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The fight for the survival of Main Street continues, but we are winning the battle with your help!

January 7, 2021 / Kevin Dick and Emily Stallings / CDFI, Community Development, Economic Development, Economy, Jobs & Employment, Small Business

When we started 2020, no one could have predicted how the year would end. In this post, President/CEO Kevin Dick and Development Director Emily Stallings take a look back at CSBDF’s activities during the year. Between April and December, CSBDF is proud to have helped 1,000+ small businesses survive and thrive through COVID-19. That has only been possible because of the support of numerous organizations and individuals. If you or your organization is interested in helping small businesses succeed through the pandemic, please consider a one-time contribution, an annual gift, or volunteering your time.

Fighting for Main Street’s Survival

Main Street businesses are the engine of local economies. But they don’t just provide economic benefits, they also give our communities a sense of place and identity. When small businesses close there is a ripple effect throughout the economy. The fight for North Carolina’s small businesses continues as the nation enters into the 11th month of the pandemic. CSBDF started 2020 by celebrating its 30th anniversary. As we begin 2021 we wanted to pause and thank all of those who have helped us fight against the collapse of Main Street.

We’re Winning the Battle, But More is Needed

Our approach has been simple – ensure that (1) small businesses know what assistance is available, (2) can access it via CSBDF or its partners, and (3) will not be discouraged by a challenging or restrictive application process. The cornerstone of our 2020 strategy was an array of grant and loan programs in conjunction with our government partners. Through grant aid, we’ve been able to help entrepreneurs meet their short-term cashflow needs. And with affordable loans ranging from $5,000 to $250,000, we’ve injected millions in capital that can be repaid on flexible terms over the long-term.

We know that grant aid and financing is critical. But entrepreneurs also need to know how to navigate the unchartered and ever-changing waters of the pandemic. Through offering dozens of online recorded courses and multiple live seminars since April, hundreds of small business owners have developed the their skills in disaster recovery and resilency. Our online courses, interactive virtual seminars, and conference programs have been supplemented with customized needs assessments and one-on-one counseling across a variety of topics.

Finally, we don’t just believe small businesses are essential for economic recovery. We prove it with objective and data-driven research which contributes to state and national level policy dialogues. In the past year our research team has helped spotlight the needs of entrepreneurs and has been featured by both national and local media outlets. Our work around COVID-19 is designed to provide relevant, rigorous, and politically neutral thought leadership for development practitioners and policymakers.

We’re Thankful for the Community’s Ongoing Support

Now more than ever before, being a bulwark for entrepreneurs is a team sport. CSBDF has been honored and humbled by the level of grassroots community support that we have received throughout the pandemic. That support – both financial and non-financial – has come in all forms from a variety of businesses, governments, non-profit organizations, and individuals. The task of supporting entrepreneurs through this time is not easy, and we’ve only been able to do it with your help.

As we look forward to 2021 and (hopefully) the end of the pandemic, it is important to remember the fight is not over. The needs of small businesses will transition from short-term emergency assistance to longer-term support, requiring new and innovative approaches to help Main Street thrive. We’re up to the task because we know the community is fighting right along with us. On behalf of all of us at CSBDF, thank you:

Organizational Financial Supporters

Public Sector

City and County Governments

· City of Asheville

· City of Charlotte

· City of Durham

· City of Raleigh

· Buncombe County

· Mecklenburg County

North Carolina State Government

· Historically Underutilized Business Office

· Pandemic Recovery Office

Federal Government Agencies

· Appalachian Regional Commission

· US Department of Agriculture

· US Small Business Administration

Volunteers and Partnerships

Research Partnerships

Showing Thought Leadership

· CNote

· Opportunity Finance Network


· Piedmont Community College

· UNC Chapel Hill School of Government

Not-For-Profit Sector

Educational Institutions

· Duke University

· Elizabeth City State University

Philanthropic Foundations

· Dogwood Health Trust

· Duke Energy Foundation

· Golden LEAF


· San Francisco Foundation

· Uplift America

· Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Community Development Organizations

· Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB)

· Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

· ResilNC

Joint Initiatives

Technical Assistance

· Fayetteville State University

· Johnson C. Smith University

· NC Small Business Center Network

· Shaw University

· Veterans LLC Collaborative

· UNC Pembroke

Private Sector

Banking, Finance, Insurance

· Bank of America

· Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC

· Coastal Federal Credit Union

· Credit Suisse (Matching Employee Donations)

· Delta Dental

· Fidelity Investments

· Fifth Third Bank

· First Bank

· First Horizon

· First National Bank

· Goldman Sachs

· JPMorgan Chase & Co

· North State Bank

· Pinnacle Financial Partners

· PNC Bank

· Regions

· Southern Bank

· TD Bank

· Towne Bank

· Truist

· Wells Fargo

Construction, Real Estate Development

· Clancy & Theys Construction

· Fred Smith Company

· Highwoods Properties

· Kane Realty

· Martin Marietta

· McAdams

· Preferred Office Properties

Media and Telecommunications

· AT&T

· Capitol Broadcasting

· Citrix

· Engineered Tower

· Red Hat (Matching Employee Contributions)

Professional and Scientific Services

· Biogen

· NoviSci (Matching Employee Donations)

· Heritage Properties

· Womble Bond Dickinson

Retail Trade and Consumer Services

· Carolina Hurricanes

· Clorox Company

· Dominion Energy

· Leith Toyota


Lending and Grant Programs

· Tiffany Farina

· Stephanie Lowe

· Nicholas Long

· Katie Thornsvard

Development and Giving

· Convergent Nonprofit Solutions

· David Burriss

· Innovate Raleigh

· Urmi Bhatt

Research and Policy Analysis

· Adonis Caramintzos

· Catherine Dallas

· Evelyn Chen

· Jason Sabatelle

· Erin Stephenson

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