Downtown Greensboro Inc. (DGI) and the Guilford Merchants Association (GMA) have awarded the second round of Retail Revitalization Grants to downtown businesses.

This program was started to help downtown businesses struggling with the economic hardship caused by Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order to close nonessential businesses in the state due to COVID-19.

This is not the program where DGI was raked over the coals by the members of the Greensboro City Council before the council agreed to allocate $250,000 to a program administered by DGI to pay some of the cost caused by the vandalism and looting that took place on the nights of May 30 and May 31. Most but not all of the damage on those nights was in the downtown area, so it seemed that DGI was the logical organization to administer the grants and eventually the majority of the City Council agreed.

However, damage from those nights is also covered by this program, which was set up for COVID-19 relief before the riots in downtown Greensboro occurred.

DGI and GMA set out to raise $100,000 for the Retail Revitalization Program and the success of that fundraising effort allowed a second round of grants to be awarded and will fund a third round.

A total of 41 grants of up to $1,500 have been awarded for storefront repairs, lost inventory, new business plan initiatives, inventory growth, marketing, rent assistance, job retention and other related business expenses.

Downtown businesses that received grants in the second round include: Beer Co., Blue Denim, Design Archives Vintage Inc., Dudley Beauty School System Inc., Greensboro Day Spa, Greensboro Rickshaw, Hudson’s Hill, Midori Japanese Restaurant, Pokebowl Inc., Salon Crie, Terra Blue, Thousands O’ Prints Inc., Undercurrent Restaurant, Wes Swan Counseling PLLC and White and Wood.

Wes Wheeler of Undercurrent Restaurant, one of the grant recipients said, “A vibrant downtown is paramount to the overall success of any city. Our downtown businesses and restaurants help drive economic growth in our downtown sector which results in increased growth throughout not just Greensboro but the entire Triad area.”