Town of Spencer Announces 2021-22 Hometown Innovation Grant

Oct 14, 2021

Partnership with Duke Energy Foundation and Salisbury Community Development Corporation to fund innovative storefront revitalization projects.

Randy Welch, Duke Energy’s District Manager for Gov Affairs/External Relations presented an award for the Hometown Innovation Grant program on behalf of the Duke Energy Foundation in late September. Pictured (left to right) are: Chanaka Yatawara – Salisbury Community Development Corporation; Peter Franzese – Town of Spencer; Randy Welch – Duke Energy; Amy Ray – Pinocchio’s of Spencer and Spencer Community Appearance Commission; Kyle Harris – Town of Spencer/Salisbury Community Development Corporation; Spencer Mayor Jonathan Williams; Skye Allan – Town of Spencer/Lead for North Carolina Fellow


SPENCER – The Town of Spencer is excited to announce the launch of the 2021-22 Hometown Innovation Grant, providing a transformational opportunity to improve storefronts in Spencer. This program is a unique, one-time competitive grant made possible by a collaboration among the Town of Spencer, the Duke Energy Foundation, and the Salisbury Community Development Corporation.

The program will provide grant assistance to eligible small businesses and organizations for enhancements to facades and for the introduction of new outdoor amenities such as seating, signage, planters, café fences, art, lighting, and more. Examples of eligible applicants include businesses, property owners, tenets, and civic/charitable organizations located along the Salisbury Avenue Corridor and within the Main Street district.

In August, the Board of Aldermen adopted a new policy for the Salisbury Avenue Corridor Improvement Grant. This enhanced the Town’s former “commercial façade grant” and was supported through an expanded budget of $10,000, allowing a maximum grant award to increase from $500 to $2,000 per project, on a 50/50 matching basis. The Town’s partners at the Salisbury Community Development Corporation subsequently received a generous award from the Duke Energy Foundation in the amount of $25,000 to administer a microgrant program.

In response, in October the Board of Aldermen approved a new, one-time Hometown Innovation Grant for the current fiscal year. The new grant leverages Spencer’s $10,000 grant program with the Duke Energy Foundation’s funding, using a streamlined, yet scalable process for applicants. Thanks to the Duke Energy funding, the Hometown Innovation Grant will provide up to $2,500 in funding to awarded projects with no match required. Projects of a larger scale (over $2,500) can request up to $2,000 more with a dollar-for-dollar match. For example, a larger project that would cost about $5,500 would be eligible to request a total of $4,000.

“The Town of Spencer is excited for this partnership with the Salisbury Community Development Corporation and the support from the Duke Energy Foundation to further enhance our commercial grant program,” said Town Manager Peter Franzese. “This level of support allows us to encourage transformational investments in the core of our Town and provide significant resources to local businesses and organizations. Thank you to everyone involved in making this possible.”

Grant guidelines prioritize creative and innovative design contributions and projects that transform blighted facades and inactive streetscapes. Full details, the application, and more information is available HERE. Program packets are also available in the front lobby of Town Hall, 600 South Salisbury Avenue. Prospective applicants are encouraged to carefully review the program guidelines to learn about eligibility and other requirements. The deadline to submit an application is 12:00 noon on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. All inquiries and application submittals should be sent to: Kyle Harris, Spencer Planning & Zoning Administrator, The Town anticipates the selection process to take place in December with awards announced in January 2022.



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