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Friday, 15 October 2021 18:17

United Way of Richmond County opens applications for Duke Energy Foundation grant funds

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ROCKINGHAM — Small businesses in Richmond County can now apply for micro-grants of up to $2,500 to help recover or “pivot” from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding comes from a $25,000 grant awarded last month to United Way of Richmond County from the Duke Energy Foundation.

“A pivot may include adding enhanced service or commerce opportunities for the business to adjust to the effects of the crises, such as modifying physical space, improving an e-commerce site for online sales, or expanding capacity for delivering goods and services,” according to the grant guidelines. “Some expenditures may include furniture for expanded outdoor dining, materials for construction of takeout windows, accessibility compliance for additional outdoor 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.”

The small business support awards can also be used for storefront beautification projects, but COVID-19 recovery projects take priority.

Payroll, utilities and rent are excluded.

To be eligible, applicants must own or operate a legal business in Richmond County, have fewer than 50 employees, and be incompliance with the state building code. Home-based businesses are not eligible. 

UWRC created the Richmond County Duke Energy Hometown Revitalization Committee to implement the program. The committee comprises:

  • Michelle Parrish – United Way of Richmond County  
  • Emily Tucker / Jonathon Lewis – Richmond County Chamber of Commerce  
  • Butch Farrah – Richmond Community College  
  • Katrina Chance – Richmond County Partnership for Children  
  • Martie Butler – Richmond County Government  
  • Antonio Blue - Dobbin Heights  
  • Mechelle Preslar – Hamlet Museum  

Applications are due Monday, Dec. 1 and will be approved by the committee by Dec. 10. Recipients will be notified by Jan. 15, 2022.

Grant recipients will have to submit a request for reimbursement — copies of receipts and invoices including a description of the impact/changes garnered by the grant — after the work has been completed.

“Reimbursement checks will be sent to recipients within the month of verification that work is done,” according to the guidelines. “Before the reimbursement of the funds, two members of the committee will visit each funded site to  inspect and confirm that the changes that are reported were completed.”

Applications are available at the websites of the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Richmond County:


For more information, contact UWRC Executive Director Michelle Parrish at 910-997-2173 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Last modified on Friday, 15 October 2021 18:24
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