Businesses and nonprofit organizations hurt by COVID-19 could qualify for up to $250,000 from a new state grant called the Job Retention Grant Program. As Governor Cooper said, “This program aims to help employers keep employees on the payroll.”
Both for-profit and certain non-profit employers may apply for grants with a strict deadline application of September 1, 2020. To qualify for the grant, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements:
· The applicant cannot have participated in the federal Paycheck Protection Program, the federal Main Street Loan Program, or the state Rapid Recovery Loan Program.
· The applicant must have maintained at least 90 percent of the number of full-time employees in North Carolina at the end of June 2020 as it did at the end of February 2020.
· The applicant must have had a reduction in sales (in the case of a for-profit business) or receipts (for nonprofits) of more than 10 percent when comparing March-May 2020 to March-May 2019 levels.
Applicants are eligible for a grant up to 125 percent of two months of its 2019 average monthly payroll costs, up to a maximum of $250,000. All applicants that apply and are eligible may expect to receive some level of assistance, but the actual amount of the grant will depend on the total number of eligible requests received by the program. If requests exceed the $15 million that’s available, then individual grant amounts will be lowered on a prorated basis.
The Department of Commerce hopes to award grants by early October. All grantees will have to comply with federal and state reporting requirements as a condition of the grant.