Workforce Programs

The Thrive Hiring Grant is an incentive program developed as a part of the Thrive initiative funded by the CARES Act of 2020. The grant is provided to mid-sized Charlotte businesses that are hiring multiple employees as a strategy to boost job creation and to help put displaced Charlotte residents back to work. The grant has been reactivated with remaining funds.

Companies will receive $5,000 per hire so long as companies and positions hired for meet eligibility requirements (see below). Companies must commit to hiring a minimum of 5 people and may be incentivized up to 15 hires.

Companies that are awarded a Thrive Hiring Grant must sign an agreement with the City of Charlotte. The grant will be given for hires made between March 1st and April 30th. Companies may invoice the City starting on May 1st for hires made during the hiring period. See the list of frequently asked questions here.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Businesses

    The Thrive Hiring Grant is available for mid-sized businesses that are based in or have an office location in the City of Charlotte. Businesses must have at least 25 employees and no more than 500 employees. They must be a licensed business certified in the state of North Carolina. Staffing agencies are ineligible for this grant unless hiring for internal positions.

    Businesses located in Charlotte’s Business Corridor Revitalization Geography (BCRG) are eligible to receive $6,000 per hire. Click here to check if your business is located in the BCRG.

    Businesses who have already received a Thrive Hiring Grant are not eligible to apply.

  • Jobs

    Businesses will receive $5,000 for every Charlotte resident they hire into an open job or one that is posted after March 1st. Though not required, companies are strongly encouraged to hire candidates who have been displaced because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Companies must commit to hiring at least 5 people and may receive the grant for up to 15 hires. Jobs must be full-time positions (40 hours per week) and must provide benefits that start within 90 days of hire. Roles must pay at least $13 per hour or a minimum annual salary of $27,040. Jobs filled cannot be previously furloughed positions. 

    On the application, companies must specify the occupations that they wish to receive the grant for.

  • Hires

    In order to receive the grant, hirees must be residents of the City of Charlotte. Hires must be on the company’s payroll OR hire letters must be sent to hiree prior to April 30th, 2021 to receive payment. Though not required, companies that are willing to hire from the talent pipeline of local workforce development partners will receive priority selection.


Companies may only receive payment for the number of hires they specify on their application. They will have until April 30th to submit all documentation confirming new hires with proof that they are Charlotte residents and are making more than $13/hour with benefits along with an invoice. Companies who make some or all of their hires prior to the April 30th deadline may submit documentation and an invoice on the date that all hires have been made.

Payments will be made from the City of Charlotte via check and may take up to 30 days to be processed and mailed.

Application Requirements:

Before starting the application, please have the following information readily available:

  • SOC Codes of all roles that company wishes to fill to receive the grant (find your SOC code(s) here)
  • Most recent audit
  • 2019 IRS Form W-3
  • 2019 IRS Form W-9
  • Job descriptions for any open position which company would like to receive incentive for

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Preference will be given to companies that have internal training programs to upskill new hires, have roles with an outlined career path, and express interest in hiring candidates from the talent pipelines of Charlotte’s workforce development partners. Preference will also be given to companies located within the City’s Business Corridor Revitalization Geography. 

Thrive Hiring Grant Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What businesses are eligible for the grant?

    Businesses must have a physical office location in Charlotte and have between 25 and 500 employees. Businesses located in the City’s Business Corridor Revitalization Geography (BCRG) are eligible to receive more funding per hire. Click here to check if you are located in the BCRG. Staffing agencies are ineligible unless hiring for internal positions.

  • How will businesses be selected to receive the grant?

    Businesses who submit completed applications with all documents uploaded will be reviewed by a committee. Selection will be determined based on the number of hires proposed, wages and benefits offered, industry, career path trajectories for the hire, experience and opportunity for entry-level candidates, and other factors. 

  • How often will grants be awarded?

    Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis. The application will be open until funds are exhausted, so submitting your application as soon as possible increases the likelihood of being selected. 

  • What is the maximum grant amount that my company can receive?

    Companies may receive up to $75,000 for hiring 15 new employees; businesses located in the BCRG may receive up to $90,000. 

  • Are part-time positions eligible for the grant?

    No, grants are only provided for full-time positions that offer benefits within 90 days of hire.

  • Are contract employees eligible for the grant?

    No, contract employees are not eligible for this grant. 

  • Where did the funds for this program come from?

    The grants program was created through federal funds and provided to the City of Charlotte through the CARES Act, which Congress passed in March 2020.

  • If I hire more candidates than I originally committed to, can I receive payment for those additional hires?

    No, you will only receive payment for the number of hires you indicate making on your application.

  • If I hire less candidates that I originally committed to, will I still receive payment for those I did hire?

    Yes, you will be incentivized for the number of Charlotte residents hired as long as you hire a minimum of 5 people.

  • I own multiple businesses and am hiring at all of them. Can I apply for more than one business? 

    You may apply for more than one business, but you must submit a separate application for each business in which you intend to hire.

  • Is my business eligible if it is located within Mecklenburg County but not within the Charlotte City limits?

    No, only businesses located within the city limits are eligible.

  • Are nonprofits eligible to apply?

    Yes, nonprofits may apply.

  • Does it matter where in the City of Charlotte my business is located?

    As long as your office or facility is located in the City limits then the location does not matter. Businesses located in the City’s Business Corridor Revitalization Geography (BCRG) are eligible to receive more funding per hire. Click here to check if you are located in the BCRG.

  • I’m a small business. Why can’t I apply?

    This grant is intended to provide assistance to Charlotte’s mid-size businesses who do not qualify for small business grants and resources. The City of Charlotte has several programs to serve small businesses. You can find details and a list of resources for small businesses here. 

  • When will I receive notice if my company receives a grant?

    You will receive notice within two weeks of submitting your application. 

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