Recovery Grants for Small Businesses and Non-Profits

The next public engagement session will be held on Tuesday, June 14 at 3 pm.  This is the link to participate via Zoom. The link will be active 15 minutes prior to the session. Staff will provide updates on the use of ARPA funding.

The city is again opening the recovery grants application portal for small businesses and non-profits in low-income areas of Winston-Salem that are in danger of ceasing operations. Grants must go towards arrears for rent, mortgage or utility payments. The funds are not intended to replace revenue and are limited in scope based on state law.

Grants of up to $25,000 are available to eligible businesses with less than 25 full-time employees or the equivalent, and to non-profits with an annual operating budget of less than $1 million, not counting “pass-through” funds from other sources that are distributed to the non-profit’s clients. 

Grant applications will be accepted through June 24.The city will hold a virtual briefing at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, to discuss the deadline for pandemic recovery grants and any additional updates available regarding the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. The briefing will be held via Zoom and will livestream on the city's YouTube Channel. Viewers who want to ask questions should sign in to participate in the briefing and pose questions through the chat box.

The city held a virtual briefing in January to go over the application process during the first phase of recovery grants. Watch a video of the briefing. Applicants will apply through the United Way of Forsyth County, which is administering the grants under a contract with the city. All applicants will use the United Way’s e-CImpact system. A link is posted below. 

The City Council has allocated $3 million for the grants:

    $1 million for small businesses

    $1 million for small social service non-profits; and

    $1 million for small non-profits in the areas of travel, tourism, hospitality, and the arts. 

The first rounds of grants will go to applicants that are in or serve federally designated “qualified census tracts,” (QCTs)  in which at least half of the households have income below 60 percent of the area median income or have a poverty rate of 25 percent or more. 

This page includes detailed information about eligibility requirements, a link to the grant application portal, a map showing areas eligible for the grants, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Eligibility Criteria

Please carefully review the eligibility requirements below. By submitting an application, you agree the business or non-profit has met each requirement. A business or non-profit is eligible to be entered into the pool for up to $25,000 grant if it meets ALL of the following criteria. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Small Businesses

  • Independently owned (chains/franchises not eligible)
  • No more than 25 full-time eligible employees or equivalent
  • Be located within the city limits
  • In business/fully functioning on or before January 1, 2020
  • Have an arrears in mortgage, rent or utilities incurred before May 20, 2022. Payments will only be made for obligations incurred before this date.


  • Have an organizational budget under $1,000,000, not including pass through assistance provided from other sources to recipients
  • Have board approval to apply
  • Must provide documentation showing service in or to low-to-moderate income areas (50 percent or more of clients living within QCTs or whose clients' average household income is under $50,000
  • Be located within the city limits
  • In business/fully functioning on or before January 1, 2020
  • Have an arrears in mortgage, rent or utilities incurred before May 20,2022. Payments will only be made for obligations incurred before this date.

Awards will be made in a pooled approach as described below. Incomplete applications will not be considered. In order to expedite the issuance of funds, applications will only be received using the United Way of Forsyth County's e-CImpact tool.

Grant Priority

Selected in two rounds. 
Round 1 Small businesses in QCTs
Non-profits in/serving QCTs
Up to 25 grants in each program category will be made. In the event that more than 25 applications are received in any category, grant awardees in that category will be chosen by lottery. Those not selected through the lottery will be placed into Round 2 for a second change to be selected.
Round 2 Small businesses and non-profits in areas beyond QCTs that are in census tracts with median household incomes below $50,000. If more applications are received than funding available, a lottery method will be used to distribute funds to eligible entities.

Map of Eligibility Areas

  Zoom in on this map of eligibility areas for rounds 1 & 2.


Required Documentation

All documentation must be submitted electronically with the application. Paper documents should be scanned for uploading.

  • All applicants will need to provide a W-9 and copies of their past-due bills.
  • Small businesses must provide:
    • Documentation of their registration with the N.C. Secretary of State  
  • Non-Profits must provide:
    • Proof of their tax-exempt statue
    • Proof of service in QCTs or similar populations
    • Information on client demographics
    • A letter or other document showing board approval of their application

How To Apply

COVID-19 Recovery Grants applicants must submit an online application form. To access the application, go to the United Way e-cImpact tool.

Grant applications will be accepted through June 24, 2022.