Warrenton nonprofit Working Landscapes will offer Hometown Revitalization grants, funded by the Duke Energy Foundation, to Warrenton businesses that have had to adapt due to the COVID pandemic. These small business support awards will range from $500 to $2,500.

“Working Landscapes is in downtown Warrenton on purpose—we have intentionally sought to invest in the vitality of the town’s business district,” said Working Landscapes’ Executive Director Carla Norwood. “Hometown Revitalization grants provide us a way of directly supporting our fellow downtown businesses in these uncertain times.”

The application may be accessed on the Working Landscapes website, WorkingLandscapesNC.org, on the homepage under “What’s New.” Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 15. Grant awards will be announced by Jan. 15, 2022.

Incorporated businesses, including for-profit and nonprofit organizations, may apply. Small business support awards are intended to help small businesses recover or “pivot” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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. 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.

To be eligible for the grant, a business must be legally incorporated in North Carolina, or must have a fiscal agent that is a legally incorporated North Carolina business. The applicant business must have fewer than 50 employees and be located and headquartered in Warrenton, North Carolina. Payroll, rent, and utilities are excluded from funding. The small business support awards may be used to reimburse small businesses for expenses already incurred. Small business support awards may also support storefront beautification projects, but COVID-19 recovery projects will be prioritized.

For these grants, Working Landscapes is prioritizing funding businesses located on Warrenton’s Main Street, businesses with a retail storefront, businesses owned by people of color, and projects that can demonstrate a community benefit. However, Working Landscapes also encourages projects that do not meet these criteria to apply because they may not receive enough competitive projects that fulfill these priorities.

Questions about the Hometown Revitalization grants may be directed to Working Landscapes by phone at 252-257-0205 or by e-mail at gabriel@workinglandscapesnc.org.