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City of Raleigh COVID-19 Relief Fund: Survey of Beneficiaries

Evaluation of Agency Contract Outputs


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 COVID-19 pandemic represents a threat to small business survival. We have urged innovative and out-of-the-box thinking to find solutions that will help small businesses succeed and thrive. While survey instruments are imperfect tools to measure the impact of development interventions, the data do suggest the program has had a positive short term impact on Raleigh’s economy.


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Carolina Small Business Development Fund. 2021. City of Raleigh COVID-19 Relief Fund: Survey of Beneficiaries. Raleigh, NC.

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