By Meg Moss, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director
The Sanford Area Growth Alliance Foundation, in partnership with Downtown Sanford, Inc. is excited to announce that Duke Energy is providing $25,000 towards the Lee County Hometown Revitalization Program.
Duke Energy announced that they are awarding Hometown Revitalization grants to 30 communities across the state, totaling $750,000. This is part of their effort to offset the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses. Each community chosen has been awarded $25,000. The Sanford Area Growth Alliance Foundation, in partnership with Downtown Sanford, Inc, has been chosen to establish a small business support microgrant program to deploy the $25,000 to our local small business community. Microgrants may range from $500 to $2,500 per individual business, as funds are available.
Eligible businesses must be located in downtown Sanford, downtown Jonesboro, or downtown Broadway. They also must have 50 or fewer employees. Representatives from SAGA, DSI and Central Carolina Community College will be involved in the selection process for grant recipients.
“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.”
“We are thrilled to be a recipient of the Duke Energy Hometown Revitalization grant. These funds provide hope for our small downtown businesses who are still enduring the effects of COVID-19. They are overcoming the myriad of obstacles presented by the pandemic, and these microloans will assist them in that process” states Meg Moss, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director for the Sanford Area Growth Alliance.
Small businesses in our three downtown areas may utilize funds to reimburse costs already incurred due to COVID-19, or to fund projects to increase capacity, increase sales, provide new ways of offering services, or other creative ways to improve their business.
Past recipients of a small business grant from Duke Energy explained that they utilized the funding to create outdoor seating and serving opportunities, develop e-commerce websites, repair window fronts, and upgrade health and safety elements of their business.
“Duke Energy wants to make a big impact within downtown areas,” stated Indira Everette, Duke Energy’s East Region Director. This grant allows for multiple businesses within a relatively small geographic area to make improvements.
Kelli Laudate, Downtown Sanford, Inc Executive Director shared “Downtown Sanford Inc. is thrilled to partner with the Sanford Area Growth Alliance to offer the Lee County Hometown Revitalization grant to the merchants and business owners of downtown. This grant will allow them to make changes to their business to increase profitability by using the funds to create outdoor seating, take-out windows or even develop e-commerce. We are grateful to Duke Energy for valuing the local businesses of downtown Sanford!”
Information regarding how to apply for the Hometown Revitalization Grant is available at www.growsanfordnc.com/hometownrevitalization. Questions can be addressed to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Meg Moss at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Downtown Sanford, Inc Executive Director, Kelli Laudate at email@example.com.