New North Carolina Fund Provides Loans to Small Business Owners

A coalition of statewide partners led by the North Carolina Rural Center recently launched the North Carolina Small Business Recovery Fund, a way to help the state’s small business community recover from the effects of Hurricane Matthew, the western wildfires, Tropical Storm Julia and Tropical Storm Hermine.

The fund was established to provide low-interest loans to help owners not only recover from a natural disaster but also plan for and mitigate the effects of the next hurricane, wildfire or tropical storm. Fund details include:

  • Loan amounts between $5,000 and $250,000; loan terms of up to 10 years.
  • Up to 24 months no interest (0%) and/or deferred payments evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Rates for the remainder of the loan term ranging from 3-9% evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Funds may be used to repair damaged buildings or equipment, mitigate future losses, purchase/construct new buildings or equipment, or for working capital and operational expenses. Other uses may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

The fund is designed to provide gap funding to complement Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and other disaster recovery programs. Qualification for SBA assistance is not a requirement for the Small Business Recovery Fund. Businesses who did not apply for SBA assistance or whose applications were not accepted, are still eligible to apply for a loan through the Small Business Recovery Fund.

Sandbar Oyster Company used the program to rebuild its Oyster Catcher panels, seen here before being buried in mud by Hurricane Matthew.

“The small business owner is the anchor of many rural economies,” said Rural Center President Patrick Woodie. “An interruption in their business due to a natural disaster can result in missed payroll or lost jobs. Those are disruptions that can affect the very way of life of an entire rural community or small town.”

The loan application and additional details are available at For more information about the program, you can also contact the North Carolina Rural Center’s Senior Director of Programs Barry Ryan at or 919-250-4314.