The grants may be applied to urgent needs, such as payroll, rent and vendor/debt costs, the release said. Applications are available online at Local Initiatives Support Corp.

LOANS FOR 50 SMALL BUSINESSES

Also this week, Withco, a small business services and technology consulting company, announced it is offering an interest-free loan program called RISEwithco to 50 small businesses in Charlotte to help recover from COVID-19.

The loans from $2,000 to $20,000 are zero-interest for two years, according to a company press release. The program also includes one-on-one access to a network of small business, finance and real estate experts.

Withco founder and CEO Kevin Song said big businesses have advantageous access to marketing, resources, capital and relationships with government, to come out of such a crisis.

“We’re trying to provide the same benefits to small business owners while honoring things that matter to them,” Song said. “It’s what’s going to make and preserve Charlotte in the grand scheme of things.”

The program is open to any business that operates primarily in North Carolina and the majority of the business is owned by residents of North Carolina, according to the company website.

The criteria for selecting recipients include financial health, community involvement and growth opportunity. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. May 10 at with.co/rise/apply. Applicants will be notified by June 1.

Withco, which opened last year and is based in Charlotte and Brooklyn, N.Y., pledged $150,000 to the program to support small businesses.

The inspiration for Song’s company has an emotional foundation. His parents lost their small Brooklyn grocery store when the landlord doubled the rent.