New relief fund could help NC small businesses stay afloat through the pandemic

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LEXINGTON, N.C. — A new relief fund could potentially help small businesses in our community keep the lights on. 

Starting next week, business owners can apply for the new Mortgage, Utility, and Rent Relief Program. Only nine types of businesses are being considered for the relief payments. 

Amusement Parks

Banquet Halls (with catering staff)

Bars, Taverns, Night Clubs, Cocktail Lounges

Bingo Parlors

Bowling Alleys/Centers

Dance Halls

Indoor Fitness and Recreation Centers

Motion Picture/Movie Theaters (except drive-ins)

Museums 

Scott Kepley runs the Rustic Frontier Country Dance, a dance hall in Lexington. 

Kepley shut down the location in mid-March due to the pandemic, and six months later the sign out front still reads closed. 

“Puts you in a lot of stress because them bills still come,” said Kepley. 

The total amount of funding for the MURR Program is $40 million, and each business location that qualifies is potentially eligible for up to $20,000.

You can find a list of the eligibility requirements online on the state’s Department of Commerce website.

Kepley says he’s out thousands of dollars after being forced to close. 

He’s trying to stay positive and hopes sooner than later he can welcome the community back for indoor dancing. 

“You got people you know, you pretty much expect about every Saturday night. You got regular customers. They’ll come,” said Kepley. 

Applications open next week and will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. 

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North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline: 1-866-462-3821

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