Duke Energy, S.C. Chamber of Commerce partner to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19

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  • New $100,000 program to offer intense mentoring to 56 small businesses, half of which are owned by minorities and women.

  • Online classes will be offered to additional businesses across South Carolina.

GREENVILLE, S.C. –  Duke Energy is teaming up with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce to start a new program aimed at helping small businesses rebound and survive during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The Chamber will use a $100,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to provide support to 56 small businesses in the counties Duke Energy serves in the state, with half of those owned by minorities and women.

The program will provide mentoring over six months from experts in the fields of marketing, legal support, advocacy training, governance, sustainability, finance and taxes. Participants will also receive a $1,000 microgrant to help with expenses related to the pandemic.

Additionally, the Chamber will offer online classes taught by subject-matter experts on these and other topics to small businesses across South Carolina.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy in South Carolina, and the pandemic has challenged their very existence these past few months,” said Mike Callahan, Duke Energy’s South Carolina president. “We’re pleased to work with the state Chamber to offer these critical resources to the business community during these challenging times.”

The Chamber is in the process of standing up the structure of the program and will announce additional details on how businesses can participate in the coming weeks.

“The S.C. Chamber is excited to partner with the Duke Energy Foundation to administer this new program focused on helping small and minority owned businesses in the state,” said Ted Pitts, president and CEO of the state Chamber. “This creative small business program will help entrepreneurs and their companies grow, benefiting them, their communities and the state.”

For information on what Duke Energy is doing to assist customers and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit dukeenergyupdates.com. For more on the Chamber’s efforts, visit https://www.scchamber.net/covid-19-resource-hub.

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 and its Powerful Communities program can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 29,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities and 2,300 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve 7.8 million retail electric customers in six states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to 1.6 million customers in five states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contacts:

Duke Energy Ryan Mosier

South Carolina Chamber Katie Titus