Applications now open for SC minority & small business, plus nonprofit grants

Updated: Oct. 19, 2020 at 7:12 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - On Oct. 19, Gov. Henry McMaster will be at the Center of the Arts in Rock Hill at 2 p.m. to announce the application launch for two new SC Cares Act grant programs, the Minority and Small Business Relief Grant and Nonprofit Relief Grant Programs.

We learned about the new programs last month, but the application process kicks off Monday.

The grants for the Minority and Small Business Relief program will range between $2,500 and $25,000. To qualify, a business or nonproft must employ no more than 25 people and must have been located in South Carolina since October 13, 2019. The company also has to have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday morning, several viewers reported an issue with the website handling the grand applications. But as of 11:30 a.m., the Department of Administration told WIS the issue was resolved and “the link is back up.”

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.”

The grants for the Nonprofit Relief Grant will range between $2,500 and $50,000. In order to apply, you’ll need to be a designated 501(c)(3) by the IRS, and a registered public charity in South Carolina. Qualifying nonprofits will also need to have been in operation since October 13, 2019.

Smith says she’s hoping that many small businesses that were left out of the Small Business Administration (SBA) 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.”

Applications for both programs will be accepted until Nov. 1.

To access both applications, click here.

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