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Small businesses that experienced hardship or disruptions due to COVID-19 are still eligible to apply for the Durham Small Business Opportunity Loan Fund, a business recovery program presented by the City of Durham and Durham County and administered by Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF).

Known previously in 2020 as the Small Business Recovery Fund, the Durham Small Business Opportunity Loan Fund initially distributed more than $870,000 in low-interest loans to 38 small businesses across Durham County. In this new iteration of the program, the Opportunity Loan Fund will provide approximately $1 million in low-interest loans and technical assistance to businesses still recovering from COVID-19.

“Access to affordable capital and technical assistance are critical for small business recovery, but they’re also powerful tools to ensure business resiliency,” said Andre Pettigrew, director of the City of Durham’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “We’re proud to partner with Durham County and Carolina Small Business Development Fund to support local access to both of these essential business development tools.”

Eligible businesses include entities with fewer than 50 employees with revenues not exceeding $5 million. Other eligible businesses include home-based businesses, sole proprietorships, and food trucks. Selected applicants may receive loans of $5,000-$35,000 with a 3% interest rate and repayment terms up to 10 years.

“The Opportunity Loan Fund is a great product for businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic and are looking to grow their capital stack,” said Andrew Miracle, director of the County’s Office of Economic Development. “The fund has been designed and administered in a way to truly expand the opportunity of capital and technical assistance resources to all of Durham’s small businesses.”

Funds may be used for legitimate business expenses, including but not limited to working capital, lease payments, existing real estate and equipment financing payments, refinance of high-interest debt, and/or covering payroll shortages.

“The Durham Small Business Opportunity Loan Fund is unique in that the streamlined application process only requires basic financial documentation, no collateral, and selection is not credit-score driven,” said CSBDF CEO Kevin Dick. “Oftentimes, the amount of opportunity a small business owner has can depend on what type of capital they can afford. By making the application process simple and keeping interest rates low, we can provide Durham’s small business community the best opportunity to bounce back after a few tough years.”

To learn more and apply for the Durham Small Business Opportunity Loan Fund, visit carolinasmallbusiness.org/durham-fund.

 

 

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