Hometown Revitalization grants will provide funding for 20 local microgrant programs for second consecutive year.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy is continuing its investment in North Carolina’s downtown communities by awarding $500,000 in grants to help strengthen small businesses.
This is the company’s second year supporting local businesses through the Hometown Grant Revitalization Program, and it has contributed more than $1.5 million to small business recovery in North Carolina since the start of the pandemic.
“The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to small businesses, and reminded us all how important they are to creating and sustaining vibrant downtowns,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “Our Hometown Revitalization grants were very well-received across our communities last year. 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.”
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 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 – the application and program details are available at duke-energy.com/2022. Grant decisions will be announced in August.
The Hometown Revitalization Grant Program helped over 380 small businesses in 2021. The grants enabled these establishments 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 in Uptown Roxboro. “We were able to purchase a display case and two outdoor benches, all of which improved our overall customer shopping experience. We’re grateful for everything these grants have done to lift up our uptown community.”
Bonita Garner, owner of Crown Slayer Salon and Oasis Natural Hair Salon in downtown Gibsonville, shared a similar story. “My salon closed for two months when the pandemic hit, and when we reopened our doors, it was hard to keep up with the demand. The Hometown Revitalization grant made it possible for me to invest in the mirrors and styling booths I needed to open a second salon. The best part is many of my fellow downtown store owners received the same support. I’ll always be thankful to Duke Energy for investing in small businesses.”
Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The Foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts, and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the Foundation can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities. The company has goals of at least a 50% carbon reduction from electric generation and net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business by 2030, and net-zero emissions by 2050 from its electric and natural gas businesses, including Scopes 1, 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2022 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Media contact: Emily Kissee