The Francene Marie Show

Saturday 6:00am-7:00am

Charlotte Center City Partners

Yes, there’s a third round of money available for small business owners in the Queen City thanks to City of Charlotte and Charlotte Center City Partners on Monday because they launched the online application. The third round for Small Business Innovation Fund is part of the city’s Open for Business initiative. Guess how much? The Small Business Innovation Fund will distribute $1.5 million in federal CARES Act funding to small businesses within the city limits of Charlotte to spark innovation and adaptation to the new reality of economic life during COVID-19. Heads up because the application went live on Monday at noon and will be available until Monday, November 9 at Noon. So hurry and apply!

Assistant City Manager and Economic Development Director Tracy Dodson said, “Throughout the challenges of 2020, it’s been very encouraging to see so many of our local businesses innovate and continue to move forward. The purpose of these grants is to give small businesses in Charlotte an opportunity to invest in critical areas that will allow them to innovate, grow, and succeed. The city is thrilled to be a part of this grant program as we continue to support local businesses and jobs here in our community.” Since the demand is expected to exceed available funds and it being a competitive grant process, after the applications closes, the review committee will evaluate and prioritize applications for funding. Applicants will be notified of their status by December 30, 2020.

Are you eligible? 

  • Small businesses must have an existing physical location in the City of Charlotte, NC.
  • The business headquarters is located within the Charlotte region.
  • The business had 50 employees (full and part-time) or fewer as of March 1, 2020.
  • The business experienced adverse impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The business is willing to participate in interviews to document and share their lessons learned.

Priority is given to:

  • Small businesses that create unique experiences for neighborhoods, including but not limited to storefront businesses, distinctive products or services, and/or exceptional community engagement.
  • Innovations and adaptations with potential to replicate and scale or create multi-sector collaborations.


  • Grants of either $20,000 or $40,000 per City of Charlotte business
  • Grants for joint applications from multiple City of Charlotte businesses may exceed $40,000 at the discretion of the Review Committee.
  • The grant funding must be used for an innovative investment to adapt to COVID and enable small businesses to be more resilient. Funds CAN NOT be used for day-to-day operating expenses like payroll, vendor payments, losses, utilities, rent, or mortgage.

Charlotte Center City Partners is administering this grant program in partnership with Foundation For The Carolinas, and will hold a webinar, tomorrow – Wednesday, October 28 at 9 a.m., and interested small business owners are encouraged to register online to participate. Business owners with questions about this grant can email with the subject line “Need Round 3 Insight.”

First African American, one-woman syndicated radio host in the Southeast region for major broadcast networks. Over the past 23 years my passion and perseverance has lead me to reach and relate to demographics spanning, Sports stations, Country, Hip-hop, R & B, Gospel, Adult Contemporary & Top 40 radio stations. I have a unique way of setting the tone, and people feel comfortable telling their story,