Some North Carolina small businesses that have experienced extraordinary disruption to their operations due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic may benefit from a $40 million relief program to help offset fixed costs like rent, mortgage interests and utility bills, Governor Roy Cooper announced Tuesday.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy – powering our local communities and giving back in so many ways. They deserve our support, and this new initiative can help them weather this tough time,” said Governor Cooper.
The N.C. Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief (MURR), administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, can provide up to $20,000 in relief funds per qualifying business location. Business applicants from certain industry sectors that have not been able to operate during the COVID period may apply for up to two of their business locations.
Applicants can apply for up to four months of mortgage interest or rent expenses, and utility expenses. The help offers relief for some of the fixed costs a business cannot easily control on its own.
Applications to the program should open next week and will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants must certify that they were closed during the period April 1 through July 31, 2020; they expect to be able to operate after the COVID crisis has passed, and they have not been reimbursed by any other federal source for the expenses for which they seek reimbursement through this program.
Eligible applicants include:
Banquet Halls (with catering staff)
Bars, taverns, night clubs, cocktail lounges
Indoor fitness and recreation centers
Motion picture/movie theaters (except drive-ins)
The Department of Commerce will begin accepting applications soon. Business leaders can learn about the MURR program by registering for one of the free educational webinars offered by the Department of Commerce over the next two weeks.
For the webinar schedule and additional information on the program, visit www.nccommerce.com/murr.
Feature photo: Sunrise Theater in Southern Pines has been closed since March due to the COVID-19 crisis.