For $10K County Grants, Recipients Announced

By Vicky Janowski and Cece Nunn, posted Jun 23, 2020
New Hanover County has awarded 130 local small businesses with $10,000 each through the county’s Small Business Economic Incentive Grant Program, releasing the names of the recipients Tuesday.

The investment of $1.3 million in local small businesses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic was officially announced and approved by the Board of Commissioners on June 1, with applications being accepted through June 5, according to a news release.

Art in Bloom Gallery owner Amy Grant, one of the grant recipients, said the recent economic slowdown has caused the downtown Wilmington gallery’s team to reconsider everything they do.

“One major impact is an increase in overhead costs in order to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy. Also, the gallery is in survival mode, and I cut costs as much as possible due to the uncertainty and unpredictability of each day, week and month,” she said. “We want people to stay safe and shelter in place as needed.”

She described the funding as timely for the gallery, which is on Princess Street in downtown Wilmington.

“The gallery is experiencing increased overhead expenses due to COVID-19. For example, with the grant funding, I am purchasing masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies, so the gallery may stay open by appointment at least through the end of the year as long as we are permitted to have people in the building,” Grant said. “We offer all visitors masks and hand sanitizer during appointments in the gallery.

"The grant will also help retain our employees. This includes the employees working from home to continue our art sales via our website and to continue to tell the stories of our extraordinary artists and their original art.”

Around 800 businesses applied for the grants program, and 130 businesses were chosen using a random lottery selection.

“New Hanover County supports our businesses, our workforce and our entire community – and this grants program is a reflection of that,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman in the release. “Investing this money into local entrepreneurs and locally-owned business was the goal of this program, because we know how much they have sacrificed over the past three months. Their business models have had to change, their operations have been severely impacted, but they continue to persevere and weather this pandemic.”

According to the release, the awardees represent a cross section of the business community, including bars, restaurants, retail stores, hair and nail salons, small medical outlets, fitness studios, machine shops, print shops, art studios, coffee shops and more. Of the 130 businesses selected, 63 percent are owned by women and minorities, the release stated.

“That’s 82 minority- and women-owned business being funded, which helps further New Hanover County’s priority to make our community more inclusive and more welcoming to diverse workers and businesses,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet in the release.

The STEM Labs in Mayfaire Town Center, which offers STEM-related programs for children, was another one of the grant recipients.

“Our mission is to support the community by providing educational programs and tutoring for children. We are very grateful for these funds, as they help us to safely reopen our center and continue with this mission,” co-founder Tina Catalone said in an email Tuesday.

Betsy Kahn, owner and president of Copycat Print Shop on South Kerr Avenue in Wilmington, said the grant is a welcome part of the financial safeguard her business has sought in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

She said in an email Tuesday that Copycat Print Shop was "honored to have been one of the 130 county businesses to have received a $10k grant to be applied to COVID response measures. We were just notified of this a week or so ago and are just digging into how it has been/will be used."

The Small Business Grants Program was created using federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the county "has utilized third-party administrators to help ensure a fairly-distributed and well-managed process. Wilmington Business Development (WBD) assisted the county in collecting applications and ensuring documentation was complete, and Live Oak Bank is disbursing the funds to the 130 awardees," according to the release.

The distribution of grant funds to all 130 businesses is expected to take place over the next week.

The recipients are:

90 Nails
A Creative Touch Inc
Act 1
After School Karate Academy
Amplify LLC
Antojitos Wilmington LLC
Aromatic Holdings, LLC
Art in Bloom LLC
Azalea's Mattress & Furniture Inc
Back In Motion Chiropractic Inc
Bahita Enterprises Inc
Bangz Hair Salon LLC
BAU Print and Mail Inc
Behavioral Consulting for Autism LLC
Bike Cycles LLC
Bottega Art and Wine
Bullock LLC
Cape Fear Developmental Therapies PLLC
Cape Fear Solar Systems LLC
Cardinal Bands Billiards LLC
Care O Lina Hearing Center Professionals Inc
Carolina Print and Ship Inc
Castle Hayne Coin LLC
Cataract Consultants PA
Cathy H Norton
Cheeky Monkey Coffee Company LLC
Christina Rivenbark and Associates
Coastal CDC, LLC
Coastal Neuropsychological Services
Copycat Print Shop Inc
Crafty Crabbies LLC
Creator's Print House LLC
Crossley McIntosh Collier Hanley & Edes PLLC
CryoCove LLC
Crystal Clear Shine LLC
Dance Exchange Inc
David Creech Law Firm
Dog Speak Inc
Dorian Corporation
Dr Michael Goins
Dr Panchal PA
Eco Chic Blossoms LLC
Edward L. Paul, Jr., OD, Phd, PA
Elsewhere Salon LLC
Flack Inc
Flavors Catering LLC
Four Star Specialties LLC
Fun Bowl Inc
Fuwangz LLC
Gott Law PLLC
Graybar Chiropractic & Rehab Centers Inc
Greatest American Pie LLC
Growing Into Health Program LLC
Half United Inc
Hallelu LLC
Hanover Pediatrics
High Performance Lighting & Power Inc
Holly Aiken Bags Inc
Integrity Builders LLC
Isosceles Pharmaceuticals Inc
Juggling Gypsy
K9000 Dog Wash USA LLC
KLK Management LLC
Kwik Kuts Hair Salon
Learning Bridge Development Center LLC
Lee's Tackle Inc
Lennon Gardner Fitness LLC
Leslie P Plasky DDS & Associates PLLC
Lucky Joe Inc
Mama Hasi's Kitchen Inc
Matthew Sylvan Lawson DMD PA
MCW Enterprise Inc
Men's Hair Care
Mi Ranchito Western Wear
Mr. David's Coiffure's Inc
Music & More Inc
Myla de Franco
Network Real Estate Inc of Wilmington
Norma J. Cortez DDS PA
OCD Fitness Inc
Oliver Clothing Inc
Olsen Farm of Wilmington LLLP
Panacea Brewing Company LLC
Patricia A Zachry
Peace Rose Montessori of Wilmington LLC
Pink & Pink Baking Co
Pro Nails & Spa
Queen Nail
Redix II Inc
Reel Cuisine, Inc.
Rett Inc
Rice Law PLLC
Rigi Inc
RL Tipper LLC
RN Foods LLC
Rodea's Enterprise Inc
S. Warren Phillips Jr DDS MS PA
Sara Clair Moore
Satellite Army Inc
Seven Seas LLC
She Loves Me Flower Co
Silverceiling LLC
Slice Beach Inc
Southern Water Conditioning of Wilmington NC
Springer Studios LLC
Takesha Grady
T-Biscuit Inc
The Calhoun Group LLC
The Fairy Circle LLC
The Second Glass LLC
The Sign Company of Wilmington
Treman & Treman DDS PA
TS Brown Jewelry Inc
TW Lewis Electric Inc
Upstage Beauty Inc
USA Nails
Wilmington Dental Health Staffing LLC
Wilmington Homebrew Supply Corp
Wilmington Machinery Inc
Wilmington Optometry PA
Wilmington Rock Gym LLC
Winner Enterprises of Carolina Beach LLC
Young Memories Learning Center LLC
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