New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties are eligible for the Hometown Revitalization Grant program, announced this week by the Duke Energy Foundation.
According to a news release, $500,000 in funding is available "to help local businesses – from restaurants to retailers – pivot to accommodate the changing environment."
Stephen De May, Duke Energy's North Carolina president, said in the release, "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 to 20 communities across the state. According to the release, each community will be awarded $25,000 through a partnership with a local 501(c)(3)-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 release stated.
The grant application for nonprofits that want to administer the grants is open through May 31. Grant decisions will be announced by August.
The small business support programs must be launched by Sept. 30 and announce small business support award recipients by Nov. 30.
for nonprofits and more information
, including additional guidelines, are available online.
The Hometown Revitalization Grant Program was inspired by a recent collaboration with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and Duke Energy that provided nearly 100 grants to downtown Raleigh storefronts, the release stated.
According to the release, "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."