Surry County NewsRead about new business, events and news that effects life and commerce in the western Piedmont Triad.
Two Triad restaurants were the only North Carolina eateries to make Yelp’s Top 100 U.S. Restaurants list for 2022.
Machete in Greensboro ranked 18th on the list, and Harvest Grill in Dobson came in at No. 79.
To create the ninth annual list, Yelp reached out to its users for their favorite dining spots. Then, it ranked each restaurant by total number of submissions, ratings, reviews, and geographic representation, among other factors.
Tai Blevens opened Machete on Battleground Avenue in the LoFi area in February, 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the ensuing lockdown and difficulties brought on by the pandemic, it has been drawing rave reviews ever since.
Yelp wrote that “Though Machete has only been around for a couple of years, its impact on Greensboro’s fine-dining scene has been substantial. Each visit is a special occasion because the creative and eclectic menu changes often based on seasonal ingredients and the chef’s keen eye. Past favorites have been pork cheeks with charred romaine, Wagyu fat, and “lettuce soup”; and rabbit with polenta, mushrooms, and seasonal greens.”
Machete has an American (New) cuisine and is known for “creative dishes that feature rare or unusual ingredients, and artful cocktails that are exciting and seasonal,” according to Yelp.
“The depth of flavor from the slow-cooked lamb and their Bolognese sauce—yum! The pasta was also on point. I know their dishes are seasonal but would want to eat this all year long,” wrote one Yelp reviewer.
Harvest Grill in Dobson is the restaurant at Shelton Vineyards in Surry County.
Harvest Grill is known for crab cakes served with gribiche (a cold egg sauce) and shoestring fries, according to Yelp.
“Spending time at Shelton Vineyards is so relaxing—great wines and a gorgeous property—the icing on the cake is Harvest Grill. They offer an extensive farm-to-table menu and great wine list (most of the wines by the glass, so you can try different wines with each course). Everything we tried on the menu was delicious,” wrote a Yelp reviewer.
Two restaurants from Charleston, South Carolina, also made the list — No. 6 Jackrabbit Filly and No. 22 LoLa.
Yelp’s top-rated restaurant was Cocina Madrigal in Phoenix.
Appalachian State to open lab school at Elkin Elementary, will be only UNC System institution to operate two lab school programs
ELKIN — Appalachian State University is partnering with Elkin City Schools to open the university’s second laboratory school aimed at enhancing student education, improving outcomes and providing high-quality teacher and principal training.
Under the plan — which was developed in collaboration with Elkin City Schools leaders and approved by the Elkin City Schools Board of Education on Dec. 13 — a lab school will open at Elkin Elementary School in August 2022. The “school-within-a-school” model will serve approximately 100 students in second through fourth grades.
The lab school will be one of nine in the state as part of the University of North Carolina System Lab School initiative, which was established by the N.C. General Assembly in 2016 to improve student performance and provide real-world experience for the preparation of future teachers and school administrators.
“App State has a strong legacy of preparing educators to lead and serve in our state and beyond,” said App State Chancellor Sheri Everts. “It is a testament to the quality of our College of Education leadership and faculty, and of our teachers and administrators at the Academy at Middle Fork, that we have been asked by the Board of Governors to open a second lab school. App State remains steadfast in our commitment to recognize the promise each student possesses, and we look forward to applying this same dedication to our partnership with Elkin City Schools.”
“I want to thank the Elkin City Schools school board and Superintendent Myra S. Cox for their leadership and for their dedication to all students and educators,” Everts continued.
The Elkin City Schools system serves grades pre-K through 12 and is located in the town of Elkin, which lies on the border of Wilkes and Surry counties. The district serves approximately 1,200 students in an elementary school, a middle school, a high school and the Global E-Learning Academy. The lab school will build on the existing relationship between the university and Elkin City Schools through the Appalachian State University Public School Partnership, a collaborative program between App State and area public schools to improve education.
Lab school employees, including a principal, teachers and support staff, will be hired by App State and will be university employees. Transportation and child nutrition services will be provided by Elkin City Schools. App State will establish the school’s academic and conduct standards, and the chancellor will establish a school advisory board. The lab school is a five-year initiative with the option to renew for an additional five years.
Lab schools, according to the UNC System, are committed to addressing the academic, social and emotional needs of all students and harnessing the benefits of partnerships to strengthen learning, teaching and school leadership.
App State’s Reich College of Education has developed a lab school model based on innovative, evidence-based teaching and leadership methods, and Elkin City Schools’ partnership with the university provides access to additional resources and special programming for students, teachers and school leaders, including professional development, curriculum sharing opportunities and a pipeline for teacher and principal recruitment.
A new manufacturing firm will be opening its doors in Pilot Mountain later this month, with plans to eventually invest more than $3 million there and create up to 40 jobs.
Young Door Company, which formed in April, will occupy about 45,000 square feet of a building at 523 South Stephens Street in Pilot Mountain; where the firm will share the building with the current tenant, SPX.
The company will produce interior doors that will be sold at home improvement stores and other retailers where millwork is sold.
Young Door was started by Mark Stukenborg and Tom Brown, two long-time veterans of the door manufacturing industry.
“We had been pretty successful in our careers, working for other companies,” Stukenborg said Tuesday, alluding to the more than 60 combined years the two had worked in the industry. “We felt confident we could do the same thing on our own.”
He said the two both left the industry a couple of years ago, but had kept up with contacts in the retail end of the door industry.
“There is a lot of demand,” he said. “We felt confident it was the right time.”
“Tom and I are very excited to be starting our manufacturing business in Pilot Mountain. It is a great location for the customers we are targeting and we are looking forward to being a part of the community,” Stukenborg said.
Stukenborg said both he and Brown grew up in small towns, and they were looking for a smaller community where a strong work ethic is common among its residents, and he said they needed a building large enough and designed in a way that would allow them to turn it into a manufacturing facility.
“It took us many, many months to find a building,” he said, explaining he and his partner had searched throughout the region — unable to find a suitable facility in communities such as Hickory, Mooresville, Statesville, High Point and elsewhere.
“We looked everywhere,” he said. “Industrial building availability is extremely tight.”
Once they discovered the facility in Pilot Mountain, and researched the local workforce, the pair moved ahead, contacting Todd Tucker, president of the Surry County Economic Development Commission.
“I will tell you, we had good contacts with other communities, but I think Todd and his crew and everybody else we’ve met with have been very supportive,” he said of working with Tucker and the local organization. “We’re very happy to be here in Surry County…it feels like home to us.
“We were looking for a community like Pilot Mountain.” He explained that throughout their careers in the industry, they found that generally the most productive plants came from small towns, where folks had a strong work ethic, yet the towns were close to larger areas where they could get supplies and easily ship their products. Pilot, he said, seems to fit that bill on all fronts.
For local officials, the announcement is welcome news.
“Manufacturers like Young Door recognize that Pilot Mountain offers not only a competitive place to do business, but also a good quality of life for prospective employees. We welcome their investment in our community,” said Pilot Mountain Mayor Evan Cockerham.
“The Surry County Economic Development Partnership is happy to have been able to help Mark and his team get started in Pilot Mountain,” Tucker said. “We believe that this will be a great location for them and look forward to helping them grow their business here in Surry County.”
Stukenborg said the company hopes to have operations up and running later this month or in early February, with eight to ten employees initially, then growing from there. Anyone interested in pursuing work with the firm can email Stukenborg at email@example.com.
RENFRO BRANDS, WORLD’S MOST RENOWNED SOCK MANUFACTURING COMPANY, MARKS 100-YEAR ANNIVERSARY WITH LAUNCH OF CSR PROGRAM, PROJECT FOOTPRINT
Renfro Brands, the leading manufacturer, and marketer of the world’s preeminent sock brands celebrates its 100th anniversary and shares vision for continued growth. Founded in 1921 as Renfro Hosiery Mills, the company started as a small domestic manufacturer. A century later, Renfro has grown into a global leader in the legwear industry with over 1,500 employees globally. This year has been an important one for the company as it announced new ownership by the private holding company, The Renco Group, Inc., which followed the launch of Renfro’s direct-to-consumer marketplace Loops & Wales and corporate rebranding.
As Renfro charts its next phase of growth, the company is focused on making a positive impact on the world. Renfro has long rallied behind its belief that “a life well-lived, is lived in socks” and understands that while it starts with great socks, its impact goes further than that. Through its new corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, Project Footprint, Renfro has set out to foster better employment opportunities for more people, to continue to give back to the communities where it works, and to take every effort to preserve a healthy planet for a healthy future.
“We are extremely proud of where we are today as a company, and that is thanks to our employees, partners, and communities who have supported and trusted us over the past 100-years,” said Stan Jewell, CEO of Renfro Brands. “Project Footprint is not only our way of growing what our founders started but continuing our commitment to living our vision of helping people get back on their feet to achieve a life well-lived.”
As part of Project Footprint, Renfro has committed to achieving specific goals for each pillar of its program – Our Communities, Our Planet, and Our People – and will expand these with new actions and efforts annually. Among the objectives set to date, Renfro has committed to achieving the following by 2025:
- Renfro will increase the number of BIPOC employees at the manager level by over 20% to ensure leaders reflect the consumers it serves.
- Renfro will launch an annual sock capsule on its direct-to-consumer platform Loops & Wales, where 100% of proceeds are donated to an organization helping people get back on their feet.
- Renfro will use sustainable yarns and materials in at least half of the products it produces, increasing this to 100% by 2030.
Additionally, starting in 2022, Renfro aims to donate over $1 million in employee hours to nonprofits by providing time for eligible employees to live its values and volunteer with organizations with roots in local communities. Renfro will continue to progress and evolve Project Footprint to both grow its impact and address new needs as they emerge.
ABOUT RENFRO BRANDS
Renfro Brands is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of quality socks and legwear products. Founded in 1921, the company pioneered some of the earliest innovations in sock manufacturing, from standardizing sock sizes to eliminating toe seams. Over the course of a century, Renfro’s operation of 25 employees has grown to become an industry leader with over 2,000 employees worldwide. Today, Renfro Brands is a recognized expert and brand steward of over 20 globally loved sock brands, including Polo, Fruit of the Loom, Merrell, Dr. Scholl’s, and HOTSOX. The company continues to breathe new life into the industry with the launch of Loops & Wales, an online destination for discovering, styling, and buying socks. Discover how Renfro Brands is leading the sock industry at Renfro.com.
Surry-Yadkin Works has placed 31 students in internships for the fall 2021 semester.
The program is the collaborative effort of four public school systems in Surry and Yadkin counties including Elkin City Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Surry County Schools, and Yadkin County Schools, as well as Surry Community College, to create a unique approach to a regional internship program.
The funding is a joint effort with commitments from the Surry County and Yadkin County commissioners. An anonymous contributor donated $100,000 prompted by a presentation about the program at an educational summit. Surry-Yadkin Works officially began on Jan 1.
The Surry-Yadkin Works interns are working in 21 businesses and organizations throughout Surry and Yadkin counties. These students along with their high schools, workplaces, and job titles are as follows:
Mount Airy High School: Jillian Sheets, Interlam Design, Social Media Marketing Intern and Luke Slate, Cooke Rentals, Service & Maintenance.
North Surry High School: Luis Cabrera-Juarez, Surry Communications, Mapping/GIS Intern; Rylan Loggins, Altec, Parts & Supply Department; Tyler Ramey, Altec, Transportation Intern; Valerie “Layne” McCreary, Surry County EMS, EMS Observational Intern; Weatherly Reeves, Surry County Economic Development Partnership, Social Media Marketing Intern; Alec Singleton, Scenic Automotive, Automotive Technician; Victoria Brooke Spencer, Heart & Soul B&B, Hospitality & Tourism; Carson Stanley, Smith Rowe, Project Management; and Bryson Wilson, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, OR Attendant.
East Surry High School: Jose Campos-Rosas, Pilot Mechanical, Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning Technician; Maria Chilton, Mount Pilot Child Enrichment Center, Childcare Intern; Alyson Huybert, Children’s Center of Surry, Teen Court; Jamariah Lowery, G&B Energy, Customer Service Representative; Nick Lowery, Shelton’s Vineyard, Kitchen Assistant; and Joshua Montalvo, Shenandoah Furniture, Packing/Truck Loading.
Surry Central High School: Madison Freeman, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, OR Attendant; Daisy Garcia, Altec, Facilities & Safety & Training Intern; and Enoc Lopez, Smith Rowe, Construction Yard Crew.
Surry Early College High School: Maylin Castillo, Altec, Office & Training Intern; Karla Chavez, Scenic Automotive, Marketing Intern; Matthew Gillespie, Shenandoah Furniture, CNC Programmer; Evelin Lara, Scenic Automotive, Automotive Technician; and Jesus Nava, Altec, Maintenance Intern.
Elkin High School: Addison Blackwelder, Prism Medical, Business Development Intern; Luis Hernandez, Frontier Natural Gas, Customer Service/Marketing Representative; and Amani Tilley, Tampco, Machine Intern.
Forbush High School: Samantha Lunsford, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, Physicians Services Intern.
Starmount High School: Katlyn Hudspeth, Yadkin County Government, Accounting Intern.
Yadkin Early College High School: Olivia Pizzuti, Surry-Yadkin Works, Social Media Marketing Intern.
The students began their internships on August 30, and they will work through December 15. They will receive high school or college credit for their employment along with a stipend each month for travel expenses.
For more information about the program or the virtual kickoff event, contact Crystal Folger-Hawks, Surry-Yadkin Works program director, at 336-401-7820 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.surryyadkinworks.org. Follow Surry-Yadkin Works on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram @surryyadkinworks and on Twitter @SurYadWorks.
Nestled behind the Pike building by the Mount Airy/Surry County airport is a big operation with a name that is known, yet many struggle to pronounce. The Altec Industries logo is splashed on the side of work trucks all around the area, whether they be the TruGreen spray trucks or the familiar Asplundh crews cutting limbs off power lines.
A big contributor to the local tax base and a major employer in the area, Altec has been family-owned in Birmingham, Alabama since 1929. The Alabama Truck Equipment Company (Altec) has been manufacturing and finishing facilities across the country as they assemble and customize the working fleets that companies depend on.
The Altec facility in Mount Airy is a multi-unit operation with several divisions of Altec located under one roof. General Manager of Mount Airy Operations Ben Simmons said that with seven profit centers on one campus, space can be tight.
He made his comments during a recent tour of local facilities by the Surry County Board of Commissioners.
Inside the cavernous facility headphones and safety, goggles adorned the commissioners as they were guided through the building. In orderly work, bays were vehicle chassis waiting for components with workers attending to each.
In Mount Airy, Altec is making spray trucks and cable hauling trucks, but they also are finishing items manufactured in other locations. The same works in reverse, “We often cannot send to final assembly as much as we manufacture on site,” Griffin said. Having distribution centers and manufacturing spread across the country helps them stay nimble and responsive.
One of the two North Carolina Altec service centers is also located here. Offering service after the sale on repairs, and even further up fitting or customization can be done right here. “We try to surround the customer and give them everything they need,” Griffin said. Any manufacturer’s truck can be upfitted, and Altec has been known to fix their competitor’s trucks as well.
Weaving around racks four to five high of parts and Honeywell boxes, the tour lingered as a dozen adults got belly up to the window of a giant paint machine so they could watch paint dry. It would seem the wonderment with big toys does not go away with age.
To that end, the description of a new powerful laser raised an eyebrow or two. Innovation is key to an industry leader, so Altec acquiring and deploying a new 10kW laser that cuts steel at five times the current speed is something worth noting.
Innovation also means culling the herd and therefore some product lines made locally will be phased out over time. As the business needs dictate, their focus will shift to where the market drives business. The future for Altec remains bright though as Griffin pointed out their growth in overhead cabling trucks and buried cable as well.
Commissioner Eddie Harris asked if burying cables may hurt Altec’s business as many towns and cities across the county have a problem with aging power systems, and overhead power lines contribute to that problem.
Griffin acknowledged, “We have wondered if the cable machines may become irrelevant, but it hasn’t happened. With so many power lines overhead, this will take a long time.”
The future for Altec was of interest to Commissioner Larry Johnson, and Griffin described having the permits in hand and being ready to “start moving dirt” on an expansion. As busy as they are, every inch of space in the facility is in use. Griffin has plans to move some of his parts and distribution to another part of the campus to allow for more manufacturing space.
Having the workspace they need will be critical to growth for Altec, but having the right people on staff is also critical. County Commissioner Van Tucker was curious as to what sort of relationship they have had with Surry Community College. SCC not only offers skills training that in areas of need such as welding, but also in “soft business skills” for managers and team leaders too.
“The workforce here is conducive to what we need,” Griffin said of the local labor pool. Altec draws the majority of its more than 200 employees from Mount Airy, King and Winston-Salem but a surprising 20-25% is estimated to be from Southern Virginia. “It has been great, I feel like we have gotten a lot from them,” he said of SCC.
Running two daily shifts at their facility, Altec is trying to make theirs a worker friendly environment. Plant Manager Mike Reed said right away employees can tell a difference, “You won’t be turning a wrench on day one.” Rather, learning about the culture of the company and what they stand for takes precedence. “If you don’t know who you’re working for, you can’t deliver.”
Learning the culture means appreciating the past, which suggests to the customer that attention to quality is of concern. The good people of Pre-Delivery Inspection take the spray truck, the cable hauler, the chippers out for a shakedown cruise before delivering to the end user. No surprises will be awaiting the recipient of a new backyard digger derrick from Altec.
When Altec trucks roll off the line, they are ready to work, the company said. TruGreen, Pike, Asplundh, Exelon Baltimore Gas & Electric, or whomever the customer they can be confident in their new purchase because of the people in Mount Airy – or any other Altec location – who put it together.
When executing models built around safety and customer satisfaction, everything else “takes care of itself,” Reed said.
Just remember this, as thec ommissioners were told on their tour: The state where the company was born is not called “All-abama” it is called “Al-abama” and their company is therefore Altec and not Alltec.
BLUEFIELD, VA – First Community Bankshares Inc. (NASDAQ: FCBC) reported last week its third quarter net income jumped by more than 55% over the same period in 2020.
The bank reported net income of $12.61 million, or 73 cents per diluted common share, for the quarter ending Sept. 30. That was an increase of 26 cents per share over the same period a year ago.
For the nine months ending Sept. 30, the bank reported net income of $40.61 million, or $2.32 per share, an even steeper jump of 69.34% in per share earning compared to the same period of 2020.
The banking company also declared a quarterly cash dividend to common shareholders of 27 per share, an increase of 8% over the same quarter in 2020. The quarterly dividend is payable to common shareholders of record on Nov. 5 and is expected to be paid on or about Nov. 19.
This marks the 36th consecutive year of regular dividends to common shareholders.
The increase in net income primarily reflects the reversal of $1.39 million in allowance for credit losses for the third quarter of 2021 compared to $4.70 million in loan loss provision recorded in the third quarter of 2020.
Net income for the nine month period increased $16.24 million compared to the same period of 2020. Similarly, for the nine-month period, a reversal of $7.63 million in the allowance for credit losses for 2021 compared to $12.03 million in loan loss provision for the same period in 2020 accounts for a large part of the increase in net income over the same period in 2020.
”The decreases in credit loss provisioning are primarily due to significantly improved economic forecasts and GDP growth in the current year, versus prior year provisioning driven by the pandemic,” the bank said in announcing the figures.
During the third quarter, the bank continued its stock repurchase plan, buying up 277,386 common shares for $8.46 million. For the year, the bank has repurchased 726,686 common shares for $21.43 million.
More information about the quarter’s performance, and the bank, can be found at www.firstcommunitybank.com.
A new 14-unit hotel on Main Street in Elkin is scheduled to open in May of 2022, complete with a rooftop deck. The project called Three Trails Boutique, is the latest to get underway in the portfolio of Durham developer Stephen Hetherington, who recently opened a similar property in Blowing Rock and has plans to develop another in Mount Airy.
Rooms at the Elkin property will be bookable via sites such as Airbnb and VRBO, said Hetherington, whose firm is called The Carolina Experience.
Elkin Economic Development Director Leslie Schlender said the hotel is yet another piece of the puzzle for downtown Elkin’s redevelopment, fitting perfectly among the shops, restaurants, and entertainment offerings such as those at The Reeves Theater.
“Being able to stay in a location and walk to go out to dinner and walk to go see a show … it rounds out what we’ve got going on down there,” Schlender said.
She also noted that the size of the lodging venue will also help serve the burgeoning wedding industry in the area since 14 units are large enough to house a wedding party of overnight guests.
Hetherington said the plan for the Elkin property came together quickly. The 101 W. Main St. address was listed for an upcoming auction and Hetherington’s firm purchased it in November 2020 for $325,000. The Town of Elkin issued permits in September and county permits are nearing completion, as well. The renovation of the approximately 14,000 square foot space will cost around $3 million, he said.
The money didn’t drop out of the sky to aid Mount Airy/Surry County Airport — but from N.C. Board of Transportation, which approved $1.38 million in state funds to complete a much-needed project there.
This occurred during a meeting of the board earlier this month, when more than $27 million was awarded to 13 different airports across North Carolina to improve safety and customer service.
The $1.38 million landed by Mount Airy/Surry County Airport will be used to complete a full parallel taxiway at the facility.
“It is an important safety project,” explained George Crater, airport manager.
“We are one of the only airports in North Carolina that has large base jets that does not have a complete full taxiway,” Crater added Monday afternoon.
A parallel taxiway typically is a path for aircraft which connects a runway with aprons, hangars, terminals and other facilities. This allows planes to vacate the runway quicker, permitting others to land or take off in shorter time frames.
The taxiway work began at the local airport about two years ago.
“We are very pleased to get this,” Crater said of the $1.38 million in state funding to complete the project.
In addition to local officials, the 800-foot addition to the airport’s parallel taxiway has been deemed a safety priority for the N.C. Division of Aviation, a unit of the state Department of Transportation.
It is part of ongoing expansion plans at the airport which have been underway in recent years, including lengthening the runway from 4,300 to 5,500 feet. This was done to accommodate larger planes and better serve corporate clients.
Along with users of the facility, improvements at the airport are being applauded by Mount Airy officials, including Mayor Ron Niland.
Both Niland and Commissioner Jon Cawley are the city’s representatives on the seven-member Mount Airy-Surry County Airport Authority, which oversees the facility’s operations.
Niland said during a recent council meeting that based on one he and Cawley had attended as members of the authority the airport is moving forward and those administering its operations are doing a good job.
This includes growth plans that mirror the airport’s presence as a key economic development tool for the community.
The general aviation airport experiences 25 to 30 takeoffs and landings of jets per week, according to information presented at the council meeting.
It was mentioned then that new hangars and business were being sought for the airport, which at that time had six jets based there with the possibility of two more.
Cawley pointed out that there were nine people wanting to park their planes at the Holly Springs facility, but hangars were lacking for them.
The airport authority has been considering how to solve this issue, since having planes based at the site translates into tax revenues that are healthy for the county’s economy.
Money for airport improvements comes from aviation fuel taxes, according to city officials.
North Carolina’s 72 public airports serve as vital economic engines connecting people and business enterprises with the world, based on information from the N.C. Board of Transportation.
Airports and aviation-related industries contribute more than $61 billion to the state’s economy each year, according to the 2021 State of Aviation report. They support 373,000 jobs, generate $2.5 billion-plus in state and local tax revenue and provide more than $15 billion in personal income.
- Hometown Revitalization grants provide $25,000 in funding for 30 local microgrant programs.
- Grant funding and reach increased by 50% to help more communities recover from the pandemic.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Duke Energy Foundation today distributed $750,000 in grants to help local businesses across North Carolina – from restaurants to retailers – adapt to the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic.
The total represents a 50% increase over the $500,000 in funding announced in April due to the breadth and quality of the funding applications. As a result, the Hometown Revitalization grant program will now support 30 communities throughout the state rather than the original 20 planned at the program’s inception.
“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 Hometown Revitalization grants were awarded to the following 30 community organizations – quotes from each on the impact of the grants can be found here :
|• Alexander County Economic Development Corp.
• Clayton Chamber Foundation
• Coalicion Latinoamericana
• Davie Community Foundation
• Downtown Washington on the Waterfront
• Downtown North Wilkesboro Partnership
• Downtown Southport
• Eden Downtown Development
• Fuquay-Varina Downtown Association
• Gibsonville Garden Railroad
• Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team (Great)
• Jones County Committee of 100
• Laurinburg Downtown Advisory Committee
• Lincoln Economic Development Association
• Mitchell County Development Foundation
• Nantahala Health Foundation
• Polk County Chamber Foundation
• Pride of Kinston
• Reidsville Downtown Corp.
• Renaissance Downtown Durham
• Rutherford Town Revitalization
• Salisbury Community Development Corp.
• Sanford-Lee County Partnership for Prosperity Foundation
• Surry County Economic Development Foundation
• United Way of Richmond County
• Uptown Roxboro Group
• Wallace Revitalization Association
• Wilmington Downtown
Each community was awarded $25,000 through a partnership with these local 501(c)(3)-administering nonprofits. The administering entity will establish a small-business support microgrant program to deploy the funding within their local community. Microgrants may range from $500 to $2,500 per individual business.
The Hometown Revitalization 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.
Nicole Thompson, president, and CEO of Downtown Durham anticipates a similar impact in her community.
“Downtown Durham small businesses have weathered an extremely challenging few years, from an explosion that damaged multiple businesses in the Brightleaf District to the economic devastation brought on by the pandemic,” she said. “The Duke Energy Hometown Revitalization Grant program will provide vital support and help to strengthen these small businesses as they recover, rebound, and reinvent to succeed in this new economy.”
In Charlotte, the strongest application was put forth by the Latin American Coalition.
“Here in Charlotte, many Latino small businesses were started by immigrants or the children of immigrants,” said Jose Hernandez-Paris, executive director of the Coalition. “They are hard-working folks who need help recovering from the effect of the pandemic. The Hometown Revitalization Grant from Duke Energy will provide small-business owners a lifeline to stabilizing their business as we continue to recover. We are grateful for the support from Duke Energy and their commitment to our community, our families and to our small businesses.”
Small businesses interested in learning about how the program will be rolled out in their communities should inquire with the local nonprofit administering the microgrants.
Duke Energy Foundation
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. More information about the Foundation can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Surry County Economic Development Partnership, Inc.
1218 State St.,
Mt. Airy NC 27030
PO BOX 7128