Re-open, Re-stock, Re-cover (Re-3)   
A Grant Program for Downtown Wilmington Businesses


Goal:  The Re-stock, Re-open, Re-cover (Re-3) program is a small grant designed to help businesses in Downtown Wilmington sustain or restart operations caused by disruptions from the COVID-19 epidemic and social distancing measures.  Grants of up to $3,000 will be made to small businesses for job creation or retention, inventory growth, marketing and other related business expenses.

Eligibility:  Any business located in Downtown Wilmington is eligible to apply. The area is bounded by the River, Bridge to Bridge and 5th Avenue.  Businesses along Castle Street to 16th Street and in the Soda Pop District, Cargo District and SoFo (South Front District) are also eligible to apply. 

The idea is simple, if we provide a $3,000 grant, how would you use the money to Re-open, Re-stock and Re-cover?  Would a merchant buy new shopping bags for the store?  Would a restaurant purchase frozen foods to have at the ready when diners start returning?  Would a gift shop order more knick-knacks to have on hand?  Would a gallery buy new artwork to re-sell? Would merchants buy ads with local media outlets to publicize their business?  Would you update your social media capacity to spur internet sales right now?  Would you bring back key employees to help run the business?  All of these and more are eligible.

Application: The program has a one page application form.  As we also want to help put a human and local face to these grants, organizers also want a 60 second or less video explaining who you are, what the business does and how the funds will be used.  The video can be done with a smartphone and does not need to be professionally done or polished.  While we encourage creativity, it can be funny, heartfelt, serious or matter of fact.  Re-3 organizers intend to post all submitted videos.  

Award of Funds:  A task force comprised of major donors to the Re-3 program will review all submissions and make awards at their full discretion.  All decisions are final and based on the availability of funds.  Criteria that will be used include:

  • Impact of funds to help the small businesses re-open, re-stock or re-cover from COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Ground-floor storefront locations.
  • Size of the business.
  • Ability of the funds to help sustain current business operations.
  • Story told in the video.

Source of Funds:  Seed money for the Re-3 Grant program was generously donated by the Longleaf Foundation.  No government money will be used for any grant awards.  Organizers want to help as many small businesses in Downtown as possible.  Wilmington Downtown Incorporated (WDI) is managing and administering the program. 

What to contribute?  Area residents who want to support locally owned and operated businesses in Wilmington, NC are welcome to contribute.  WDI is designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501c3 and can accept tax deductible donations on behalf of this grant program.  WDI undergoes and independent audit each year. For additional information, email Phone WDI at 910.763.7349.

To donate to the program, use the button below.