaders can learn about the MURR program by registering for one of the free educational webinars offered by the Department of Commerce over the next two weeks. For that schedule and additional information on the program, visit www.nccommerce.com/murr.

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