Board of Aldermen unanimously approves COVID-19 Nonprofit Grant Program

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Courtesy of The City of New Bern

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) The Board of Aldermen last week approved a new program designed to help residents affected by coronavirus. 

The COVID-19 Nonprofit Grant Program will award $1,000 to qualifying nonprofit/501(c)3 organizations within city limits whose missions, programs and/or services help citizens impacted by the virus. 

The Board approved a generous head start for the program with a $50,000 commitment from the General Fund. 

The idea for the COVID-19 Nonprofit Grant Program came from Ward 2 Alderwoman Jameesha Harris.

“COVID-19 has had an effect on all of us,” said Alderwoman Harris.  “Every day I see or speak to people in my ward and in New Bern who need help, whose loved ones or families have suffered as a result of the virus.  And they may or may not know where to go to locate resources.  After some brainstorming, strategic conversation, and careful planning, I’m happy we were able to come up with a viable plan to help them and boost the valuable efforts of our nonprofits at the same time.”

Alderwoman Harris proposed the idea of the grant program at the Board’s October 6 work session. 

A week later during their regularly scheduled meeting on October 13, the board unanimously approved it. 

“We know our community is hurting because of COVID and we don’t want to see New Bern lose hope,” said Mayor Dana Outlaw. “This is a way to provide a lifeline to people and organizations who need it the most.  We’re thankful Alderwoman Harris shared her idea and outlined a framework for the program, and we thank BEFCOR for partnering with us to ensure equitable access and distribution under the grant program.”

BEFCOR is short for Business Expansion Funding Corporation, a nonprofit Certified Development Company and economic development lender in North Carolina. 

According to the program guidelines, funds may be used for expenses and/or resources related to the impact of COVID-19.

Each qualifying nonprofit will receive $1,000 and the funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Legitimate COVID-related uses include programming, rent, payroll, operating expenses, and COVID-19 relief resources. 

All applications and supporting materials must be submitted via email and must be complete in order to be considered. 

Interested applicants should email jhighfill@befcor.com.

The application period begins Monday. 

The last day to apply is November 9 at 5 p.m. 

Grant awards will be dispersed no later than December 1. 

If there is money left over after awards have been made, nonprofits may be contacted for the ability to get an additional award if approved by the Board of Aldermen.

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