In late July the City of Charlotte announced they had awarded $2.5 million in grant funding to various organizations that offer help for small businesses.
Part of the Open for Business Initiative, the funding will be shared across 11 organizations. Among those is the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber, which received a grant of a quarter of a million dollars.
That’s definitely nothing to sneeze at. To find out exactly what the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber plans to do with that funding, we spoke with their president Chad Turner.
The organization has received smaller grants as a small business ecosystem partner in the past, Turner confirms, but this is the first time they have received such a sizeable amount of funding from the city of Charlotte.
Qualifying for it was no easy task, either.
“Grants were submitted as prescribed by the city and each went through a rigorous scoring system,” Turner explains. “Subsequently, we were chosen alongside other amazing organizations that provide support to small businesses.”
Turner explains the funds cannot be specifically granted by the Chamber, but they will be available to assist with specialized programming, marketing and other projects geared towards small businesses that have been adversely affected by COVID-19.
“[The money will cover] expenses for programming and projects related to this grant along with expansion to small businesses directly,” he says.
Turner and others at the Chamber are excited about the grant, what they hope to achieve with the funding and grateful to the city of Charlotte.
“We will directly impact small businesses under 50 employees with training, workforce development and programming as we enter the other side of this pandemic,” Turner offers. “I believe, along with their other programs, [this grant] says that the city of Charlotte and the Open for Business Initiative are focused on not only assisting small businesses directly, but also empowering organizations that are doing the work on the ground.”