14 businesses in downtown Hendersonville receive pivot fund grants

Fourteen businesses in downtown Hendersonville received grants to support the “pivot” of their business model.

The Friends of Downtown Hendersonville, a non-profit organization that supports the vibrant downtown Hendersonville, established the program to encourage creative thinking among businesses while reducing the financial risk of undertaking a new project during the pandemic, according to a press release.

In 2021, the Friends of Downtown was one of 30 districts in downtown North Carolina to receive a $ 25,000 grant from Duke Energy’s Hometown Revitalization grant program.

The grants were assessed against three criteria: improvement of the external environment, potential for long-term viability, as well as creativity and innovation. Each beneficiary participated in a five-minute interview with the Downtown Advisory Council’s Economic Vitality team, the statement said.

The Pivot Fund grants were awarded to:

  • Black Bear Coffee – updated outdoor dining furniture
  • 2nd act – install outdoor dining furniture
  • Stir! A Unique Pet Boutique – new e-commerce website allowing curbside pickup or delivery
  • Dish Girl – Purchase of Equipment to Improve Live Social Media Sales
  • The Brandy Bar + Cocktails – income diversification with merchandise, website update
  • Oklawaha Brewing Company – expansion outside with a patio in the loading area
  • ECCO team – diversify programming by expanding educational offerings and modernizing technology
  • Safelight – improved store displays and updated sidewalk meals at Dandelion Cafe
  • Southern Appalachian Brewing – enclosed heated outdoor space
  • Moe’s Original BBQ – upgrading outdoor dining furniture and creating systems to keep the sidewalk dining room clean
  • D9 Brewing – purchase of outdoor heaters for sidewalk dining
  • Emma’s Baby Boutique – diversify income by purchasing a laser engraver to create personalized pieces for customers
  • The Poe House – updated outdoor dining furniture and radiators
  • Kingmaker’s Draft – diversify revenue by adding retail section, improved marketing and increased food menu

“We are delighted to offer this support to downtown businesses that will help address some of the challenges created by the pandemic,” said Jamie Carpenter, downtown manager for the City of Hendersonville. “Through Duke Energy, we are able to donate $ 25,000 to our downtown businesses so they can leverage these funds to support their ability to thrive in 2022.

The Friends of Downtown awarded nearly $ 6,000 in Pivot Grants in 2020-2021 with support from sponsors Van Winkle Law Firm and Bryan ‘b2’ Byrd, Realtor, according to the press release.