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Applications open for S.C. grants to help small, minority businesses

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Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 6:48 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Applications open today for two state CARES Act grant programs that aim to offset some of the business impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The funds will help specifically small and minority businesses as well as nonprofits with any coronavirus-related impacts. If approved, small and minority businesses can receive from $2,500 to $25,000.

Midlands small business owner Nakisha Smith runs a fairly new marketing firm, which she says had just started picking up business right as COVID-19 hit.

She’s now planning to apply for the new grant.

“Before COVID, we had really started taking off and I, actually, had just moved into a building in March. So, I had already planned out the whole summer, classes, all kind of things that we were going to be offering and then COVID hit,” said Smith.

She said new restrictions and safety measures forced her company to, “rearrange some things and start offering on Zoom. We had to get the hang of doing Zoom courses and not in-classroom courses. So, we had to really scratch off a lot of our plans for 2020.”

Smith says she’s hoping that many small businesses that were left out of the Small Business Administration loans are able to benefit from this new grant.

She says for her company, “The grant would kind of help us help more small business owners because we offer a lot of services and due to small business owners losing funding, they’re not able to pay for these different courses that they need. They’re not able to pay for the different trainings they need. So, with the grant, we’re able to be starting offering lower prices or even some things free. It’ll help us be able to help small business owners grow, as well.”

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced the programs last week.

To qualify for a grant, a business must:

  • Employ 25 or fewer people.
  • Be physically located in South Carolina.
  • Have been in operation from Oct. 13, 2019, to present.
  • Have experienced a business impact due to COVID-19.

For more information, click here.

For nonprofits, the grants range from $2,500 to $50,000.

To qualify for a grant, an organization must:

  • Be designated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by the IRS and registered as a public charity in South Carolina.
  • Be physically located in South Carolina.
  • Have been in operation from Oct. 13, 2019, to present.
  • Have experienced a business impact due to COVID-19.

For more information, click here.

Applications must be received by Nov. 1

Applicants who need assistance can call 803-670-5170 or email SCCares@admin.sc.gov.

To access the online application, click here.

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