Business Grants and Loans in North Carolina: Funding for Your North Carolina Business

Small businesses thrive in North Carolina. Boasting a vibrant economy and a high-quality workforce, the Tar Heel state is consistently ranked among the top states in the U.S. to start a business. If you’re a lucky North Carolina business owner—or you’re considering launching your next venture there—we’ve got some great funding options for you. The list of business grants and loans below are only available to North Carolina businesses. Discover if your business is eligible and start working on those applications! 

Department or Agency: North Carolina Departments of Commerce and Revenue

Loan or Grant title: Job Development Investment Grant

This program awards cash grants to companies that relocate to or expand a facility in North Carolina. Grants are paid annually, for terms of up to 12 years, and awardees must go through a yearly performance review to continue receiving funds. Awards are based on factors such as the location of the project, the number of net jobs created in the state, worker wages, and more. 

Department or Agency: North Carolina Department of Commerce

Loan or Grant title: One North Carolina Fund

This program provides cash grants to businesses that create jobs in designated distressed areas across the state. Awards are based on factors like the number of jobs created, the location of the project, and the importance of the project to the state and region. To be eligible, a company must meet minimum wage requirements and offer health insurance to employees—among other requirements. See the webpage for the full list. 

Grant funds can be used for:

  • Installing or purchasing equipment
  • Repairing, improving, or renovating existing buildings
  • Installing or improving utility distribution lines or associated equipment in new or existing buildings

Department or Agency: Golden Leaf Foundation

Loan or Grant title: Open Grants Program

Golden Leaf provides grants to nonprofits that can facilitate the foundation’s priority outcomes, which include job creation, economic investment, workforce preparedness, and agriculture. Grants range from $200,000 to $500,000, and recipients can use the funds for charitable, scientific, educational, or tax-exempt public purposes. 

Department or Agency: City of Raleigh

Loan or Grant title: Business Investment Grant (BIG)

This program provides cash grants to new and existing businesses that will provide economic benefits to the city of Raleigh. Eligibility is based on new job creation and new ad valorem taxable investments.

Department or Agency: Meck Lending and the Carolina Small Business Development Fund

Loan or Grant title: Meck Lending Loan Fund

This program offers loans of up to $75,000 for small businesses and startups based in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. The loans have non-standard lending features, such as a lower debt-to-service coverage ratio, that are designed to help small business owners access capital. 

Department or Agency: Carolina Small Business Development Fund

Loan or Grant title: Core Loan

Carolina Small Business (CSB) is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides loans of up to $350,000 across North Carolina. Both emerging and established firms may qualify in any industry except sin businesses. Throughout the life of the loan, CSB can provide additional technical assistance, business assessments, and digital training courses. 

Department or Agency: Carolina Small Business Development Fund

Loan or Grant title: Durham Small Business Opportunity Loan Fund

This program provides loans between $5,000 and $35,000 to for-profit businesses in Durham County, North Carolina. Loan funds can be used for various business expenses such as working capital, lease payments, and payroll shortage. To qualify, the business must have 50 or fewer employees, have $5 million or less in revenue in the most recent tax year, and fit other eligibility criteria.

Department or Agency: NC Rural Center / Thread Capital

Loan or Grant title: Small Business Loans

This program offers loans of $50,000 to $100,000 for small businesses in North Carolina. Thread Capital can also connect businesses to loans of up to $5 million through a network of statewide lending partners. Preference is given to rural, low-income, female, and minority borrowers. To qualify, the business must have at least one employee (who could be the owner) and must be located in North Carolina. 

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