CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Duke Energy Foundation on Tuesday distributed $750,000 in grants to help local businesses across North Carolina – from restaurants to retailers – adapt to the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic.
The total represents a 50% increase over the $500,000 in funding announced in April due to the breadth and quality of the funding applications. As a result, the Hometown Revitalization grant program will now support 30 communities throughout the state rather than the original 20 planned at the program’s inception.
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“After our success in supporting the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, which was the model for this program, we knew that a series of targeted grants could do wonders to help North Carolina businesses and storefronts recover,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “We were astounded by the number and quality of the applications, so we decided to increase the foundation’s commitment and help even more downtown communities bounce back.”
The Hometown Revitalization grants were awarded to the following 30 community organizations – quotes from each on the impact of the grants can be found here:
|• Alexander County Economic Development Corp.|
• Clayton Chamber Foundation
• Coalicion Latinoamericana
• Davie Community Foundation
• Downtown Washington on the Waterfront
• Downtown North Wilkesboro Partnership
• Downtown Southport
• Eden Downtown Development
• Fuquay-Varina Downtown Association
• Gibsonville Garden Railroad
• Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team (Great)
• Jones County Committee of 100
• Laurinburg Downtown Advisory Committee
• Lincoln Economic Development Association
• Mitchell County Development Foundation
• Nantahala Health Foundation
• Polk County Chamber Foundation
• Pride of Kinston
• Reidsville Downtown Corp.
• Renaissance Downtown Durham
• Rutherford Town Revitalization
• Salisbury Community Development Corp.
• Sanford-Lee County Partnership for Prosperity Foundation
• Surry County Economic Development Foundation
• United Way of Richmond County
• Uptown Roxboro Group
• Wallace Revitalization Association
• Wilmington Downtown
The City of Kinston and Downtown Kinston Revitalization received the grant, which will allow the city to distribute micro-grants of $500-$2,500 to help small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The application process is still in development but will be released online on the Downtown Kinston website in the coming weeks, officials said.
Each community was awarded $25,000 through a partnership with these local 501(c)(3)-administering nonprofits. The administering entity will establish a small-business support microgrant program to deploy the funding within their local community. Microgrants may range from $500 to $2,500 per individual business.
The Hometown Revitalization grant program was inspired by a successful collaboration between the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and Duke Energy that provided nearly 100 grants to downtown Raleigh storefronts. The grants allowed the establishments the opportunity to create outdoor seating and serving opportunities, develop e-commerce websites, repair window fronts, and upgrade health and safety elements.