Massive Demand for Local Grant Program Prompts Appeal for Additional Donations to Help Our Downtown Businesses
Wilmington, NC – After Wilmington Downtown Incorporated (WDI) and the Longleaf Foundation announced the Re-3 grant program on Monday, our community responded with tremendous enthusiasm and in very large numbers. This grant program is laser-focused on the local economy and was created to help Downtown businesses impacted by COVID-19 re-stock, re-open, and re-cover.
Within 24-hours of the announcement, Re-3 grant applications had already exceeded available funding and, as of this release, applications continue to roll into WDI’s office. Therefore, in an effort to help as many entrepreneurs and small business owners in the greater Downtown area as possible, WDI is requesting additional donations to expand the reach of this initiative.
Individuals or companies interested in donating to the Re-3 program should click here or phone 910.763.7349 for more information. People can make tax-deductible, online contributions using PayPal or a credit card and earmark funds for the Re-3 program.
“WDI is doing everything possible to help our small businesses,” said Dane Scalise, Chair of the nonprofit group. “Many people are struggling, and this incredible response to Re-3 shows that our small business community needs all the help it can get from whatever sources are available. Additional donations from area residents and companies will allow us to assist even more small shops, restaurants, galleries, pubs, and their workers as they navigate these economic headwinds,” he said. Scalise also released a video appeal.
In addition to the Re-3 fund, WDI has also identified other ways to help small businesses stay afloat. The organization published a list of Downtown restaurants offering take-out or curbside service. They also highlighted shops with gift certificates so people can buy now and shop later from various Downtown stores. The information is updated frequently and can be viewed here.
“Entrepreneurs and small business owners have multiple responsibilities,” said WDI President Ed Wolverton. “In addition to paying rent or mortgage for their own homes, these
entrepreneurs have a second or third layer of expenses for renting and operating a storefront or commercial space. Add in other costs for things like inventory and supplies and these extra financial burdens create even more stress on these shop and restaurant owners,” he said.
WDI will accept Re-3 applications until 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020. Award decisions will be made quickly and grant funds will be released to recipients immediately. All awards are subject to available funding.
About Wilmington Downtown Incorporated
Wilmington Downtown, Inc. (WDI) is a public-private partnership agency that promotes the economic growth and development of Downtown Wilmington and is a tax-exempt 501c3 organization.
Dane Scalise, WDI Chair
Ed Wolverton, WDI President & CEO