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The City of Charlotte is supporting small businesses through COVID-19 recovery.

The start of a new decade is always exciting. It’s a moment of reflection on where we’ve been, and an opportunity to set new, ambitious goals for a promising future.

But barely three months into 2020, after watching the rest of world respond to a global crisis, the country began to feel the impacts of COVID-19. The unknown forced us to make difficult decisions to preserve public health. Those decisions, while keeping us safe, also made us vulnerable. Staying home meant not being able to make Friday reservations at a favorite restaurant or sifting through the racks at a favorite boutique. It meant not being able to support a local grocer or getting a much-needed trim at the barber. It meant sacrifice.

As consumers, we’ve had to adjust to a new shopping experience of virtual checkouts and curbside deliveries. But this new normal has taken a harsher toll on small business owners. We’ve seen it first-hand as some of our most cherished small businesses have struggled to survive.

In response, the City of Charlotte has developed the Open for Business website to help small businesses owners accelerate their recovery.

Open for Business is a concept rooted in the ingenuity and compassion of our local economy. We’ve seen small business owners work tirelessly to survive this moment. We’ve also seen the Charlotte community find inventive ways to show its support, even when businesses were closed. Open for Business is about showcasing our collective strengths: the grit of our small business community paired with the resources and connections of our institutions.

The Open for Business website will evolve over time to meet the needs of Charlotte small businesses. First, we want to make it easy to access the funding businesses need to survive. The website will be updated with city-sponsored access capital and partner opportunities as soon as they become available.

As bottom lines begin to stabilize, we’ll focus on connecting small business owners to one another to share knowledge and resources. Charlotte’s small business community is more than 10,000 strong. Fortifying our business community through collaboration will prepare us to withstand the next crisis that will inevitably come our way.

We’ll also tell the stories of how our small business owners are keeping employees and customers safe as operations resume. Replacing uncertainty with confidence is essential throughout each phase of the recovery.

In all, we hope our small business community finds value in these resources and connections. The City of Charlotte is committed to delivering on its promise to support small businesses through this difficult time.

Moving forward means moving together.

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