Charlotte City Council approves plan to spend $19 million in COVID relief money
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - At Monday night’s Charlotte City Council meeting, leaders approved a plan to spend $19 million in COVID relief money to go towards various sectors in Charlotte.
Some of that money is supposed to go towards small business investments but that doesn’t necessarily mean your business will get that money.
It’s no secret, the pandemic made it tough for many small businesses in Charlotte to stay open.
While many are back up and running, some owners tell WBTV it’s been an elusive process trying to get funds.
Owner of Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find comic store Shelton Drum said, “We just didn’t know what was going on for you know at least the first year of the pandemic.”
Drum’s comic store has been around 42 years, and he’s faced some tough times.
“The pandemic was the scariest financial waters I’ve ever had to navigate for sure.”
Monday night, City Council approved $14 million will go towards small business investments, workforce development, and the hospitality sector in Charlotte.
Here’s how that $14 million will be broken down.
$5 million will go towards a small business with a viable plan for job creation, retention, and workforce development. That includes $2.5 million towards a “Small Business Partner Support Program” and another $2.5 million to go towards a “Small Business Innovation Grant Program.”
$5 million will go towards workforce investments and $4 million will go to hospitality sector investments.
“It’s sort of a mystery, you know, it’s a secret sometimes as to what’s available and how to get it.”
This round of funding, a city spokesperson says, they’re less about putting money directly in the hands of small businesses and more about workforce development, the non-profit sector, and housing assistance.
$3.5 million will go towards Charlotte non-profit organizations while $1.5 million will go towards programs that address food insecurity.
Co-owner of Paper Skyscraper in Charlotte Bill Godwin says, he’s okay with that: “Those businesses need support in the form of workforce training, housing affordability, it makes sense to me exactly what they’re doing.”
The application for the innovation fund is not out yet, but here’s a link to see how the program has worked in the past.
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