The City of Durham and Duke University have partnered with Carolina Small Business Development Fund to establish the Durham Small Business Recovery Fund to provide loan and grant funds for small businesses (for-profits) adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible businesses are those with fewer than 25 employees, including home-based businesses and food trucks.

Grants are ONLY available to businesses with $500,000 or less in revenue, according to the most recent available tax filing.

Eligible businesses can apply to both the loan and grant programs.


  • Business must be an independent business located within Durham City or County limits

  • For-profit businesses including, but not limited to sole proprietorships, home businesses, and independent contractors

  • Businesses with 25 or fewer full-time employees

  • Franchises are only eligible if the franchisor is independent and locally owned

  • Business with revenues of $500,000 or less according to the most recent tax filing

  • Businesses who have been operating for one year or more

  • Business must demonstrate it has experienced at least 25% decline in revenue due to COVID-19.

  • The business has not filed for bankruptcy

  • Business does not have any current open judgments or tax liens

  • Ineligible businesses include:

  • Non-profits

  • Real estate investment firms, when the real property will be held for investment purposes

Grant Amount

2x average monthly expenses from most recently filed tax return or $10,000, whichever is less.

Use of Funds

Funds may be used for legitimate business expenses, including but not limited to working capital, lease payments, existing real estate and equipment financing payments, and covering payroll shortage. Funds may not be used to pay off existing debts, tax liens, judgments, or collections.


Required Documentation

  •  Certificate of “Good Standing”

  • Most recently completed & filed business tax returns (2018 tax returns are mandatory, 2019 are optional)

  • Most recently completed & filed personal tax returns (2018 tax returns are mandatory, 2019 are optional) – NOTE: Your personal tax return will not be used in the process to determine your eligibility for a grant award.  It will be used to provide summary reports on the income level of the applicant pool.

  • Payroll documentation or quarterly unemployment insurance filing

  • Monthly sales revenue for each month January-June 2020 (you may provide a point-of-sale report, Excel spreadsheet/ledger or another report from business accounting software)

  • Recipient banking information including your routing, checking account number and copy of a voided check

Online Applocation

Click here to complete application.

(Please note that once you start your application, you will not be able to save your progress and come back to the application. We recommend filling out the application in one sitting.)[1] 

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Do you have questions about the application process, eligibility, and required documentation? Check out two recordings of our webinars answering all your questions (in both English and Spanish)