For Immediate Release
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Downtown Raleigh Alliance Awards an Additional $98,000 in Pivot Grants with Support from Duke Energy
RALEIGH, NC (January 5, 2021) – Downtown Raleigh Alliance today announced the final round of funding from the Duke Energy Storefront Revitalization Grant program. This round will support 34 Downtown Raleigh businesses with $98,207.00 of funding to help them adapt to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. After these two rounds of funding, due to the generosity of Duke Energy, DRA has awarded 97 grants totaling $375,000 to small, locally-owned businesses in downtown Raleigh.
Restaurants, beverage shops, retailers, and other downtown businesses submitted proposals for pivots and adaptations to help their establishments better address the challenges presented by the pandemic. Many are seeking to create outdoor seating and serving opportunities, develop e-commerce websites, and upgrade health and safety elements.
Businesses that received funding in round one of the grant program have already seen the positive impact of their revitalization projects.
“The ability to serve lounge guests on our patio during these winter months has provided revenue that we would not have had during the pandemic,” said Christine McDonald on behalf of Longleaf Hotel. “With decreased hotel occupancy, the revenue from the lounge patio has aided in us being able to keep people employed and keep our property operating. The grant provided us with welcome funds that gave us the ability to purchase heaters and tent canopies in order for us to safely and more comfortably serve guests outside.”
“The Duke Energy Storefront Revitalization Grant is a crucial component in allowing our business to operate safely over the last few months and was vital in our ability to remain open,” said Cheetie Kumar and Paul Siler, owners of Garland. “Purchases such as heaters, point of sale upgrades, lighting, tables, chairs, décor, and infrastructural improvements were necessary and would have been very difficult for us to afford during an already financially crippling year. With this grant, we were able to recoup some of those costs and not go further into debt.”
Duke Energy provided $260,000 in support toward an overall fund of $375,000 for the program.
“We’ve been a proud member of the Downtown Raleigh community for many decades, and our more than 1,000 employees enjoy calling it their workplace,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “We are all rooting for the success of our neighboring businesses and storefronts and are proud to support this initiative during such a challenging time.”
“We have seen an outpouring of support for our Downtown Raleigh businesses over the last month of holiday shopping and dining,” said Bill King, President, and CEO, Downtown Raleigh Alliance. “Thanks to the commitment and leadership of Duke Energy, we are able to continue that positive momentum into the new year and help more businesses respond to these challenging times for the storefront economy.”
For a complete list of businesses that received funding in Round 2 of the grant, visit Duke Energy Storefront Revitalization Grant Recipients: Round Two.