One North Carolina Small Business Matching Funds Program for the 2019 state fiscal year are now available and applications are being accepted.
Applications will be accepted until June 30, 2019, or until the $1,087,000 in available matching funding is exhausted for the program’s 2018–2019 fiscal year funding cycle, and the fiscal year 2019 solicitation is available on the NC Department of Commerce website.
“Small businesses in North Carolina conduct some of the most innovative research and technology development in the state,” said NC Commerce Secretary Secretary Anthony Copeland in a statement. “Activities that are critical to the future growth of our state’s economy.”
Under the One North Carolina Small Business Matching Funds Program, the State of North Carolina awards matching grants of up to $50,000 to businesses that have recently won a highly-competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant. These federal grants are the single largest source of early-stage technology development and commercialization funding for small businesses, with more than $2.5 billion allocated to businesses nationwide each year.
“This program further ensures that North Carolina is well positioned to remain a top competitor in the global marketplace,” said Copeland. North Carolina was among the first states in the country to develop a matching grant program to leverage the SBIR and STTR federal grant funding to help businesses commercialize innovative technologies and to create jobs. According to the Department of Commerce, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia all modeled their state’s efforts after the One North Carolina program.
Results to date
Since inception in 2006, the One North Carolina Small Business Matching Funds program has helped businesses grow and create jobs, with a total of $24.7 million in matching funds distributed in 398 grants to 254 companies in 10 solicitation cycles. The program did not occur in fiscal year 2012, 2013, 2014, or 2018.
According to data gathered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, 254 businesses self-reported creating or retaining more than 900 jobs in the state of North Carolina, each of which is estimated to generate as much as $19,000 per year in state and local tax revenue.
Sixty percent of grant recipients reported completing the process to secure and win Phase II federal grant awards, with an average value of $1 million in follow-on investment, totaling more than $122 million in follow-on federal funding among all grant recipients from all years of the program. In total, including the federal follow-on funding, these companies raised more than $515 million in additional funding. In total, the matching funding provided by North Carolina returned additional funding at a ratio of 20-to-1.
“[T]he Matching Grant Program was key to the survival of our company in its earliest days,” shared a spokesperson from Precision BioSciences in Durham in responding to the NC Department of Commerce survey. “It helped us achieve profitability and grow to employ 100 people in NC.” Precision BioSciences recently closed an additional $110 million in funding that is not captured in the original survey data.
“The program provided our company with sufficient upfront cash flow to undertake the risk of hiring a new high-level employee and bring his family from Utah to North Carolina,” said a spokesperson forBlue Ridge Research & Consulting in Asheville. “Using the matching funds and the programming support of this new employee, we were able to rapidly advance our SBIR project.”
The North Carolina Board of Science, Technology & Innovation administers the grant program. The 2018-2019 Solicitation for the Program, as well as program information, application instructions, and supporting materials, are posted on the Board’s website at nccommerce.com/sti.