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A $20 million grant program for minority-owned businesses is accepting applications


Beyond Open, a $20 million grant program for minority-owned small businesses, opened its first round of applications on Thursday — the first of three rounds will span over the next two years. 

Led by Foundation for the Carolinas, the program is funded by Wells Fargo’s $420 million Open for Business program.  

Beyond Open is intended to increase access to capital so that “historically disadvantaged” business owners can grow their operations and drive economic mobility in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

To qualify for a great, which doesn’t have to be repaid, a company must have at least one employee, but no more than 499. They also must be either:

  • woman-owned
  • veteran-owned
  • LGBTQ+ owned
  • minority-owned

Grant packages range from $5,000 to $250,000 and will prioritize qualifying businesses located in Charlotte’s six Corridors of Opportunity

The pandemic devastated many small businesses, with sales dropping 20% in early 2020. Since then, the City of Charlotte has invested millions of dollars to help small businesses get back on their feet. 


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