Twelve local businesses received funding this week under a Hometown Revitalization grant program from Duke Energy, the Sanford Area Growth Alliance announced Friday.

The businesses received microgrants ranging from $500 to $2,500. All are located in downtown Sanford or Jonesboro and have fewer than 50 employees. The businesses are Added Accents, Chef Hamm Inc., Dossenbach’s Finer Furniture, Hugger Mugger, La Dolce Vita, Mrs. Lacy’s Magnolia House, Sanford Yoga and Community Center, The Smoke and Barrel, The Chocolate Cellar, The Flame Steakhouse, The Purple Poodle, and Theraplay.

“We are thrilled to be a recipient of the Duke Energy Hometown Revitalization grant,” said Meg Moss, executive director of the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce. “These funds provide hope for our small downtown businesses who are enduring the effects of COVID-19. They are overcoming the myriad of obstacles presented by the pandemic, and these microgrants will assist them in that process.”

The businesses will utilize the funds to reimburse costs already incurred due to COVID-19, or to fund projects to increase capacity, increase sales, provide new ways of offering services, or other creative ways to improve their business.

Duke Energy awarded the grants to 30 communities across the state, totaling $750,000. Funding for Sanford businesses totaled $25,000. The Sanford Area Growth Alliance Foundation, in partnership with Downtown Sanford, Inc, was chosen to administer the microgrant program locally.

“Downtown Sanford Inc. is thrilled to partner with the Sanford Area Growth Alliance to offer the Lee County Hometown Revitalization grant to the merchants and business owners of downtown,” said Kelli Laudate, executive director of Downtown Sanford Inc. “This grant will allow them to make changes to their business to increase profitability by using the funds to create outdoor seating, or even develop e-commerce. We are grateful to Duke Energy for valuing the local businesses of downtown Sanford.”