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Biz Roundup: Application process now open for grant program to help small downtown businesses

SALISBURY — Applications are now being accepted for the “At Your Side” Small Business Grant Program.

Main Street America has teamed up with Brother International to provide a total of $75,000 in funding to brick-and-mortar small businesses in designated Main Street America district and UrbanMain member corridors as they work to adapt to COVID-19 and prepare for the next phases of reopening across the country.

Grants of $5,000 to $10,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis. Applicants must operate in a brick-and-mortar storefront. The application process is currently open and will close on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 7:59 p.m.

More information about the grant and the application can be found online at www.mainstreet.org/howwecanhelp/brother. Questions can be directed to atyourside@savingplaces.org.

Food lion continues charitable campaigns, donates 1.6 million meals

SALISBURY — In order to assist families and individuals still impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Food Lion recently donated the equivalent of 1.6 million meals through its Faces of Hope campaign.

The retailer’s Faces of Hope campaign helps local food banks keep up with unprecedented demand after the holiday giving time period has passed. The widespread effort will impact local communities across Food Lion’s footprint. Food Lion is committed to supporting local feeding partners, and the donation will be dispersed during various food bank distribution events in the form of Food Lion gift cards, enabling neighbors to receive items they need to nourish their families.

“Despite an increase in donations around the holidays, many of our local hunger-relief agencies are continuing to see a strain on their resources,” Jennifer Blanchard, director of community relations for Food Lion, said in a news release. “By donating these Food Lion gift cards, we hope to ease the burden our partners are facing while also nourishing our neighbors in the towns and cities we serve.”

The $160,000 gift card donation will support the following food banks:

  • America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia – $5,000
  • Feeding Southwest Virginia – $20,000
  • Food Bank of Central & Eastern N.C. – $15,000
  • Food Bank of Delaware – $5,500
  • Food Bank of Southeast Virginia and the Eastern Shore – $15,000
  • Food Bank of the Albemarle – $10,000
  • Harvest Hope Food Bank – $16,000
  • Inter-Faith Food Shuttle – $10,000
  • Lowcountry Food Bank – $20,000
  • Maryland Food Bank – $6,000
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina – $12,500
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC – $12,500
  • Second Harvest of South Georgia – $2,000

Additionally, Food Lion Feeds donated $10,500 to Operation Homefront, its partner in fighting food-insecurity among our nation’s servicemembers and their families.

Recently, Food Lion Feeds donated $100,000 to support a joint effort between Livingstone College and the A.M.E. Zion Church to fight food insecurity in the state of North Carolina through the college’s “Hurt & Hunger Initiative.” The effort is providing food and meals to vulnerable families, children, seniors and the homeless who are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last fall, Food Lion announced its Faces of Hope campaign and donated 9.5 million meals across its 10-state service area. Earlier in the year, Food Lion donated more than $3.6 million to community partners to provide COVID-19 relief, including $3.1M to food banks and medical research partners, and $500,000 in a partnership to support schools feeding children in need during the summer.

Through Food Lion Feeds, the retailer’s hunger-relief platform, Food Lion has donated more than 500 million meals to individuals and families since 2014 through a combination of product, financial and equipment donations; disaster relief and recovery efforts; volunteer hours by associates; in-store retail campaigns; the company’s food rescue program. Food Lion has committed to donate 1 billion more meals by 2025.

For more information on Food Lion Feeds’ commitment to fight hunger, visit www.foodlion.com/feeds.

Duke Energy announces record-breaking year for solar energy in North Carolina

More Duke Energy customers used solar power in 2020 than ever before.

Catalyzed by the company’s five-year, $62 million solar rebate program, which helps pay for the sizable upfront cost of solar systems, about 5,500 Duke Energy customers installed private solar systems at their homes and businesses last year. Currently, more than 18,000 Duke Energy customers have a private solar system

“Our customers want more renewable energy and Duke Energy is making that a reality for them,” Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president, said in a news release. “We’re also connecting large-scale solar plants – owned and operated by Duke Energy and other developers.”

During 2020, Duke Energy connected almost 350 megawatts of solar power capacity, which could power roughly 60,000 homes. Significant projects included Duke’s 69-megawatt Maiden Creek solar facility in Catawba County and the 25-megawatt Gaston County solar facility in Bessemer City.

In total, Duke owns and operates more than 40 solar facilities in the state. North Carolina only trails California and Texas in the amount of solar power produced. Overall, Duke Energy has more than 3,700 MW of solar energy connected to its energy grid in the state.

In 2020, Duke Energy and most of the major solar industry developers in the Carolinas agreed to a defined process and timeline by which a substantial additional amount of new solar generation will be connected to the Duke Energy distribution system.

“Working with stakeholders will lead to more renewable energy in North Carolina at better prices for customers,” De May said. “Renewable energy will be a cornerstone of Duke Energy as we seek to reduce carbon emissions and generate cleaner energy.”

Almost 60% of Duke Energy’s generation in the Carolinas is carbon-free, with nuclear, solar and hydroelectric power being the leading sources of carbon-free generation.

The City of Charlotte, Bank of America and Duke University are all pursuing new solar projects under Duke’s Green Source Advantage program, which allows large energy users to negotiate directly with solar developers on independent solar projects.

At Fort Bragg, Duke plans to build a 1.1-megawatt floating solar system as part of a $36 million energy services effort, which will also include infrastructure modernization, lighting and water upgrades, heating, ventilation and air conditioning and boiler system improvements. The floating solar project will be on Big Muddy Lake located at Camp Mackall.

It’s not just the Carolinas where Duke Energy is expanding renewable energy. In 2019, Duke Energy met its company wide goal of owning and contracting for 8,000 MW of wind, solar and biomass generation around the nation.

In 2020, the company set a new goal of doubling that figure by 2025. Today, the company has a portfolio of roughly 57,000 megawatts of generation, which includes all fuel sources.

Greater Charlotte Apartment Association welcomes new president

In a virtual swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 28, Deidre Wilson will become the first woman of color to serve as board president of the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association in the organization’s 44-year history.

“I’m very proud to lead the board of the GCAA during this crucial time in our association’s

evolution,” Wilson said in a news release. “It’s my hope that the GCAA can continue to help this

community find creative solutions to the affordable housing crisis.”

Wilson is the regional manager with High Point-based Blue Ridge Companies. Wilson has spent her 25-year career focusing on multifamily in North and South Carolina. She has numerous professional awards and currently co-chairs the DEI committee for Blue Ridge Companies. Wilson is a long-time volunteer with local nonprofits, The Relatives, Urban Ministry Center and Samaritan House.

Her term as Board President will run through December 31, 2021. To read her full profile, visit

the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association website at www.greatercaa.org.

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