Burnsville, which has a statue of its namesake Capt. Otway Burns, will receive a $200,000 grant from the state Main Street Solutions Fund. Photo courtesy of the Yancey County Chamber of Commerce.

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From the State of North Carolina Office of Gov. Bev Perdue, shared April 21:

RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that seven communities will receive more than $969,000 through the state’s Main Street Solutions Fund. The small businesses that benefit from the Main Street Solutions grants will create or retain a minimum of 119 permanent and 57 part-time jobs in addition to 84 construction jobs, according to the grant applications.

For every $1 invested by the state, an additional $4.21 will be invested by the local communities, bringing the total public/private investments to just over $4 million. These funds will be used to provide direct support to North Carolina small businesses with revitalization activities that include commercial building rehabilitation, facade improvements, LEED certification energy efficiency and code improvements.

“Small businesses create more jobs than any other part of the economy, and we are helping to bring those jobs to our communities,” Gov. Perdue said. “These grants will support some of the most creative and innovative economic development work being done today. Main Streets can be at the heart of North Carolina’s economic recovery with the right support and investment. The small businesses and other economic partners in our downtown areas will be stronger for this important investment.”

Gov. Perdue knows that main street is the backbone of the small town local economy. Developing main street in small towns is key to spurring economic growth in communities that have been hit hard by the global economic recession. Gov. Perdue’s Main Street Solutions program helps increase economic activity through public/private redevelopment, historic preservation and small business assistance. Today’s announcement is the second round of funding through the Main Street Solutions program. To date, the program has handed out nearly $3 million in grants with an expected $13 million in additional public/private investments.

Grant awardees and amounts are:

  • Benson: $41,389
  • Kinston: $200,000
  • Goldsboro: $200,000
  • Burnsville: $200,000
  • Highlands, $200,000
  • Sylva, $47,382, and
  • Newton, $80,830.
  • 2011 Main Street Solutions Fund Grant Awardees and Projects
    Editor’s note: List here highlights Western North Carolina recipients.

    Awardees: Town of Burnsville, Burnsville Main Street Advisory Board, Nu Wray Inn.
    Name of Project: Nu Wray Inn Home Cooking School.
    Description of Project: The Main Street Solutions Fund application seeks funding for the renovation of a portion of the Nu Wray Inn, located in downtown Burnsville, for a Home Cooking School. The school is an expansion of the traditional “Inn” concept and is designed to position Burnsville as a destination for two-to-three-day workshops and retreats that will educate visitors about the Appalachian culture through food, crafts, music and culture. Eleven permanent full-time positions and six permanent part-time jobs will be created in association with this project, plus construction jobs.

    Awardees: Town of Highlands, Highlands Small Town Main Street Committee, Kilwin’s, TJ Bailey for Men, Spoiled Rotten, 4118 Brew Pub, Lupoli Construction.
    Name of Project: Town Square Renovation (a private development project).
    Description of Project: The Main Street Solutions Fund application seeks funding to renovate the common space, specifically public restrooms and the courtyard area, in “Town Square,” a private development project in downtown Highlands. The courtyard houses four existing businesses that will directly benefit from these improvements. The businesses will create or retain 23 permanent full-time jobs, 10 permanent part-time jobs, plus 84 construction jobs.

    Awardees: Town of Sylva, Downtown Sylva Association, Jean Ensley, David Schulman, Annie’s Bakery Cafe, Velero Convenience Store, Speedy’s Pizza, Tina Maries Barber Shop, Western Southern Life Insurance, Family Dollar, Sylva Insurance, Penumbra, Peebles.
    Name of Project: The Mill Street Renewal Project.
    Description of Project: The Main Street Solutions Fund application seeks funding to assist with the complete renovation of the facades that line Mill Street and to complete parking lot improvements to a private lot that supports several of the small businesses that front Mill Street. The nine businesses that will directly benefit from the funds will retain a total of 57 permanent full-time jobs and nine permanent part-time jobs.

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    Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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