Please read the below requirements and FAQs to ensure you qualify.

The DeKalb County Small Business Relief Program is a partnership between Decide DeKalb and LISC Atlanta to assist small businesses in DeKalb County struggling with the effects of COVID-19. Funding has been provided by the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Recovery and Response Fund, a partnership between the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta, and Advance DeKalb. Please see below for eligibility requirements and other details about the program.

Eligibility Requirements

Which businesses are eligible for the DeKalb County Small Business Loan Fund?

Businesses must be:

  • Located in DeKalb County
  • Have 50 or fewer employees
  • Have been in business at least one year
  • Be located in a distressed census tract

What does it mean to be located in a “distressed census tract?”

The U.S Department of the Treasury defines low-income communities as any census tract where the poverty rate for that tract is at least 20%, or the median family income for that tract is less than 80% of the median family income for the metro Atlanta area.

To determine if your business is located in a distressed census tract, you can go to the address below and enter your business’s address. The tool will locate your address on the map and show a box that indicates your census tract. If the word “distressed” appears in blue, you are located in a distressed census tract and are eligible for the loan program.

Are there any other eligibility requirements?

No, however, the DeKalb County Small Business Relief Program will strongly prefer businesses owned by women and people of color.

Program Terms

Is this a loan or a grant?

Both! The DeKalb County Small Business Relief Fund is providing funding packages that consist of some grant funds and some loan funds.

What funding packages may I select?

You may choose one of the following:

  • a $6,250 package, which includes a $5,000 loan and a $1,250 grant
  • a $9,375 package, which includes a $7,500 loan and a $1,875 grant
  • a $12,500 package, which includes a $10,000 loan and a $2,500 grant

Which funding package is right for me?

This is up to you, but keep in mind that more is not always better. A larger loan amount means larger monthly payments, so consider carefully how much repayment your business may support.

Does the grant portion of the funding package need to be repaid?

No. These are grant funds for your use without any expectation of repayment.

What are the terms of the loan portion of a funding package?

The loans are for three years. You will not need to make payments for the first six months.

What is the interest rate?

This loan does not charge interest. However, if you do not make timely payments, then we may charge interest at the rate of 5% per year.

Are there any fees associated with this loan?


If I am having trouble making my monthly payments, should I contact LISC?

Yes! We are building a relationship with you and your company. We have flexibility and never want this loan to become a burden to you. We can work with you to modify payment terms if you are having trouble with repayment. We want to hear from you!

Will LISC report successful repayment of my loan for purposes of establishing business credit?

We can! When it is time for you to start making payments on your loan, you will be given the opportunity to opt into credit reporting. Full repayment will be reported to the credit reporting agencies, allowing your business to establish better credit, which can provide better access to capital when you need it down the line. We strongly encourage repayment and opting into credit reporting to allow your business to grow and thrive.

If my application is denied, will there be other opportunities to apply?

If your application was denied because the program exhausted the funds available, you will have the opportunity to apply again in at least one more round of funding. If your application was denied because your business is not eligible, we encourage you to seek out other resources. See here for LISC’s national small business relief initiatives, and here for resources available in DeKalb County.

For loan questions or assistance please contact