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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

New Hanover County announces slate of grant and assistance programs, including $4.5 million for local businesses

New Hanover County Government Building.
Benjamin Schachtman
New Hanover County Government Building.

New Hanover County is rolling out a series of grant and assistance programs, as part of over $45 million from the federal American Rescue Plan. First up, a small business grant, which launches today.

The county is dedicating $2.5 million in federal funds for its business assistance program, matched by $2 million from the City of Wilmington. Working with the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, grant levels will be scaled based on workforce size, and directed towards the region’s hardest-hit businesses -- including the retail and hospitality industries. Applications will be open from July 1 through July 15.

Two other programs also launch this month: The county is partnering with Cape Fear Collective, to administer $700,000 to local non-profits that have struggled due to Covid-19 --- it will also launch a program to support broadband internet access for struggling families.

Other programs launching later in the summer include support for mortgage and workforce housing rent. The county will also increase assistance for CFPUA customers who have fallen behind on their bills during the pandemic. A partnership with Step Up Wilmington aims to train 225 people with a focus on the film industry.

Grant and assistance programs

  • Business Assistance - Information about qualifications, regulations, and applying at WilmingtonChamber.org (access the information in Spanish here). Applications are open now through Thursday, July 15.
  • Nonprofit Assitance - Nonprofit organizations can apply and learn more about this program at www.capefearcollective.org. Applications will open in mid-July.
  • Broadband Support - Eligible families are those that qualify for Medicaid, food and nutrition services, or other economic support. Applications start July 6 at AccessHHS.nhcgov.com; paper applications will also be available at the Health and Human Services building and at all Public Libraries.
  • Job Training - Information at StepUpWilmington.org or 910-343-8469
  • Mortgage Assistance - Launches in August or September. Rentals can also get emergency assistance here.
  • Workforce Housing Gap Rental Assistance - This program will launch in August 2021 and provide direct payments to qualified, pre-selected property management companies and landlords to help residents earning 60 to 120 percent of the area median income with a monthly subsidy of $200 per month for single-person households and $300 per month for multiple-person households. Learn more here.
  • Water Bill Assistance - The county is still working out details for eligibility requirements.