The pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for small businesses across North Carolina.
To support community needs, the Duke Energy Foundation Tuesday announced $500,000 in funding to help local businesses – from restaurants to retailers – pivot to accommodate the changing environment through the Hometown Revitalization Grant Program.
“Small businesses are the heart of our communities, and they care for the needs of citizens across the state – including our customers and employees,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “These grants will help businesses and storefronts in North Carolina recover from a difficult year and help position them for a more prosperous future.”
Hometown Revitalization grants will be awarded in 20 communities across the state. Each community will be awarded $25,000 through a partnership with a local 501c3-administering nonprofit. The administering nonprofit will establish a small business support microgrant program to deploy the funding to their local small business community. Microgrants may range from $500 to $2,500 per individual business.
The grant application is open now through May 31 and is available at duke-energy.com/hometown. Grant decisions will be announced in August.
The Hometown Revitalization Grant Program is inspired by a recent collaboration with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and Duke Energy that provided nearly 100 grants to downtown Raleigh storefronts. The grants allowed these establishments the opportunity to create outdoor seating and serving opportunities, develop e-commerce websites, repair window fronts, and upgrade health and safety elements.
Feature photo of downtown Southern Pines by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer John Patota.