URGENT: September 1 Deadline Looms For North Carolina Job Retention Grant Program

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Businesses and nonprofit organizations that experienced interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for relief funds through the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Investment Committee’s Job Retention Grant program (JRG) through September 1, 2020.

All applicants meeting the eligibility criteria outlined below will receive a grant of some amount as long as their applications are submitted by September 1. It’s not too late. If you think your business or nonprofit may be eligible, apply today using the link below.

The JRG is a one-time measure created to help businesses and certain nonprofits that retained jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic and have not received monetary assistance from other state or federal programs. The JRG is funded through North Carolina’s portion of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, a provision of the CARES Act enacted by the U.S. Congress. The North Carolina General Assembly allocated $15 million for the JRG in recent legislation.

Grants are capped at $250,000 and a business is limited to receiving the equivalent of two months of its average monthly North Carolina payroll from 2019, plus an additional 25 percent of that amount. However, the size of actual grants may be proportionately reduced if the total amount of grants requested exceeds $15 million.

To be eligible, the applicant must meet all of the following conditions:

  • Employs at least 90 percent of the number of full-time employees during the COVID-19 period (March 1, 2020 – May 31, 2020) in North Carolina as it employed in North Carolina for the pay period ending on or about February 28, 2020.
  • Demonstrates that it experienced the following types of economic loss in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic:
    • For a business, its sales for the COVID-19 period (March 1, 2020 – May 31, 2020) are at least 10 percent below its sales for the same period in 2019.
    • For a nonprofit, its gross receipts for the COVID-19 period (March 1, 2020 – May 31, 2020) are at least 10 percent below its gross receipts for the same period in 2019.
  • Did not participate in the Paycheck Protection Program, the Main Street Lending Program, or the North Carolina Rapid Recovery Loan Program.

Independent contractors and self-employed are not eligible, but sole proprietorships with W-2 employees are eligible.

Only 501(c)(3), 501(c)(11), and 501(c)(7) nonprofits that are included in NCGS 105-130.11(a)(3) and 105-130.11(a)(6) are eligible. This includes corporations organized for religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes, as well as clubs organized for nonprofitable purposes, with no net earnings benefiting private stockholders or individuals. Chambers of commerce may also apply for JRG on a provisional basis as the General Assembly has indicated that it intended for these nonprofits to be eligible. If the law changes to allow such organizations, then they may receive a grant.

New businesses are not eligible because an applicant must have been in existence between March through May of 2019 and remain in existence to apply. Applicants receiving funds must expend those funds by December 30, 2020.

In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria, a business must also complete an online application.

Before a business starts an application, it must gather certain information, including its first and second quarterly Tax and Wage Reports (Form NCUI 101), 2019 federal W-3 document and 2019 Payroll documentation. The full list of additional required information is found here. Some helpful frequently asked questions are found here.

Businesses or nonprofits that opted out of the PPP Loan or returned PPP Loan funds due to audit concerns, or were otherwise ineligible for the PPP Loan and other programs, have another option with JRG. Unlike the PPP Loan, JRG funds may be used for any legitimate operational purpose.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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