COVID-19 Resources

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DDI has put together a running list of resources for downtown businesses and residents in need, as well as a status report on what we and local government entities are doing to assist. The situation is very fluid, so this page will be updated often as new information becomes available.

If you're a business owner who would like to discuss available assistance in more detail, please contact President/CEO Nicole Thompson at [email protected].


Want to help?

This page is primarily for those seeking resources, but we have also included information on how you can help support local businesses and their staff. Thank you for supporting the downtown Durham community.

Where to find the latest information about COVID-19

These federal, state and local resources are reliable and are updated regularly with new information about the pandemic and ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Durham County Department of Public Health Weekly Data • September 21


Total Cases



7-Day Moving Average


Visit the Durham County Department of Public Health Data Hub for in-depth analyses and information.

Vaccine Availability:

Visit Durham County Department of Public Health's vaccine information page for information about the roll-out and availability of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Local Current Restrictions

Summary More Information
State of Emergency declared by Durham County

As of Friday, August 7, face masks must be worn in indoor public places including offices, business establishments and other places where people may travel or congregate. Exceptions for age, medical conditions, activities and setting are described in detail in the full State of Emergency declaration at right.

NC Current Restrictions

Executive Order Summary More Information
As of 5 p.m., July 30, 2021, there are no restrictions or measures imposed by executive order for the general public.

COVID-19 and variants of the virus, however, remain a threat as North Carolina experiences a rapid increase in cases among those who are unvaccinated.

Executive Order 215


Extended under Executive Order 220

Effective until at least 5 p.m. July 30:

  • Lifts all mandatory capacity and gathering limits
  • Lifts all social distancing requirements
  • Lifts mandatory mask requirements for most indoor and outdoor settings, excluding, public transportation, child care, schools, prisons and certain public health settings
Executive Order 183

Extended under Executive Order 205 and Executive Order 210.

In effect until at least June 1:

  • Allows establishments holding certain permits from the ABC Commission, including restaurants, hotels, private clubs, private bars and some distilleries to sell mixed beverages to-go or for delivery
  • Businesses subject to the order may continue to sell mixed beverages for off-site consumption until their business closes and in accordance with other applicable laws and regulations
Executive Order 209 Effective 5 p.m. April 30 until at least June 30:

  • Lifts the outdoor masks requirement
  • Increases mass gathering indoor limits to 100 and outdoor limit to 200
  • Continues to require that face masks be required in indoor public places
  • Continues strong safety requirements concerning social distancing and capacity limits
Executive Order 204 Effective 5 p.m. March 26 until at least April 30:

  • Still requires face coverings in all public indoor settings
  • Fully lifts the 11 p.m. curfew for on-site service of alcohol
  • Increases the indoor mass gathering limit to 50 people and the outdoor mass gathering limit to 100
  • Increases maximum occupancy limits:
    • 100% for museums, aquariums, retail businesses and shops, barbershops, salons
    • 75% indoors and outdoors for restaurants, breweries, wineries, amusement parks, gyms, pools
    • 50% indoors and outdoors for bars, conference centers, reception venues, sports arenas, other live performance venues
  • More details about what's changed
Executive Order 195 Effective 5 p.m. Feb. 26, 2021, this order:

  • Lifts the Modified Stay at Home Order established under Executive Order 181
  • Still requires face coverings in all public indoor settings
  • Allows many businesses to operate at 50% capacity
  • Extends onsite service of alcohol until 11 p.m.
  • Lifts the 100-person cap on some businesses that were operating at 30% capacity
  • Allows some indoor businesses – including bars and taverns, indoor amusement parks, movie theaters and indoor sports arenas – to open at 30% capacity (with a cap of 250 people)
  • Allows larger indoor arenas with a capacity of more than 5,000 people to open at 15% capacity with no cap (as long as additional safety protocols in place)
  • Increases the indoor mass gathering limit to 25 people (the outdoor mass gathering limit remains at 50 people)
Executive Order 181
- English
- Spanish
Extended under:
- Executive Order 188
Executive Order 189
  • Implements a Modified Stay at Home Order from 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Requires nighttime closure from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for certain businesses and activities
  • Prohibits the sale and service of alcohol for onsite consumption from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Executive Order 180
- English
- Spanish
  • Requires face coverings in all public indoor settings, including fitness facilities and restaurants, where non-household members are present
  • Retail business locations with more than 15,000 square feet of interior space must have a worker at each public entrance open to the public to enforce face covering requirements
Executive Order 176
- English
- Spanish
  • Extends the “Phase 3” order (Executive Order 169)
  • Reduces indoor gathering limits to 10 people
Executive Order 169
- English
- Spanish
  • Revises prohibitions and restrictions that move the state into “Phase 3” measures
Executive Order 153
  • Requires restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries and other establishments that serve alcohol for on-site consumption to cease alcohol sales and service each day from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m.

Reopening Updates, Guidelines & Suggestions

Not Sure the Vaccine Is for You?

Visit for information that can help you make up your mind. Vaccinate Durham is a community project of Friends of Durham, a non-partisan political action committee that focuses on local issues and elections.

Get more information about the vaccine.


Greenlight Durham – COVID Testing Resources

Greenlight Durham is a partnership between the City of Durham and Duke to provide an online resource for the Durham small business community that provides COVID monitoring, guidance, and testing. This application will connect businesses with streamlined testing (at no out-of-pocket cost), provide symptom monitoring for employees, and connect employees to community health workers and other social services resources. Registration is required and there are a limited number of slots.  

Sign your business up for this resource.

Back on the Bull

Back on the Bull is an online planning tool developed by Duke's Center for Advanced Hindsight and the creative team at McKinney, with guidance from the Durham County Department of Public Health. Back on the Bull offers a voluntary self-certification tool for businesses operating during the pandemic, with printable signage that makes it easier for business owners and stakeholder groups to prominently display the specific safety measures they've adopted in response to COVID-19. The signage is in compliance with recent statewide Safer-at-Home orders. Back on the Bull is a one-stop shop where Durham residents, visitors, stakeholders and business owners can learn more about Durham’s current Safer-at-Home Order, COVID-19 data reports, actionable steps to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, and what one can expect when venturing into public. Visitors to the site can also use the searchable map to see which Durham businesses and organizations have implemented industry-specific safety guidelines. 

NEW! Take the Back on the Bull Pledge!

Together, we can get Back on the Bull. Back to the things we enjoy doing in person in the place we call home: catching up with friends, dining out, singing hymns during worship, meeting with colleagues over coffee, attending a live performance, cheering on our favorite team, and pursuing ways to make Durham better.

But getting Back on the Bull will take each of us doing our part.

Join us today by taking the simple pledge to:

  • Get vaccinated when it’s my turn.
  • Continue to wear masks.
  • Support local businesses.

Visit Back on the Bull

Count on Me NC

Count On Me NC is a state-wide public health initiative created by the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association that empowers visitors, guests and businesses to help keep everyone safe from COVID-19. The platform includes training modules for restaurant safety as well as general business modules. Businesses that complete the modules can print a certificate to display. The site also includes links to safety checklists for businesses as well as other resources.

Visit Count on Me NC


PPE Supplies

If your company needs a large supply of PPEs, the Durham Chamber partnered with New Day Care Products and other local Chambers to bring you This site brings all of the PPE products together in one place at the best prices they have found anywhere – and Chamber Members receive an additional discount with code "Durham Chamber." Products include: KN95 Masks, Touchless Thermometers, Nitrile Gloves, and Sanitizer Liquid & Gel. The products have been bundled into affordable kits to suit your business' specific needs. Products are also available a la carte. Membership to the Durham Chamber is not required but members do receive a discount.



  • City of Durham Water Department: Recommendations for Preparing Your Building/Facility for Reopening

    When buildings are vacant or operating at significantly reduced capacity for a long period of time, the water that would flow every day is left sitting in the pipes and devices. Disease-causing microorganisms, like the one that causes Legionnaires’ disease, can begin to grow. Corrosion control can be impacted. To make sure that you remove any stale and potentially unhealthy water in your building’s system, we are asking you to follow these steps as you prepare to reopen your property to employees and customers.

    The key to preparing your facility is to flush the water systems and devices. For larger buildings, a single flush isn’t enough to re-establish good water quality, so it’s important to plan ahead and include flushing as a part of the cleaning and routine maintenance that will have to be completed before reopening. This also protects the health of any staff or occupants still working on the premises. We recommend performing a final flush in the 24 to 48 hours before a building officially reopens.

    How to Flush Your Building's Water System

 Resources for Businesses & Organizations

Federal Funds

Warning About Business Assistance Scams

There are organizations and entities that are advertising that they can provide assist businesses during the PPP process….for a “small” fee.  DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THIS. There are numerous entities that provide free assistance – LaTasha Best-Gaddy at SBTDC,  LaShon Harley at SBC, the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina ([email protected]) and the 7a banks. Please, do not be tricked into thinking you need to pay for assistance.


SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

A new round of PPP funds was approved in January. The following changes went into effect recently:

  • Starting Wednesday, February 24, a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period (ending on Mar. 10) for businesses with fewer than 20 employees;
  • Allowing sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants (in these cases, PPP funding calculations will not be tied to payroll);
  • Eliminating an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal;
  • Eliminating PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make student loan payments by eliminating student loan debt delinquency as a disqualifier to participating in the PPP; and
  • Ensuring access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.

More information here.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance 

NC Independent contractors and self-employed workers out of work because of COVID-19 can apply for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance beginning Friday, April 24. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is a federal program for people who are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 and not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits, such as self-employed workers and independent contractors (1099 employees). More information, including how to apply, can be found here. Apply for the grant here.

Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Stimulus Bill)

On March 27, the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus bill. 

State Funds


FUNDING for HUBs and DBEs – North Carolina minority and women-owned businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic will have access to guidance and $12 million in grants to help them weather the crisis, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The North Carolina Department of Administration has launched a new grant program, RETOOLNC, to help North Carolina Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms impacted by COVID-19. RETOOLNC was created under Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 143 to address disparities in communities of color exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses, in partnership with the Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF) and the North Carolina Institute for Minority Economic Development (the Institute), will offer guidance on business development through the RETOOLNC program and administer $12 million in funding to assist in the economic recovery of state-certified minority and women-owned businesses. North Carolina certified HUBs and DBEs must meet specific criteria to receive funding from the RETOOLNC program.

To learn more about the RETOOLNC initiative, visit the NC HUB Office website for details. HUB firms interested in receiving state certification can email [email protected] or call 984-236-0148 for assistance.

The Institute RETOOL NC Information

The Institute RETOOLNC Application



Local Funds

City of Durham Small Business Recovery Fund

For businesses that suffered a significant disruption in operations during 2019. These businesses, that aren’t able to show profitability in 2019 will be considered on a case-by-case basis for assistance/funding. If you submitted an application for a loan or grant and you experienced an interruption or disruption in operations in 2019, PLEASE RESUBMIT AN APPLICATION.

In addition, businesses that can satisfactorily document reasons for a significant disruption in operations during 2019 that impacted their profitability will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Given the continuing economic impact of the pandemic, loan applicants can also now submit documentation showing a 25% or more Covid-related loss for the months of April-June 2020.

Eligible businesses are those with fewer than 25 employees, including home-based businesses and food trucks, which are subject to additional criteria. Businesses with revenue of less than $500,000 may apply for grants up to $10,000. Businesses with revenue of more than $500,000 are eligible for loans of $5,000 to $35,000 with a 3% interest rate and repayment terms up to 10 years. Borrowers will make only interest payments during the first year with principal payments deferred up to a year.

Access the loan application.



  • UDI Community Development Corporation

UDI Community Development Corporation (UDI/CDC) is the recipient of a COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency Project award from the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Agency (EDA), as part of EDA’s CARES Act Recovery Assistance. Eligible businesses can apply for LOANS up to $50,000. For more information, please contact UDI CDC directly at 919-544-4597.

Apply Now


Other Resources

  • Reboot, Recover Rebuild (R3) Program for Small Businesses

If your business has been affected by COVID-19, contact the Durham Tech SBC to request free counseling. Through the R3 program, you can receive counseling on a variety of topics, all free of charge.

Resources for Individuals


    The COVID-19 Support Services Program is an innovative new program to support individuals in targeted counties who need access to primary medical care and supports to successfully quarantine  or isolate due to COVID-19. These support services will be funded through approximately $17 million of North Carolina Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.  To be eligible for support services, individuals must first be identified by a medical professional or a state or local public health official as needing to quarantine or isolate because the individual:

    • Tested positive for COVID-19,
    • Is waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test,
    • Was exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or
    • Needs to do so as a precautionary measure because the individual is in a high-risk group (e.g. over 65; suffers from underlying health conditions, such as respiratory or chronic disease or compromised immunities).
    • The individual must attest to certain additional eligibility criteria

    What Support Services Will Be Available?

    1. Nutrition assistance such as home-delivered meals or groceries;
    2. A one-time COVID-19 relief payment, provided in response to the federally-declared COVID-19 public health emergency, to assist the individual and his or her family in meeting basic living expenses such as housing, food, utilities, medical costs, child care costs, and household bills while in isolation or quarantine;
    3. Private transportation provided in a safe manner to/from testing sites, non-congregate shelter, medical visits, and sites to acquire food (if delivery is not feasible);
    4. Medication delivery; and
    5. COVID-related over-the-counter supplies, such as a face mask, hand sanitizer, thermometer, and cleaning supplies.
  • Day One Fund

    This fund is being established as a partnership with Day One Disaster Relief and supported by community leaders: Mayor Steve Schewel;  City Council Members: Vernetta Alston, Javiera Caballero, DeDreana Freeman, Jillian Johnson, Mark-Anthony Middleton, and Charlie Reece; and members of The Durham County Board of Commissioners.

    The funds raised will be distributed to the most critical need, in the most equitable way possible.

    Apply for Funds

  • Durham Artist Relief Fund

    Funds donated here go directly to artists and arts presenters in Durham who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19, with priority given to to BIPOC artists, transgender & nonbinary artists, and disabled artists (note: we will try to help as many artists with need in Durham as we can).

    Apply for Funds


  • Latino Credit Union Solidarity Loan 

    LCCU is offering this loan to members who have lost their regular income due to the COVID-19 crisis. LCCU members can borrow between $500 and $2,000 at 1% APR with terms of up to 24 months.

    To apply you will need to have established a membership with LCCU on or before March 15.  No current proof of income will be required.  Ability to repay will be based on the income you received before the hardship started. And the first payment may be deferred up to 90 days.

    Apply by contacting any LCCU branch during business hours.



  • Durham Tech Back to Work Initiative 

    Durham Tech is our community’s safety net during this time of unprecedented unemployment. We provide the training you need now for employment and economic upward mobility.

    The Initiative: Durham Tech will provide training and support with short-term courses that provide our community with skillsets needed for jobs and later offer opportunities to Durham Tech’s guided pathways when those students return for later training.

    How we’re helping: Durham Tech is offering a number of high-impact courses to help students get opportunities for immediate employment in growing industries. Courses are targeted toward short-term courses with less than a year of classroom time to help students get back to work quickly. Offerings focus on high-demand occupations including health, biotechnology, skilled trades, information technology and more. Additional courses will continue to be added, including BioWorks, Nurse Aide, Core Construction, and Human Resources Development.

    More information


  • Disaster Distress Helpline 

    The Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7/365 crisis counseling and support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster, including public health emergencies. Calls to 1-800-985-5990 and texts of “TalkWithUs” to 66746 are answered by a network of independently-operated crisis centers around the US, who provide psychological first aid, emotional support, crisis assessment and intervention, and referrals to local/state behavioral health services for follow-up care & support.

    • Spanish speakers can call the hotline and press “2” for 24/7 bilingual support or text “Hablanos” for Spanish to 66746
    • Deaf/Hard of Hearing – TTY 1-800-846-8517 or can text “TalkWithUs” to 66746
    • Callers to the hotline can connect with counselors in 100+ languages via 3rd party interpretation services; to connect with a counselor in one’s primary language, indicate preferred language to the responding counselor and they will connect to a live interpreter

    More Information

Ways to Help

Support local businesses with your business

DDI maintains up-to-date information on the status of downtown restaurants and retailers. It is still a good idea to call or check social media to see what services are available at individual businesses.

Add Your Business

(See map here
Tell us about any special offers or services your business is providing that we may be able to help publicize.

Support Local Businesses and Staff with Donations

Downtown Durham, Inc. is providing this list as a service, and unless expressly indicated, is not affiliated with any of the fundraisers listed below. Please use your best judgment when giving to online fundraisers.

  • Day One Fund

    This fund is being established as a partnership with Day One Disaster Relief and supported by community leaders: Mayor Steve Schewel;  City Council Members: Vernetta Alston, Javiera Caballero, DeDreana Freeman, Jillian Johnson, Mark-Anthony Middleton, and Charlie Reece; and members of The Durham County Board of Commissioners.

    The funds raised will be distributed to the most critical need, in the most equitable way possible.

    As an example, the funds will be used to:
    - support individuals whose livelihood was impacted by the outbreak
    - purchase medical supplies
    - purchase cleaning supplies
    - provide community support for those who are most vulnerable

    **Aid will be distributed to communities who currently have confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.**

    Any funds raised beyond what is needed to help impacted communities will be reserved for future community disaster relief in Durham and North Carolina.
    Day One Fund

  • Durham Artist Relief Fund

    Funds donated here go directly to artists and arts presenters in Durham who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19, with priority given to to BIPOC artists, transgender & nonbinary artists, and disabled artists (note: they will try to help as many artists with need in Durham as they can).

    Durham Artist Relief Fund

  • Durham Arts Council Arts Recovery Fund

    All Fund proceeds will go directly to the Durham arts community impacted by COVID-19. This fund supports local nonprofit arts organizations, artists, artist collectives, arts presenters, arts venues and arts businesses.

    The DAC Arts Recovery Fund is working in partnership with the Durham Artist Relief Fund established by Northstar Church of the Arts. The two funds will support, cross-promote, and coordinate with each other to maximize resources available to the arts community. The Durham Arts Council Arts Recovery Fund is able to expand the emergency resources by attracting and administering dollars on behalf of public and private funders that are not able to channel their support through a GoFundMe platform. Individual donors may give through either campaign, or both.

    DAC Arts Recovery Fund

  • Duke-Durham Fund

    With an initial commitment of $5 million from Duke, the Duke-Durham Fund will provide assistance to area non-profits, small businesses, and community based organizations.

    Duke-Durham Fund

  • Brij

    This new platform, created by a Kenan-Flagler faculty member, allows individuals to donate directly to local businesses.

    Visit Brij