The North Carolina Small Business Recovery Fund provides low-interest loans to businesses affected by Hurricane Matthew, the western wildfires, Tropical Storm Julia, or Tropical Storm Hermine. Loans of up to $250,000 are available at low-interest rates for terms of up to 10 years. Businesses may qualify for up to two years no interest and/or deferred payments on a case-by-case basis. The fund provides gap financing as a complement to Small Business Administration (SBA) and other disaster recovery programs. An SBA turndown does not disqualify applicants for these funds.
The small Business Recovery Fund is a partnership of the Rural Center, the N.C. Small Business and Technology Development Center, and the N.C. Community Colleges Small Business Center Network. Funding for the program is provided by Golden LEAF under the Disaster Recovery Act of 2016 passed by the N.C. General Assembly, along with additional support from BB&T and Wells Fargo. The Carolina Small Business Fund and Community Development Initiative also received grants from Golden LEAF.
Dixon Social Interactive Services: Rebuilding after Hurricane Matthew
The Rural Center made the first bridge loan to Derria and Barry Dixon of Dixon Social Interactive Services. The Dixons are a provider of mental and behavioral health services. They offer counseling, day treatment, and therapy to individuals as well as families with offices in Greenville, Kinston, New Bern, and Rocky Mount.
Following Hurricane Matthew, the Dixons were shocked to find their office in Kinston ruined with nearly a foot of water covering the floor and most of its contents destroyed. The couple heard about the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, applied, and were approved for a loan to help them quickly get back on their feet.
“This was our first time working with the Rural Center and it has been a beyond pleasant experience, from the quickness in addressing the need our community had, to approving the loan. We are grateful,” said Derria Dixon. Having to cease operations when the hurricane hit was a big blow for the Dixons, but with the bridge loan they were able to bounce back while waiting for their insurance to cover damages.
On Tuesday, February 28th, the Rural Center and a group of partner organizations hosted a training event for local nonprofit and grassroots leaders serving communities affected by Hurricane Matthew. The event provided updates on immediate recovery needs, connected participants to experts and resources, and explored long-term community revitalization strategies. The gathering started a partnership between community leaders and the key agencies leading the recovery process.
Michael Sprayberry, Director of the N.C. Division of Emergency Management