Duke Energy plans second round of Covid recovery grants for North Carolina small businesses
The Duke Energy Foundation is accepting applications through May 31 for $500,000 in grants to help strengthen North Carolina small businesses through its Hometown Grant Revitalization Program.
The foundation will choose nonprofits in 20 communities to receive $25,000 each to distribute micro-grants of $500 to $2,500 to local small businesses. The nonprofits are allowed to use up to $2,500 of the initial grant to pay the cost of administering their programs.
The grants are meant to help small businesses recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This will be the second round of grant awards in North Carolina. In 2021, Duke made grants totaling $750,000 to 30 communities across the state.
“The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to small businesses and reminded us all how important they are to creating and sustaining vibrant downtowns,” says Stephen De May, N.C. president for Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK). “We hope this new wave of funding will continue to help local businesses and storefronts recover from a difficult few years and position them for a more prosperous future.”
Groups interested in the program can find information and the application form at duke-energy.com/2022. Grant decisions will be announced in August.
The program ultimately gave money to more than 380 small businesses in 2021. The grants enabled businesses to create outdoor dining options, improve online sales opportunities, upgrade health and safety elements, and refresh their storefront appearance.
“Receiving a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation through the Uptown Roxboro Group gave us an opportunity to make much-needed improvements to our store during the pandemic,” said Megan Gilbert, owner of The Exchange Consignment. “We were able to purchase a display case and two outdoor benches, all of which improved our overall customer shopping experience.”