Greater Winston-Salem Inc. and the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership, Inc. want to assist small businesses in our community by providing direct grants to assist in the recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are excited to launch the Small Business Relief Grant Program which will provide grants to small businesses located in Forsyth County. The funding goals include retaining employment and helping small businesses to more effectively recover from the economic impact of COVID 19.

“Small businesses are essential to our economy and they play a crucial role in developing the culture of our downtown,” says Jason Thiel, President of the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership. “While we are proud of our community’s response to the call to action to shop local, we know that additional support is needed, and it is our hope that this program will make a tangible difference.”

Grants of up to $2,500 will be available for businesses with 1-3 employees, and grants up to $5,000 will be available for businesses with 4 or more employees. Businesses must be located in Forsyth County and have been in operation prior to January 1, 2019. Special consideration for funding will be given to businesses owned by women, people of color, and/or businesses located downtown that were impacted by the Business 40 closure and COVID 19 in short succession. Additional criteria and requirements, and an application form, can be found at

While we recognize that the demand for grants is expected to exceed available funding, a diverse committee of stakeholders and community representatives will review applications and award grants based upon careful consideration of individual needs. Application reviews are expected to begin after May 15.

Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. and the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership would like to thank our local partners and funders for their support and for recognizing the vital role of small businesses to our economy and community. Funding support includes $75,000 from the Winston-Salem Foundation, $25,000 from the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership, and donations from other organizations including the Wells Fargo Foundation as well as contributions from individuals in our community.

“People and organizations have already committed $200,000 to this program which shows how much our community cares about helping local small businesses during this challenging time. Our fundraising effort is just getting started and we are confident that additional donations will allow us to help even more businesses across Forsyth County,” says Mark Owens, President and CEO of Greater Winston-Salem, Inc.

Donations are critical to support as many businesses as possible. To donate by check, please mail to:

Greater Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc 
411 West Fourth Street, Suite 211
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Contact us for alternate donation payment methods.

Small Business Relief Grant Program