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Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce announces speaker for Power in Partnership Program

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce announced that North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette will speak at this month’s Power in Partnership Program scheduled for Oct. 15.

The virtual program will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will be held via Zoom.

Boyette was appointed as secretary of NCDOT in February 2020. He has more than 20 years of experience in state government and has served in various leadership roles with NCDOT, including stints as inspector general and Division of Motor Vehicles commissioner.

Boyette earned a Bachelor of science from Barton College and resides in Kenly with his wife Dana, daughter Morgan and son Jay.

The rest of the 2020-21 PIP programs include:

  • Nov. 19 – Kenny Colbert, NC Employers Association
  • Dec. 17 – Inspirational Speaker
  • Jan. 21 – NC Economic Development Chris Chung
  • Feb. 18 – State Legislative Breakfast 
  • March 18 – Salute to Agri-business
  • April 16 – Healthcare Speaker, sponsored by Novant Health Rowan Medical Center
  • May 20 – Steve Chandler, Chandler Thinks on Rowan Brand

The Leadership Rowan class will begin their day at the Power in Partnership event and then venture out for a session focused on different aspects of Rowan County.

The Chamber is offering a “Power Card,” which offers a discounted price for the entire Power in Partnership series. The card costs $99 for chamber members and $225 for non-members.

The deadline to reserve a spot at the Power in Partnership event is Tuesday, Oct. 13 by 5 p.m. The cost is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. For more information, call 704-633-4221 or email the chamber at info@rowanchamber.com.

Food Lion adding pick-up service locations

SALISBURY — Food Lion is adding to its “Food Lion To-Go” grocery pick-up service. The following locations are joining others in offering the service:

• 123 Mahaley Ave., Salisbury

• 1460 S. Main Street, China Grove

• 358 Oak Avenue Mall, Kannapolis

Customers can use the  website or app to confirm availability and place orders.

State’s manufacturing grade falls

SALISBURY — The grade for North Carolina manufacturing fell from a C+ to a C in a new report from Ball State University.

The lower ranking was unveiled in Ball State’s 2020 Manufacturing Scorecard, which is produced by the university’s Center for Business and Economic Research. Ball State formulates the grades after analyzing how each state ranks among its peers in several areas of the economy that underlie the success of manufacturing and logistics.

Here’s a breakdown of the grades North Carolina received for particular aspects of manufacturing:

Logistics: C 

Human capital: C  

Worker benefit costs: C 

Tax climate: B (down from a B+ last year)

Expected Fiscal Liability: A 

Global reach:  C+ 

Sector diversification: B+  

Productivity and innovation: A 

More information about Ball State’s manufacturing scorecard can be found at https://mfgscorecard.cberdata.org/.

Carolina Caring expands Cardinal Kids Program

SALISBURY — Carolina Caring recently expanded its Cardinal Kids Program to serve the children of Rowan County.

Made possible through a grant from the Duke Endowment, the Cardinal Kids Program has provided palliative and hospice care throughout a multi-county area since 2019 to children and families who face the challenges of a serious illness.

“Children who have a serious illness often have complex medical needs that require multiple physicians and caregivers,” Pediatrician Dr. Brooke Hata said in a news release. “My job as a Cardinal Kids physician is to work with families to coordinate care and provide an extra layer of support to address the holistic needs of each child while finding ways to help them live their best life.”

The Cardinal Kids Program boasts a specialized health care team that includes doctors, nurses, social workers and chaplains who conduct regular visits, mostly in the home, for children of all ages, whether their disease is curable, chronic or life-threatening.

More information about the Cardinal Kids program can be found by visiting CarolinaCaring.org or call 828-466-0466.

 

 

Grant to provide funding for Black  entrepreneurs

SALISBURY — North Carolina IDEA and the North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council recently announced the ECOSYSTEM Grant, which will provide funding to support the entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina.

Applications will be accepted beginning Monday from 501(c)(3) and for profit organizations throughout the state that are executing ideas that will elevate Black entrepreneurship. Applicants can request any amount of funding up to $50,000. In total, $500,000 in total funding will be distributed.

“By partnering with organizations focused on economically empowering Black people with entrepreneurship, we will collectively work to combat racial disparities and ensure more individuals are given the opportunity to reach their full entrepreneurial potential, which is better for the overall health of the economy,” Thom Ruhe, CEO and president of NC IDEA, said in a news release.

Final submissions for the ECOSYSTEM Grant are due by 5 p.m. on Nov. 2. Grant award notifications will be sent on Dec. 11. For more information, visit ncidea.org/grants-programs/north-carolina-black-entrepreneurship-council/.

 

Kannapolis awards nonprofit grants

KANNAPOLIS — The Kannapolis City Council recently approved $190,725 in nonprofit grants for 13 local organizations that will be used for preparing, preventing and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These are the organizations that received grants:

  • Academic Learning Center – $10,000 to be used for after-school tutoring, stipends and supplies
  • AYA House Inc .- $17,000 to be used for increasing rehabilitation bed space and PPE supplies
  • Bethel Enrichment Center – $5,000 to be used for daily feeding and holiday baskets
  • Boys and Girls Club – $17,500 to be used for personal protective equipment supplies and educational and enrichment activities to assist in adjusting school schedules
  • Cabarrus Health Interest – $10,000 to be used for financial support for Cabarrus Health Alliance Patients
  • Community Free Clinic – $13,225 to be used for equipment and Wi-Fi for Community Free Clinic patients and virtual instruction
  • Elder Orphan Care – $25,000 to be used for food and personal protective equipment for the elderly and disabled
  • Feeding Kannapolis Hunger – $10,000 to be used for fresh produce and vegetable giveaways
  • Operation Homeless – $5,000 to be used for transportation, utilities and housing assistance
  • Raised Ministries – $18,000 to be used for a community garden
  • Rowan Cabarrus YMCA – $40,000 to be used for PPE supplies and the Y Academy created in partnership with Kannapolis City Schools
  • Unity United Methodist Church – $10,000 to be used for hot meals for the elderly and disabled
  • Vision for Life – $10,000 to be used for a remote learning program

Kannapolis has received a total of $230,437 in federal funding from the CARES ACT, which are allocated through the Community Development Block Grant program. 

In June, the Kannapolis City Council approved distributing the funds to non-profit agencies responding to the Coronavirus. At that time, the council allotted $100,000 to Cooperative Christian Ministries to assist with rent, utility and mortgage payments for low and moderate income residents.

Students to tour Henkel facility

SALISBURY — Students from several Rowan County high schools will virtually tour Henkel’s Salisbury facility to see how the company manufactures products for brands such as Loctite, Technomelt and Bonderite.

The virtual tour is a part of Manufacturing Day, which kicks off on Oct. 2. Students from North Rowan High School, West Rowan High School, East Rowan High School, Salisbury High School, Henderson Independent High School and Carson High School will tour on Oct. 8-9. 

The tour was originally scheduled to be in person, but was transitioned into a virtual event due to COVID-19.

“As we rebound from this pandemic, we will need creators in this industry making Manufacturing Day 2020 as relevant and important as ever,” Carolyn Lee, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute, said in a news release. “We appreciate our manufacturing partners, like Henkel, who are committed to educating and exciting the next generation, who will ultimately define the continued success of modern manufacturing in America.”

During the tours, students will learn about the technologies Henkel uses in the adhesives industry through a guided video tour, in addition to a virtual Q&A session with site leaders.

 

Arts Council sets Nov. 16 as deadline to apply for Grassroots Grants

SALISBURY — The Rowan Arts Council has announced Monday, Nov. 16, as the deadline for the 2020-21 Grassroots Grants applications. 

Since 1977, the North Carolina Arts Council’s Grassroots Arts Program has provided the state’s citizens with access to quality arts experiences by funding arts in all 100 counties. The Rowan Arts Council serves as North Carolina Arts Council’s partner in awarding subgrants to local organizations for programs in the county.

Applications for the Grassroots Grants should be non-profit organizations whose purpose is to promote and develop diverse cultural arts programming in Rowan County. Grassroots funds are not generally awarded to arts organizations that receive funding through the North Carolina Arts Council’s General Support Program. To be eligible for this grant, projects must occur between July 1, 2020 and May 15, 2021.

Application forms and grant guidelines are available on the Rowan Arts Council website at visitsalisburync.com/arts-counil/grants/grassroots.

The Rowan Arts Council will also mail applications and guidelines upon request. For questions or more information, contact Rowan Arts Council at 704-638-3100 or email rowanarts@visitsalisburync.com.

Grant can help small businesses expand online

SALISBURY — A North Carolina grant may be able to help local small businesses expand their online presence in a time when digital commerce has been more important than ever before.

North Carolina was recently awarded a $618,640 federal grant through the State Trade Expansion Program to help small businesses grow their exports during a year when COVID-19 is requiring a shift to doing international business virtually rather than in-person. This is the 9th year that North Carolina has received the award to help businesses of fewer than 500 employees begin exporting or enter new markets.

“Because the risks of the pandemic have crippled travel and canceled in-person trade events around the world, STEP now has even more flexibility to help exporters generate global sales leads online ― through exhibiting at virtual trade events and localizing their websites in other countries,” John Loyack, vice president of Economic Development Partnership or North Carolina global business services, said in a news release. “During a pandemic, connecting online with potential international buyers and distributors is more important than ever.”

With that in mind, the STEP grant’s eligibility was expanded to businesses participating in virtual trade shows or missions.

STEP can now reimburse a small business up to $5,000 during the year for registering a booth in an in-person or virtual international trade show, up to $6,000 for related foreign-language translation of marketing materials, and up to $3,000 for airfare and lodging connected to an in-person event.

STEP also offers up to $10,000 to help a small business pay for translation and search-engine optimization of its website in two global markets.

The EDPNC assists over 150 businesses a year through STEP support of activities including trade shows, translations, and export education.

Companies interested in applying for the STEP grant should email the EDPNC international trade division at ITD@edpnc.com.

$12 million in grants to help minority,  women-owned businesses

SALISBURY — North Carolina minority and women-owned businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic will now have access to $12 million in grants to help them recover, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Thursday.

The North Carolina Department of Administration launched a new grant program, called RETOOLNC, to help Historically Underutilized Businesses and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms impacted by coronavirus.

“We want businesses to have access to resources so they can navigate the pandemic and continue to serve their communities, and we know that some businesses have historically had a harder time getting the help they need,” Cooper said in a news release. “COVID-19 is shining a spotlight on inequities for communities of color in North Carolina, including in our economy, and this program is a good step forward.” 

RETOOLNC will provide eligible HUB and DBE firms an opportunity to receive up to $25,000 in grant funding. The program was created under Cooper’s executive order No. 143 to address disparities in communities of color exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with $12 million in grants, guidance will be offered through the RETOOLNC program.

“Historically underutilized businesses are significant to our state’s economy as they bring not only diverse and inclusive entrepreneurship but innovative solutions that help our communities thrive,” NC Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders said in a news release. “Due to COVID-19, many HUB firms are at risk of closing permanently. The RETOOLNC program seeks to alter the current trajectory, offering resources to keep the doors of minority and women-owned businesses open.”

Since the onset of COVID-19, many minority- and women-owned businesses have closed nationwide. According to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Black-owned businesses are down 41%, Latinx-businesses have declined 32% Asian-owned businesses are down 2%, and women-owned businesses have declined 25%.

North Carolina certified HUBs and DBEs must meet the following criteria to receive funding from the RETOOLNC program.

Eligible Businesses must: 

  • Have been operating for one year
  • Be certified with NCHUB or NCDOT DBE
  • Be an independent business located within North Carolina
  • Be a business with up to 50 employees or less (including but not limited to, sole proprietorships, home based businesses, LLCs, and independent contractors)
  • Not have annual revenues exceeding $1,500,000 
  • Not be delinquent on North Carolina State income taxes 
  • Not have any active bankruptcies or tax liens

To learn more about the RETOOLNC initiative, visit the NC HUB Office website for details. HUB firms interested in receiving state certification can email hub.retoolnc@doa.nc.gov or call 984-236-0148 for assistance.

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