Dear Hometown Strong Partners

Sharing the application opening for the NC Department of Commerce’s new Job Retention grant program.  Governor Cooper signed the statutory authorization for this program July 1st and the application is now available for this unique grant program, funded at $15 million from the Federal CARES act.  Please note the application deadline of September 1, which is set by NC Statute. 

Hometown Strong encourages sharing with the business, culture/art, and religious institution networks in your community in order to reach our important Main Street small businesses,  arts and cultural businesses , faith communities and home-based entrepreneur.  If a business or non-profit organization experienced interruption due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the new Job Retention Grant (JRG) Program may be able to offer assistance.  The goal for this program is to reach businesses and non-profits that have not been covered in the Paycheck Protection Act loan or the Rapid Recovery loan program.  If your county would like to schedule an online orientation for the program, please let us know! 

To qualify to receive these grant funds, your organization:

We’re publishing answers to the most frequent questions about the program here, and you can also review the underlying law that authorizes the program.

We’re accepting applications from now until our application deadline of Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 11:59pm.  No applications will be accepted after that time.   No grants will be awarded before the September 1 deadline, and the potential amount of each grant will not be determined until all applications have been reviewed and awarded.

Our JRG team is available to assist you.  Email your questions or comments to:

Eligible Applicant Type

These classes of businesses or non-profit organizations can apply for a Job Retention Grant.

  • A publicly held business
  • A privately held business that has at least one W-2 employee and is subject to state income tax
  • Nonprofit organizations, of which no part of the net earnings inures to the benefit of any private stockholder or individual.  These non-profit types include:
    1. Generally, 501(c)(3) nonprofits – Cemetery corporations and corporations organized for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
    2. Generally, 501 (c)(7) nonprofits – Clubs organized and operated exclusively for pleasure, recreation, and other nonprofitable purposes. 
    3. Business leagues, chambers of commerce, merchants’ associations, or boards of trade not organized for profit.  (generally, 501(c)(6) nonprofits)
      IMPORTANT NOTE:  Applications for this type of nonprofit are being accepted on a provisional basis.  This type of nonprofit is not currently eligible for the JRG program, according to current law.  However, the N.C. General Assembly has indicated an interest in making this type of nonprofit eligible.  So, while we will accept an application from this type of nonprofit, it will only receive a grant if the statute is amended to make them eligible.
NC Commerce Launches Grant Program for Business and Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19, Apply by 9-1-20