Thousands of companies denied CLT business grants but records showing which ones not released

Business grant process still secret

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Thousands of North Carolina businesses were forced to close when the state shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19.

To help businesses survive, the City of Charlotte used $58 million in federal CARES Act money to distribute as part of the city’s Open For Business program.

Earlier this month, Mayor Vi Lyles and other city leaders announced more than $30 million dollars in awards has been disbursed to 2,5000 small and micro businesses and another $7 million given to local eating and drinking establishments.

That includes to Southern Blossom Florist.

But while thousands of businesses received awards of $10,000 and even $25,000 from the city, nearly 2,000 applications were also turned down.

Grant applicants sought almost double the $30 million dollars that have been handed out.

The Foundation for the Carolinas, which helped oversee the grant program, says that applications were chosen at random.

WBTV requested copies of those applications in September so we could find out which business received the awards and which didn’t. But a spokesperson for the city says those records won’t be released for several more months.

WBTV also requested information on grants that the city has had to reclaim but we did not receive that information either.

There are other Open for Business programs the city has not released information on yet.

$6 million has been allocated to the Hotel/Motel support program and $580,000 dollars to the Music Venue support program, but the city says it is not announcing who was awarded those grants until the money is disbursed later this month.

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.