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News Notes


Beyond Open has launched an applicant awareness and support campaign as the first phase of the third round in the small business grant program. Applicants can now begin to learn more about the program and prepare to apply for a Round 3 grant award. Grant applications will be accepted from August 5 through August 30, 2024. In the third round, Beyond Open will award up to $5 million to small businesses located within Charlotte’s diverse Corridors of Opportunity. Grant awards may be awarded in amounts from $10,000–$150,000.

Beyond Open offers grant awards, which do not need to be repaid, to build economic mobility by helping local small business owners in Charlotte’s diverse Corridors of Opportunity acquire capital assets including equipment, technology, real estate and inventory. Beyond Open grants cannot be used for operating expenses such as payroll, advertising/marketing, professional services, maintenance costs, insurance, utilities, debt repayment and investment properties. The program is focused on diverse (minority, woman, veteran, LGBTQ, persons with disabilities) small business owners within the six Corridors of Opportunity as identified by the City of Charlotte. Businesses must be physically located within one of the Corridors to be eligible to receive an award in Round 3.

“We used a Beyond Open grant to purchase new technology that has allowed me to employ five additional tutors to serve in our day tutoring programs,” said Carmon Blackmon, the owner and founder of Above and Beyond Learning Center. “We use the equipment for staff to do training and workshops, and for us to conduct small group tutoring sessions. I can say without hesitation that the grant award made a significant impact in my business and has resulted in other schools desiring our tutorial program.”

The Beyond Open program, established with a $20 million philanthropic investment to Foundation for The Carolinas from the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund, has distributed a combined total of more than $10 million to local small business owners and select nonprofits in its first two rounds. Round 3 is the last planned application round for the program.

Interested small business owners are strongly encouraged to learn more and prepare early to build a Beyond Open application by visiting

Grant applications will be accepted from August 5 through August 30, 2024. All applicants will receive notification of the status of their application by the end of November 2024.