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Raleigh Grant Program
On behalf of the City of Raleigh, Carolina Small Business (CSBDF) administered a survey to small businesses receiving a COVID-19 Relief Fund grant award. The purpose of the survey is to estimate the impact of the program. All 201 COVID-19 Relief Fund grantees were invited to take the survey, and 80 responses were received (equating to a response rate of 39%). Non-response bias and social desirability bias make the estimation of program impacts through surveys a complex affair. With that caveat in mind, respondent grantees reported mean employee levels of 6.4 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) at the time of the survey. In aggregate grantees estimated the program will help them create or save 489.1 FTEs over the next two years. Those who received the grant also reported high levels of social capital and trust in community institutions, which are alternative ways to judge the impact of these types of programs.
The Innovator’s Journey (INJ) program, carried out by CSBDF in conjunction with a multitude of higher education institution partners, sought to help small business owners innovate and be more entrepreneurial. The intervention encompassed a 6 week curriculum and 12 hours of instruction time. The primary goal of INJ was to promote small business entrepreneurial networks. CSBDF staff conducted an independent outcome evaluation analysis to assess whether the program was able to meet this goal. Data for the evaluation comes from three longitudinal surveys taken by each cohort of course participants. While there were nominal increases in most outcome metrics across time, most observed changes were not statistically significant.