Downtown Durham Inc

Renaissance Downtown Durham Awards Grants to 14 Small Businesses, Funded by a Duke Energy Foundation Hometown Revitalization Grant

Durham, N.C. – Renaissance Downtown Durham, the 501 (c)(3) organization affiliated with Downtown Durham, Inc., will award 14 small businesses almost $30,000 to help them recover from the impact of Covid-19. Funded primarily by a $25,000 Hometown Revitalization Grant from Duke Energy Foundation, ReDD’s Downtown Durham Strong grant program will reimburse businesses for up to $2,500 in expenses as they continue to pivot and respond to the ongoing challenges of COVID.

“Downtown Durham’s small businesses have weathered an extremely challenging few years,” said Nicole J. Thompson, Downtown Durham, Inc.’s president and CEO. “From an explosion that damaged multiple businesses in the Brightleaf District to the economic devastation brought on by the pandemic, these businesses have overcome one hurdle after another.

“The Duke Energy Hometown Revitalization Grant program has provided vital support and help to strengthen these small businesses as they recover, rebound and reinvent in this new economy. We were thrilled to be able to use these funds to help our downtown businesses succeed.”

Fourteen businesses submitted applications for grants of $500-$2,500. Funds can be used to reimburse business expenses incurred since March 2020 or for new expenses generated as businesses respond to the ongoing challenges of COVID.

“We were able to cover 12 of the 14 grant requests with funds from the Duke Energy Foundation Hometown Revitalization grant,” Thompson said. “We were so close to being able to award grants to all of the applicants that we stretched to find the resources to fund them all. Thanks to the generous donations from DDI’s Partners in Progress, we made it happen.”

Downtown Durham Strong Grant Recipients

5 Points Gallery
The 360 Approach
Bull City Burger & Brewery
Durty Bull Brewing Company
Empower Dance Studio
Gavin Christianson Bridal
The Glass Jug Beer Lab
Indian Monsoon Restaurant & Bar
MODE Consignment Boutique
Pompieri Pizza
The Slush
Vert & Vogue
The ZEN Succulent

Nine of the 14 Downtown Durham Strong grants went to woman-owned businesses, and six grants went to minority-owned businesses.

“DDI has made a commitment to helping ensure that downtown reflects Durham’s diversity,” Thompson said. “An important part of that commitment is doing everything we can to encourage and support small minority and woman-owned businesses. The Hometown Revitalization grant gave us the perfect opportunity to do so.”


For more than 25 years, Downtown Durham, Inc. has been the economic development engine for downtown Durham, NC. Downtown Durham is home to more than 55 retail stores, 120 restaurants and bars, and 4,000 residential units – all in an area just under one square mile. As the entity responsible for the business improvement district, DDI provides resources to keep downtown Durham clean and safe, and to attract visitors and residents to downtown businesses, venues and events. For more information, visit

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