Programs: COVID-19

COVID 19 Resources for Downtown Businesses


NOTE: This is our attempt at aggregating information and resources useful for businesses, employees, and residents as we all navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please refresh frequently, updates are continuing to be added. If you’d like something added, corrected, or removed please email Matt Gladdek or Marilyn Payne.

GoFundMe links & other fundraisers listed in alphabetical order of the business needing community support:

411 West Hourly Employee Staff Fund – 411 West established this fund to help alleviate some of the financial strain on its hourly employees.  All proceeds will go to employees who have been affected by this loss of income.

Cat Tales Cat Cafe COVID-19 Relief Fund – Your contribution will allow Cat Tales Cat Cafe to pay rent and expenses, which don’t stop just because business must.

Save The Cave (Again) – If you are in a position to help, we hope that you will not only donate generously to the Cave, but as well to other bars and music venues that are suddenly left with no source of income.

The Crunkleton Employee Relief Fund – As a bar, The Crunkleton has been closed since March.

Goodfellows virtual Tip Jar – Goodfellows closed on Monday, March 16th in light of the CDC’s COVID-19 pandemic guidelines. To show a lil love, to the virtual tip jar. 100% of all donation proceeds (after GoFundMe fees) go directly to staff.

Lantern Kitchen Relief Fund – Lantern has not set a reopen date and has no commitment of government relief, but has provided working opportunities for its kitchen staff members by helping cook and prepare meals for different local school systems’ summer food programs. This is the Lantern Kitchen Relief Fund.

Support Linda’s Staff Members – Organized by employees of Linda’s Bar & Grill. Linda’s closed in March, reopening on June 6 as a grab-and-go or outdoor-only dinning option. Following the outbreak of COVID clusters on UNC’s campus in August, Linda’s closed again on Aug. 23.

Local 506 Needs Your Help – Local 506 is an indie music club in Chapel Hill, NC. It has been around since the 90’s. During this state of emergency, the club set up this GoFundMe for Local 506 and its staff until every can return to work.

Keep Nightlight Open –   All funds raised will go towards paying staff and rent during the time that Nightlight is closed. Any remaining funds will help Nightlight pay rent to keep the space so it can eventually re-open.

Save Sutton’s –   A former Sutton’s employee is working with owner Don Pinney as the Chapel Hill community comes together to help the legendary spot see it’s 100-year anniversary.

Talulla’s Restaurant Employee Assistance Fund – GoFundMe to support Talulla’s staff that have been with the company a long time. They’ve applied for all federal aid, but haven’t received anything yet.

Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe Staff Fund – Ye Olde closed on March 17, applied for small business loans and grants, but was informed that the business did not receive any loans or grant money.

Other non single-business fundraisers:

Orange County Arts Support Fund – Relief fund for artists, arts industry workers, and arts organizations who have been impacted by COVID-19.

COVID-19 Mutual Aid Relief Fund – NC Piedmont DSA is partnering with Carrboro Mutual Aid and Mutual Aid Disaster Relief.

Creating Social Distance: SIWANC – CH and Durham – Nick Stroud, Co-owner at the Baxter and Local 506.

Feed the Fight Chapel Hill  A community fundraiser providing fresh meals from local restaurants to UNC Healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 on the front lines.

North Carolina Healthcare Association’s Feeding the Soul  COVID-19 Healthcare Heroes Response fund takes donations to buy meals for hospital workers in the Triangle, purchasing food from local businesses. The fund feeds UNC Healthcare workers and includes meals from Vimala’s


This website includes categorized information including general recommendations for businesses & employers, how to clean and disinfect, personal protective equipment, hiring resources and recommendations for businesses including information specific to the following industries:

  • Accommodations & Lodging
  • Agriculture
  • Animal Services
  • Barber Shops and Hair Salons
  • Child Care Facilities
  • Construction, Entertainment & Attractions
  • Financial Services
  • Fitness Centers
  • Food Services, Bars, Coffee Shops
  • Manufacturing
  • Massage Therapy, Tattoo Facilities & Hair Removal Centers
  • Medical Services: General, Dentistry, Optometry, Mental Health
  • Nail Salons
  • Offices and Professional Services
  • Pharmacies
  • Real Estate
  • Retail
  • Tanning Salons

Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order No. 131, signed Thursday April 9 makes it easier for employers to file a batch of claims (called an attached claim) on behalf of their employees. Section 4 of the order aims to expedite the processing of unemployment claims by expanding the availability of the attached claims process.

NC Unemployment Application – Make sure to name COVID-19 for expedited payment. Gov. Cooper said he expects payments to start going out 2 weeks from March 17th, the state is hiring 50 new people to process applications quickly.

NC Unemployment FAQs (Individuals) – Answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 unemployment insurance for individuals.

NC Unemployment FAQs (Businesses/Employers) – Answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 unemployment insurance for employers.

NC Unemployment Tip Sheet

Federal Unemployment Assistance – Info on the expanded benefits through the CARES Act. This link includes specific information on Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

Unemployment Account Help – Troubleshooting help for your,gov account.

Link to Small Business Development Technology Center SBA Loan Comparison PDF

SBA Coronavirus Small Business Guidance

7(a) Loan Payment Relief

SBA will pay the principal, interest, and any associated fees owed on 7(a) loans as follows: • Existing borrower not on deferment: six months beginning with the next payment due on the loan;

  • Existing borrower on deferment: six months of payments beginning with the next payment due on the loan after the deferment period; and

  • New borrower: six months of payments beginning with the first payment due on the loan, but only for new loans made within the first six months starting from the date of enactment (3/27/2020).

Small Business “Paycheck Protection Program” (PPP)

  • SBA Page

  • A new $349 billion lending program under the existing SBA 7(a) program. The SBA guarantee of PPP loans will be 100% through the end of 2020. PPP loan payments will be deferred for a minimum of six and up to 12 months. Loans will be administered through local and regional banks; any federally regulated bank may become an SBA lender for this purpose. The Department of the Treasury will issue regulations for these loans quickly.

  • The interest rate will not exceed 4%. Rate is currently fixed at 0.5%.

  • Eligibility:

    • Small businesses as defined by SBA size standards, generally up to 500 employees, but up to 1,500 employees depending on the sector as certain sectors are based on revenue. • Sole proprietors, the self-employed, and independent contractors.

  • Regulatory Streamlining:

    • SBA’s standard “no credit elsewhere” test is waived.

    • No personal guarantee or collateral required.

    • No additional fees will be applied to these loans.

    • Size of loans: Up to $10 million. Loan amount is based on recent payroll costs, compensation paid to individuals, including the self-employed. Compensation in excess of $100,000 a year to any individual is excluded.

    • Requirements: The business must certify the loan will be used to retain workers, maintain payroll, make mortgage or lease payments, and pay utilities.

    • Loans may be forgiven, up to an amount equaling eligible payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utility cost, incurred during the 8 week period starting from loan origination. Compensation in excess of $100,000 a year to any individual will not qualify for forgiveness.

    • Loan forgiveness is reduced by layoffs or pay reductions in excess of 25%.

    • Loan forgiveness is not treated as taxable income.

NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending Program

In response to the unique economic challenges of COVID-19, a consortium of public, private, and nonprofit partners have come together and launched (on 3/24/2020) an innovative recovery-lending program to help support entrepreneurs like you and stabilize North Carolina’s small business sector.

The NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program will complement the SBA by providing a bridge until businesses can access funding from the SBA. The North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending program supports North Carolina small businesses and family farms as they recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. This rapid recovery loan helps small businesses bridge the gap between when crisis strikes and when federal loans, insurance payouts, and other relief funds are approved, or businesses have time to recover.

  • Apply for an NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan here.

    • All applicants must:

      • Own and operate a legal business in NC or plan to do so.

      • Be at least 18 years of age.

      • Have credit showing a successful repayment history.

      • Not have any active judgments, foreclosures, or federal obligations in default.

  • For complete information on the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending Program, visit

  • To read the press release from The Golden LEAF Foundation and learn more about what the foundation does, click here.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

Special thanks to the Chapel Hill Carrboro Chamber for organizing this material for members and non-members. To see all of their updates go to Chamber Website

In response to COVID-19, the U.S. Small Business Administration opened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to NC businesses on 3/19/20. The loan program helps small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 to overcome temporary loss of revenue with low-interest loans (up to $2 million) with favorable terms (3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits, repaid over 30 years).

The Chamber, together with nearly a dozen partner organizations, hosted an “All Business Briefing” on 3/20/20 featuring a representative from the SBA to walk nearly 400 local business owners and managers through the application process. The following are the two decks shared during that video conference as well as the video recording of the conversation. Any questions about the SBA loan program can be directed to the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance

For those that apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), an advance of up to $10,000 will be provided to small businesses within several days of applying for the loan.

  • The advance does not need to be repaid, even if the grantee is subsequently denied an EIDL.

  • Funds can be used to provide paid sick leave to employees, maintain payroll, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

  • Eligibility: Advances are available to small businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors, tribal businesses, as well as cooperatives and employee-owned businesses in operation on January 31, 2020.

COVID-19: NCGrowth and SBA Seminar

NCGrowth put together this information detailing the specifics of who qualifies for SBA loans and how to apply. To see their full collection of resources, visit

NCGrowth hosted a webinar on 3/25/20 which included a representative from the SBA which helped navigate through the process of the SBA disaster recovery loan process and which specifically address what the loans can be used for. To view a full webinar recording using the following link.

Bartender Emergency Assistance Grant – USBG National Charity Foundation, you don’t need to be a member to apply

Facebook Covid-19 grants – Facebook offering grants for 30,000 businesses effected by COVID-19 for operations, payroll, etc.