Small businesses and workers in areas impacted by Hurricane Matthew will get more help to recover thanks to two programs, Governor Roy Cooper announced today.
The Governor’s Recovery Office and the North Carolina Department of Commerce have awarded $7.5 million to support small businesses still recovering from the storm that hit last October. The funds will be matched by private lenders to provide at least $15 million in loans available to small businesses in Matthew-affected areas, especially in Robeson, Cumberland, Edgecombe and Wayne counties.
An additional $4.9 million will be used to keep workers who lost their jobs due to Matthew employed doing storm cleanup and repair.
“Hurricane Matthew devastated families, small businesses and communities across half of our state,” said Governor Cooper. “We’re working to help these communities recover by getting small businesses and workers back to work.”
Both sets of funds are provided through federal programs awarded to the NC Department of Commerce at the state’s request. The funds were promised to North Carolina earlier in 2017 and 2016 and are just now becoming available.
Small Business Loans
The small business recovery program includes $7.5 million s from federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funds awarded to North Carolina. Three non-profit, small business lenders will use the money to expand access to credit for small businesses in parts of the state hit by Matthew. The loans will help revitalize commercial activity in storm-affected communities.
The participating non-profit lenders are Carolina Small Business Development Fund, the North Carolina Community Development Initiative, and the Center for Community Self-Help. Public dollars will be matched by the lending institution or third-party funds to make at least $15 million in loans available to small businesses.
NC Commerce will establish a web based portal where small business owners in affected communities can get more information about how to apply for loans.
Putting North Carolinians Back to Work
North Carolina will also receive $4.9 million from the United States Department of Labor to help people whose jobs were impacted by Hurricane Matthew continue to work. The funds are the second installment in a federal workforce recovery grant awarded in November 2016, bringing the state’s total to $9.8 million.
The funds created temporary jobs for North Carolinians who were thrown into unemployment – either temporarily or permanently – because of Hurricane Matthew. The temporary jobs boost local recovery efforts in disaster areas and provide workers for storm clean up and repair and humanitarian assistance jobs in counties impacted by the disaster. With the additional funds, workers employed by the program will be able to continue to do these jobs to help their communities recover from Matthew.
Workers from the following counties are employed doing storm recovery work through the program: Wake, Johnston, Cumberland, Wayne, Greene, Lenoir, Craven, Jones, Pamlico, Carteret, Duplin, Onslow, Richmond, Scotland, Hoke, Robeson, Bladen, Gates, Chowan, Perquimans, Pasquotank, Camden, Currituck, Washington, Tyrrell, Dare, Hyde, Hertford, Bertie, Martin, Pitt, Beaufort, Nash, Edgecombe, Wilson, Halifax, Northampton, Chatham, Lee, Harnett, and Sampson.
“Through these efforts, 500 people hurt by Matthew are back at work and now small businesses have a new source of recovery funds,” said Napoleon Wallace, N.C. Commerce Deputy Secretary for Rural Economic Development and Workforce Solutions. “Our mission is to create and support jobs – and these additional funds will help us continue meeting that goal while providing much needed help for regions still working their way back to full recovery.”
Hurricane Matthew caused an estimated $4.8 billion in damage to 50 counties in North Carolina. So far, more than$1.5 billion in state and federal relief funding has been allocated to the state and Gov. Cooper continues to work with federal and state officials to secure more help for North Carolina’s recovery.