About the SOS Fund

The Flywheel Foundation has created an emergency SOS Grant Fund for Forsyth County restaurants and retailers that are struggling to remain in business due to the prolonged pandemic restrictions and the current surge. We are now accepting applications for $5,000 grants coupled with acceptance into our Retail Lab program and access to mentors.

Qualified Applications

Qualified grant applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • • Located in Forsyth County, locally owned
  • • In business prior to January 1, 2019
  • • Have a brick-and-mortar storefront: all retail goods and services including restaurants, food and beverage.
  • • Have 5 or fewer locations
  • • Be willing to share 2019 and 2020 financials in confidence
  • • Participate in a 6-week Retail Lab (details below)
  • • Work with a mentor team for 12 months


Applications open – June 7 – July 17 2021

Grants Awarded – August 3, 2021

Retail Lab – September-October 2021, Wednesday mornings 9:00-11:00 AM


Grant recipients will enter into an agreement with the Flywheel Foundation on use of funds in support of their business recovery needs. Funds may not go towards owner’s salary but can be applied to staffing, facility costs, business systems, inventory, e-commerce or other qualifies business expenses. In addition to being assigned a mentor team for 12 months, the grant recipients will form a cohort of companies in the Retail Lab program. Curriculum will include:

  • • Business Strategy – grounded in customer discovery and market research
  • • Business model tune-up
  • • Business Systems for retail including POS
  • • Inventory and Supply Chain Management
  • • Branding and Identity
  • • Marketing and sales strategy
    • – Digital Marketing – building a following
    • – E-Commerce marketing
    • – Event marketing
    • – CRM, brand loyalty and customer service