Release Date: April 6,2020

Press Release: New Grant Program Launched to Assist Wilmington Downtown Businesses


Wilmington, NC – COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the entire nation, including the over 875 businesses and 10,900 employees in Downtown Wilmington.  In an effort to help small businesses and local entrepreneurs in Downtown, the Longleaf Foundation and Wilmington Downtown, Inc. (WDI) are pleased to announce a new program: Re-3.


Re-3 stands for re-stock, re-open, and re-cover. Re-3 will make grants of up to $3,000 to help Downtown businesses and entrepreneurs add inventory, stay open, and recover from the economic turmoil caused by COVID-19. Like WDI’s OverFlo program in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, Re-3 grants will be funded completely by private donations.


“In challenging times like this, every dollar counts,” said WDI Chair Dane Scalise. “WDI wants to leverage Longleaf Foundation’s generous gift to spur more donations to help Downtown businesses and entrepreneurs. My company, Griffin-Estep Benefit Group, will be donating to this noble cause and I hope many others will join us.”


The Re-3 program is open to any business in Downtown, Castle Street, Soda Pop District, Cargo District, and South Front (SoFo) District. Funds can be used for a variety of business purposes. Program details and an online application are available at  The application has a few questions to answer and requests a short video to describe how the funds would be used.  


WDI will accept applications until 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020. This program is intended to be nimble and fast given the financial strain currently facing many small business owners. Therefore, award decisions will be made quickly, and grant funds will be released to recipients immediately.  All awards are subject to available funding.


Businesses or individuals interested in supporting the Re-3 program should visit or phone 910.763.7349 for more information.  People can make a tax-deductible donation to WDI and earmark funds for the Re-3 program.


“WDI is excited to be part of this collaboration to help lead recovery efforts in Downtown and across the community,” said WDI President Ed Wolverton.  “Many people are hurting, and this will provide another meaningful way for our community to move forward”

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