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To help small businesses and entrepreneurs recover from the pandemic, Carolina Small Business Development Fund and the City of Raleigh are proud to offer Oak City Biz Labs, a technical assistance and grant program. MORE DETAILS HERE

Oak City Biz Labs is a first come, first served grant program that connects small businesses and entrepreneurs to technical assistance programs to help foster resilient and strategic business growth.

The process is easy:

  1. Apply and submit the required business assessment linked within the application.

  2. Complete the free technical assistance workshops, provided by Carolina Small Business Development Fund’s Digital Learning Academy.*

  3. Receive and implement grant funding to support one’s small business.

Businesses must meet all eligibility requirements in order to participate in Oak City Biz Labs. Grant funds are distributed upon completion of both the program application and the required technical assistance courses.  

*The deadline to complete the technical assistance portion is March 17, 2023.


  • Prior Raleigh Relief Fund Recipients (year 2020) are eligible for Round 2 of Oak City Biz Labs.

  • Business must be located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

  • For-profit businesses, brick-and-mortar businesses, and businesses recovering foot traffic/commercial locations

  • The effective date of the business formation or DBA in the case of sole proprietorships will need to be prior to January 1, 2020.

  • Not have annual revenues exceed $5,000,000 based on most recent business tax returns.

  • At least 20% gross revenue reduction (compare 2020 tax return – or 2021 return with 2019 tax return as the baseline).

    • OR at least 15% gross revenue reduction (compare 2020 tax return – or 2021 return- with 2019 tax return as the baseline) AND the business had to suspend operating because of COVID-19 for at least 60 days.

      • If using 2020 tax return to show revenue impact, 2021 revenue still needs to be below the 2019 revenue level.

  • Not have any active bankruptcies, tax liens, or judgements.

    • Note: For sole proprietorship or general partnership businesses, there can be no active personal bankruptcy, tax liens or judgements, or any active business bankruptcy.

  • Businesses (i.e. LLC, C-Corp, and S-Corp) are separate entities and will be treated as such when determining eligibility.

    • If an owner or the business has outstanding/unresolved debt, that will result in ineligibility

  • Business with 50 employees or fewer

  • Business under common ownership with other businesses, with combined 50 employees or fewer.

  • Not be delinquent on North Carolina State income taxes.

  • No outstanding taxes to the City of Raleigh.

  • Businesses that fall outside of the eligibility requirements outlined through the federal guidelines will be ineligible with no exceptions. These requirements include no judgements, liens, or other tax or debarment issues.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Applicants will complete and submit a Need Assessment Form as part of the application and only those that complete the Technical Assistances Plans are eligible to receive grant funds. MORE DETAILS HERE

Ineligible businesses include:

  • Non-profits

  • Real estate investment firms (real property is held for investment purposes)

  • Lobbyists

  • Home-Based Businesses

  • Online Businesses

  • Franchise Businesses

  • Month-to-month booth or short-term “sublet” situations for example: chair rent, booth rent/salon suite/co-working, and other shared space agreements.

  • Oak City Biz Labs Round 1 grant recipients



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