Friends of Downtown Hendersonville Receives $25,000 from Duke Energy Foundation to Expand Business Support

Friends of Downtown Hendersonville Receives $25,000 from Duke Energy Foundation to Expand Business Support

September 29, 2021 - The Friends of Downtown Hendersonville is one of 30 organizations in North Carolina to receive a $25,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to expand their pivot grant program which supports businesses in the Main Street and 7th Avenue Districts to creatively adapt their operations in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

“While entrepreneurs and small businesses are built to deal with the unexpected, the pandemic delivered an unprecedented challenge. The Duke Energy Hometown Revitalization grant gives the Friends of Downtown Hendersonville the opportunity to deliver targeted support for entrepreneur-led adaptation to these challenges and puts our community and organization in a position to help support smart, resilient businesses,” said Lew Holloway, executive director, Friends of Downtown Hendersonville. 

Each community was awarded $25,000 through a partnership with a local nonprofit to establish a small-business support microgrant program to deploy the funding within their local community. Microgrants may range from $500 to $2,500 per individual business. Hendersonville was ahead of the curve by already having an established program that granted $6,200 to 9 businesses downtown for the purpose of supporting expanded outdoor dining, shifts to virtual operation, and initiatives related to the LoveHendo Saturday Open Street activity held monthly during the pandemic. Ultimately, the 9 projects leveraged more than $49,000 in overall investment.  

The Friends of Downtown Hendersonville partnered with the City of Hendersonville’s Downtown Advisory Board to initiate the project through their Economic Vitality Team. This subcommittee works to find solutions to business concerns and issues within Downtown Hendersonville. “We wanted to find ways to support businesses and foster innovation and creativity,” said Caroline Gunther, owner of Wag! A Unique Pet Boutique and chair of the Downtown Advisory Board. "We’re thrilled to be able to offer more to our downtown business community so Downtown Hendersonville can continue to thrive.”  

Pivot Grants in 2020 were funded by Van Winkle Law Firm and Bryan 'b2' Byrd – Realtor. 

With the addition of the Duke Energy grant funds, the Economic Vitality Team will revise the application process and present a new application for the next round of Pivot Grants in the coming weeks.  

Learn more about the Duke Energy Hometown Revitalization Grants across North Carolina here.   


Businesses can find out information and apply for a grant here. Applications are due November 15 - NO EXCEPTIONS!

About the Friends of Downtown Hendersonville: 

The Friends of Downtown Hendersonville exist to identify, preserve and enhance the key factors that contribute to the authentic small town urban character of historic downtown Hendersonville.  

For more information, visit