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Duke Energy Boosts Economic Development and Job Growth with $275,000 in Urban Redevelopment Grants

 

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Communities and residents across southwest Ohio and Northern Kentuckycontinue to benefit from Duke Energy's Urban Revitalization program, which announced its 2018 grant recipients today. Since its launch in 2011, the Urban Revitalization program has issued $2.2 million in grants to 65 projects – including $275,000 to nine projects in 2018.

Video: Urban Revitalization program spurs positive change in Ohio and Kentucky

"We continue to back the Urban Revitalization program because, year after year, the catalyst grants have proven to spur additional redevelopment in urban cores across Greater Cincinnati," said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. "This redevelopment, in turn, improves the lives of our customers and vitality of our communities by creating jobs and new opportunities for residents throughout our region."

Urban Revitalization program traces roots to Great Recession

In 2010, with the struggling economy, Duke Energy recognized that this was an opportune time to increase its investment in Greater Cincinnati's urban centers and help deter the decline of inner-core cities and neighborhoods.

"Our thinking was that a strong community starts with the urban core," said Spiller. "Without a strong core, your community is weak. And that was the premise around our decision to create the Urban Revitalization program – that everyone in the community can make a difference; that a small investment can serve as a catalyst, to help do a lot for our urban cores. Because building strong communities starts with core economic development investments and jobs for the community."

Projects must have the community's support from elected officials, be included in the community strategic plans and display collaboration among economic or urban development organizations.

The Duke Energy Foundation accepted 2018 Urban Revitalization grant applications in April and May. After the grant application window closed, an advisory team composed of community leaders from both Ohio and Kentucky – all of whom have vested interests in urban redevelopment – perused each application and recommended projects to receive Urban Revitalization grants in 2018.

When reviewing grant applications, the advisory team ranked projects based on their potential to impact blight, job creation, building vacancies, workforce retraining opportunities, business retention or expansion, or other elements of revitalization.

Here are summaries of the projects that were awarded grants today.

Ohio

  • Community Matters Cincinnati Inc.$20,000 for LPH Thrives in Lower Price HillReduce blight and transform five properties into new storefronts for local businesses near Eighth and State streets and Neave and St. Michael streets.
  • College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corp.$40,000 for Marquette Building in College HillRedevelopment of the historic Marquette Building into a mixed-use building including a bakery and ice cream shop, large startup incubator and co-working space, and more space for The Lord's Bounty – a nonprofit resale shop that has called College Hill home for 35 years.
  • Hamilton County Development Corp.$20,000 for small business coaching in NorwoodOne-on-one mentoring and coaching from an experienced business professional to help small businesses in Norwood refine their business plans, sharpen marketing, improve operations and grow.
  • Hamilton County Development Corp.$20,000 for small business coaching in LocklandHamilton County Development Corp. will match business experts with Lockland business owners for one-on-one coaching. The goal is to help local businesses enhance their business and marketing strategies, boost operations and grow sales.

Kentucky

  • Center for Great Neighborhoods$40,000 for Orchard Park Place in CovingtonTransform a prominent vacant and blighted lot into a new community asset and inexpensive commercial spaces for two creative businesses to expand their work and create full-time job opportunities.
  • Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky$30,000 for Ludlow Yards in LudlowConversion of a 1-acre site in Ludlow's commercial corridor into at least 5,000 square feet of commercial space – creating 10-30 new jobs – and about 50 new residential units.
  • Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky$45,000 for 501 Greenup in CovingtonThe 501 Greenup project will repurpose a former church building into a multipurpose facility that will include a performing arts space as well as a culinary training center to provide workforce training for in-demand careers. The project is expected to create at least 30 new permanent jobs.
  • Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky$40,000 for YMCA in CovingtonRenovation of the vacant 70,000-square-foot YMCA into approximately 35 residential units and roughly 30,000 square feet of space for commercial or office users – bringing upward of 20 new jobs to Covington.
  • Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky$20,000 for The Baker's Table in CovingtonRedevelopment of the vacant Heringer Meat Market building on West Seventh Street into a dedicated brick and mortar bakery that will open with six full-time employees and one part-time employee.

Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of communities where its customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $33 million annually in charitable gifts.

The foundation's education focus spans kindergarten to career – particularly science, technology, engineering and math – as well as early childhood literacy and workforce development. The foundation also supports environmental projects and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

Visit Host, Duke Energy, at the upcoming World Energy Engineering Congress, WEEC, October 17-19 in Charlotte, NC!

Learn more about WEEC at event site, http://www.energycongress.com

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