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Grant to support Downtown Mocksville businesses

By Jeanna Baxter White

Word Master Media Group

A $25,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation will be used to support small-business revitalization in Downtown Mocksville.

The foundation established the Hometown Revitalization grant program to help local businesses across North Carolina – from restaurants to retailers – adapt to the challenges caused by the pandemic.

“As we continue to pivot and navigate through the stages of this pandemic, the Duke Energy Hometown Revitalization Grant is a wonderful resource for our downtown businesses and services,” said Jane Simpson, president and CEO of the Davie Community Foundation. “With this funding, our merchants can continue to keep their businesses flourishing through diversity, physical enhancements, social media, and e-commerce.”

Davie was one of 30 communities selected to receive $25,000 through a partnership with the Davie Community Foundation, Davie Chamber of Commerce, and Community Development Coordinator from the Town of Mocksville. A total of $750,000 was distributed across the state.

The 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. The grants allowed the establishments the opportunity to create outdoor seating and serving opportunities, develop e-commerce websites, repair window fronts, and upgrade health and safety elements.

“After our success in supporting the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, which was the model for this program, we knew that a series of targeted grants could do wonders to help North Carolina businesses and storefronts recover,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “We were astounded by the number and quality of the applications, so we decided to increase the foundation’s commitment and help even more downtown communities bounce back.”

The Davie Community Foundation will manage the program. Microgrants may range from $500 to $2,500 per business. This small business support microgrant program will be available for eligible Downtown Mocksville businesses (see map).  This grant is intended to help small businesses recover or “pivot” as a result of Covid-19. A pivot may include adding enhanced service or commerce opportunities to adjust to the effects of the crisis, such as modifying physical space, improving an e-commerce site for online sales, or expanding capacity for delivering goods and services.

Expenditures may include furniture for expanded outdoor dining, materials for construction of takeout windows, accessibility compliance for additional seating, additional fixtures required for compliance with public health issues, and building of e-commerce platforms, as well as other equipment or tools needed for creative adaptation and pivoting of businesses.

• Main Street Makeover grants range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $2,500, and:

• must be an eligible Downtown Mocksville business;

• the business must have fewer than 50 employees;

• projects completed during Covid are eligible for grant funds; and

• payroll, rent and utilities are excluded.

Grant applications close Nov. 1 at 5 p.m.  Grants will be awarded by Nov. 30. The application can be found at https://www.daviefoundation.org/2021-main-street-makeover-grant/.

Process:

Representatives from the Davie Community Foundation, Davie County Chamber of Commerce, Mebane Charitable Foundation, Skyline Bank, and the Community Development Coordinator from the Town of Mocksville will serve on a five-member grant award selection committee.

The committee will evaluate requests based upon a matrix that factors in the following: project impact on the business, project impact on Downtown Mocksville, likelihood of completion of project if not already completed; likelihood of increasing foot traffic in Downtown Mocksville; and the projected increase in business revenue.

Award sizes will be related to the cost of the proposed project request and the likelihood of success in meeting the established criteria.

Successful applicants will be required to submit a grant report on the use of funds received by Dec. 31.

Payments will be disbursed by Nov. 30.

More information about the foundation can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.