The Golden LEAF Foundation in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, has announced a $15 million commitment in support of a rapid recovery loan program for small businesses in the state impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program will award zero-interest loans of up to $50,000 to eligible businesses and require no payments on the loans for six months. Loans awarded through the program will serve as a bridge to businesses waiting to access economic injury loans through the Small Business Administration. The program will be managed by the NC Rural Center, in partnership with the Business Expansion Funding Corporation (BEFCOR), Carolina Small Business Development Fund, Mountain BizWorks, the Natural Capital Investment Fund, and Thread Capital.
"The Golden LEAF board of directors is making funds available to help meet the immediate needs of businesses affected by the pandemic by building upon a model used following hurricanes Matthew, Florence, and Dorian," said Golden LEAF board chair Bo Biggs. "This program is designed to assist businesses working to apply for a Small Business Administration economic injury loan or other commercial loan but that have more immediate needs for capital."
"Small businesses are more than just job providers, they are pillars of our communities," said North Carolina governor Roy Cooper. "They need our support now more than ever, and this program can help people across the state as we weather the effects of this pandemic."