To address growing unemployment rates, made worse by the pandemic, the City of Charlotte has launched the Thrive Hiring Grant, which will provide medium-sized businesses with funding to hire residents.
Under the grant, companies hire a minimum of five to 30 Charlotte residents as full-time employees with benefits, which begin within the first month of employment. Jobs must pay at least $13 per hour or a minimum annual salary of $27,040. (Jobs cannot be previously furloughed positions.)
As an incentive, businesses are paid $5,000 for each new employee, up to $150,000. Those located in the city’s Business Corridor Revitalization Geography (BCRG) may receive up to $180,000, or $6,000 per new hire. The city has allocated $750,000 for the grant, which translates to roughly 150 new jobs.
Businesses located in Charlotte that employ between 25 and 500 workers are eligible to apply.
Why it matters
The Thrive Hire Grant comes as unemployment in Mecklenburg County reached 9.8% in July — that equates to 60,809 people out of work — according to the department of commerce. Finding jobs remains an issue residents must overcome.
For Black residents, unemployment has a greater impact. ProPublica reported that only 13% of jobless Black workers nationwide received unemployment benefits between April and June. And North Carolina ranks as one of the worst places to collect unemployment benefits.
Done right, Charlotte’s Thrive Hive grant program will boost job creation and help put displaced Charlotte residents back to work.
“The Thrive Hiring Grant is a tremendous opportunity for business owners in Charlotte along with our residents who are looking for work,” Fran West, the city’s assistant economic development director, said in a statement. “We remain committed to supporting the city’s businesses while also helping our residents find good-paying jobs.”
Preference will be given to companies that have internal training programs to upskill new hires, have roles with an outlined career path and express interest in hiring candidates from the city’s workforce development partners. Although it is not required, companies are encouraged to hire candidates who have been displaced because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Companies located within Charlotte’s Business Corridor Revitalization Geography will also receive special consideration. Those locations include the South Boulevard corridor and the “crescent” neighborhoods west, east and north of uptown Charlotte — an arc of lower-income communities.
Eligible businesses have until Dec. 15 to submit documentation to the city confirming their new employees. However, city officials will award grants on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted.
For more information about the Thrive Hiring Grant, visit CharlotteOpenForBusiness.com.