COVID-19 Resource Page

On this page, we are aggregating the best resources we can find for financial and other relief for small businesses/nonprofits.

Small Business SBA Loans/Grants Available

New loans and emergency grants are available for small businesses, including sole proprietorships and nonprofits.

Applied for through SBA

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Advances – Up to $2 million can be provided to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met if the disaster did not occur. For those that apply for EIDL, an advance of up to $10,000 will be provided to small businesses within several days of applying for the loan.

SBA Express Bridge Loans – Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

Applied for through SBA approved lenders (Call your bank or go to their website to find info/forms)

Payroll Protection Program – This loan program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program.  Here are SBA’s current FAQ for the PPP program. Here is the application to apply for loan forgiveness under PPP.

Other federal relief

SBA Debt Relief – The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Creating an Account to Receive Federal Payments – If you do not have an IRS account, or a bank account to receive loan/grant payments under the CARES act, or otherwise, FDIC offers guidance and options for receiving these payments.

Other Small Business Emergency Grant Funds

Other organizations are offering emergency grants to small businesses.  Here are the ones we have found:

Save Small Business  – Launched by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Save Small Business Grant Fund provides $5000 supplemental grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities.  Visit the  page for more information, including eligibility (employ 3-20 people, located in an economically vulnerable community, have been harmed financially by COVID-19) and application.

The Red Backpack Fund – Deadline August of 2020.  will make at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis. Eligible applicants include majority women-owned businesses and nonprofits with annual revenues less than $5M, at least one additional paid employee, and fewer than 50 individuals on staff.

Hello Alice: COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grant – The COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grant supports small business owners impacted by coronavirus. In addition to funding, grant recipients will receive ongoing support from the Hello Alice community.  

Omidyar Network: COVID-19 Economic Response Advocacy Fund – Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout 2020. Omidyar Network will award $1.5 million to groups working to realign this nation’s economic policies and systems so that they work better for everyone. The majority of the grants from the Fund will be for $75,000 or less.

One Fair Wage Emergency Fund – The One Fair Wage Emergency Fund is providing cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers, and more who need the money they aren’t getting to survive. At the moment, the Fund is prioritizing tipped workers, gig workers and service workers in California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. However, they are currently taking applications nationally and are actively raising money to support workers in all states as soon as possible.

Southern Smoke: Emergency Relief Program – The Emergency Relief Program provides emergency funding to restaurant and bar owners and employees, as well as restaurant supplier employees, who are facing unforeseen expenses that cannot or will not be covered by insurance.

Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits are now available to many working in the arts sector, even gig workers.

  • A general overview of changes to unemployment benefits due to COVID-19 here.
  • See the growing FAQ answers from the NC Department of Employment Security here. 
  • See NC DES information for employers here.
  • Read about changes to Employers ability to file Attached Claims during the crisis Employers (and employees)- New flexibility for Attached Claims will allow more money to get to employees. Learn more here:
  • Benefits for gig workers, self-employed workers – Under the federal CARES Act, gig workers and self-employed workers are now eligible to apply for unemployment benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. The online guidance is helpful and reports are saying that the helpline is now more available. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance line is 866-847-7209. We are also hearing reports that if you are having issues getting past certain stages of the online application (i.e. you enter your address as “employer address” as instructed and you get an “unverified” prompt, but no option to verification prompt), switching to a Chrome browser may help.
  • Watch the 4/29/20 Webinar on Unemployment Benefit (w/ Q&A) from Raleigh Office of Economic Development here.


Updated Health Insurance

If you had insurance through the Exchange and now your situation has changed, and you want to go back to the marketplace, or if you lost your job and were getting health insurance through your employer, there may be some options. NPR does a good job of explaining them in this article. Know that North Carolina is not one of the states that have (so far) reopened enrollment, but you could argue you have a Qualifying Life Event. 

Where to Get Help/Questions Answered:

Overwhelmed and need someone to talk to about these loans or other business decisions during this crisis? These organizations provide free counselors that can help you.

NC Pro Bono Resource Center Legal Clinic – The North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center has partnered with North Carolina law firms and Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG) to launch a remote legal clinic to help small businesses and nonprofits with legal needs from the impact of COVID-19. The North Carolina Small Business/Nonprofit Initiative will match qualifying small businesses or nonprofits with 25 or fewer employees with lawyers from NC firms for a free 45-minute phone or virtual legal consultation, helping these small business owners or nonprofits navigate the CARES Act, or questions related to employment, contracts, commercial leases, insurance and insolvency issues. Small business and nonprofits can request free legal assistance through the online form on the Center’s website.

SBTDC – SBTDC has two Triangle offices with counselors that will help you with your business questions through free counseling sessions. Find a local office and sign up for a counseling session here. They can assist with continuity planning, disaster capital, and other resources to help your business manage during the current crisis. They also have an easy to understand review of SBA loan options here.

Other Triangle small business consulting providers, many of which are also free, can be found on our Small Business Resources page.  Included are SCOREWomen’s Business Center,  NC Small Business Centers, and more – all of which provide free small business counseling.


Here are the groups forming or guides being created to help arts businesses navigate reopening.

Reopening Your Business: A guide for safely operation – A guide created by SBTDC, Orange County, Hillsborough, Chatham and other municipal organizations to provide businesses with the best known guidance to ensure consumer confidence and promote community health in the age of COVID-19. As North Carolina businesses prepare to open and resume operations, precautions and policy suggestions outlined in this guide should be taken to protect employees and customers. These recommendations come from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), with additional guidance from local public and environmental health professionals. There are specific measures businesses of all types can take to aid in a safe, thoughtful reopening.

Guide to Reopening the Arts – NC Arts Council’s guide to provide recommendations as you craft your organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and develop your plan for reopening to the public.

Covid-19 Basics- Disinfecting Cultural Resources – Lots of great info on what the Covid-19 virus is, how long it persists on surfaces? How to deactivate the virus on arts materials and surfaces, and other safety precautions.


Triangle Artist Relief Funds

Artists can apply for emergency relief through these funds.

NC Artist Fund

Durham Artist Relief Fund

Chatham Artist and Arts Worker Relief Fund

Orange County Arts Support Fund

National Artist Relief Funds – Creative Capital has joined forces with several national arts grantmakers to form Artist Relief — an initiative that includes immediate, unrestricted emergency funding of $5,000 for individual artists of all disciplines, and resources to help those in need due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

We will add more to this information to this guide over the coming days.  Find a great resource, shoot us an email!