Duke Energy funds microgrants for WDI’s Microloan Program

Duke Energy presents a check to WDI’s Holly Childs and Mayor Bill Saffo (center) to help award microgrants through its Microloan Program. (Port City Daily/Courtesy photo)

WILMINGTON N.C. — With the help of a grant from Duke Energy Foundation, Wilmington Downtown, iNC.’s (WDI) Microloan Program got a boost recently. The downtown organization will be able to fund $25,000 in microgrants for local businesses.

Duke’s foundation presented 30 communities with a check — $750,000 in total statewide — through its Hometown Revitalization Grant Program. The money is to help businesses rise above Covid-19’s challenges and shifts that have had many adapting in its aftermath.

According to a press release, the money will help fund $1,500 microgrants to businesses that apply for and are approved through its Microloan Program. The program aims to offer support to businesses, as well as retain jobs in the downtown area. 

“Our organization is uniquely positioned to help downtown small businesses navigate operational challenges caused by the pandemic,” Holly Childs, president and CEO of Wilmington Downtown, iNC., said in a press release.

Eligible commercial businesses can be located in downtown Wilmington’s Central Business District, as well as on Castle Street, the Cargo District, North Waterfront, in the Northside and the Brooklyn Arts District, Soda Pop District, and South Front District.

Already approved for the microloan program are Craftspace, Citrus Salon, Transcend Bookkeeping, and Nichols Engineering.

“The generous support provided by the Duke Energy Hometown Revitalization Grant will allow us to provide additional funding resources for recipients of our small business microloans, so that these businesses are not only stabilized — but are able to come out this pandemic even stronger than before,” Childs said in the release.

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