Duke Energy Foundation continues its commitment to help downtown communities across the state through a program poised to award $500,000 in downtown revitalization grants.
The application process is open now, according to Duke Energy District Manager Tanya Evans, and this grant cycle marks the second year to support local businesses through the Duke Energy Hometown Grant Revitalization Program.
In 2021, the foundation provided $1.5 million to more than 380 small businesses across the state as a way to support small business recovery since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a press statement, hometown revitalization grants will be awarded in 20 communities across the state. Each community could receive as much as $25,000, Evans said.
Small businesses will partner with a local 501c3 organization, which will create a microgrant program that small businesses will be able to access.
Microgrants may range from $500 to $2,500 per individual business, according to information from Duke Energy. The grant application is open now through May 31, 2022 and is available at duke-energy.com/2022. Grant decisions will be announced in August.
Nonprofits that participated in the 2021 program are not eligible to apply in 2022, Evans said. Working Landscapes in Warren County administered the microgrants in 2021.
“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. In a written press statement, De May continued by saying “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.”
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. Learn more at duke-energy.com/foundation.