The Duke Energy Foundation distributed $750,000 in grants to help local businesses across North Carolina – from restaurants to retailers – adapt to the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic. The Alexander County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) was one of 30 recipients of a $25,000 Hometown Revitalization Grant.
The total represents a 50 percent increase over the $500,000 in funding announced in April. A news release says this is due to the breadth and quality of the funding applications. As a result, the Hometown Revitalization Grant program will now support 30 communities throughout the state rather than the original 20 planned at the program’s inception.
In addition to Alexander County, the Lincoln County Economic Development Association was awarded a Hometown Revitalization Grant. Each community was awarded $25,000 through a partnership with these local nonprofits. The administering entity will establish a small-business support microgrant program to deploy the funding within their local community. Microgrants may range from $500 to $2,500 per individual business.
Small businesses with 50 employees or less in Alexander County which have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for the grant. Applications must be received by October 22, 2021. Awards will be announced on November 3, 2021. The Hometown Revitalization grant program was inspired by a successful collaboration between the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and Duke Energy that provided nearly 100 grants to downtown Raleigh storefronts.