The Perfect Enemy | Fayetteville gave businesses $2 million in COVID-19 recovery grants - The Fayetteville Observer
February 3, 2023

Fayetteville gave businesses $2 million in COVID-19 recovery grants – The Fayetteville Observer

Fayetteville gave businesses $2 million in COVID-19 recovery grants  The Fayetteville Observer

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Fifty-five local businesses will receive about $2 million in development grant funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The Act is meant to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

The money, distributed by the city of Fayetteville, is intended for “payroll, mortgages, rent and other costs,” according to city officials. Another $1 million will be given to businesses to improve commercial corridors.

Among the 55 businesses that received development funding are gyms, salons, restaurants, healthcare providers and antique and gift shops. The smallest amount awarded was $2,886 and the largest amount awarded was $50,000. 

More:Fayetteville invests $2.5M to go toward minority-owned businesses

Who was eligible to apply for the funding? 

Fayetteville businesses with less than 200 employees and located in low-income areas or that make a commitment to hire or retain low- and middle-income workers were eligible to apply for up to $50,000 in the areas of business development and retention, and commercial corridor improvement. A single business could qualify in both areas. 

What neighborhoods received the most in funding?

Most of the businesses that received funding are in one of four neighborhoods. 

The downtown and Haymount areas saw roughly a third of the funding, with 17 businesses receiving a total of $675,498. The Skibo area near Cross Creek Mall saw about 9% of the funding, with five businesses receiving a total of $188,693. Four Owen Drive-area businesses received about 8% of the funding at $157,652. Seven businesses in the Eutaw area received $242,499, about 12% of the funding.  

The city has vowed to revitalize Murchison Road, Fayetteville’s historically Black neighborhood. Three Murchison-area businesses received a total of $101,695, about 5% of the funding.  

‘So much potential’:Murchison Road businesses get a boost from city grant

How did the funding impact Fayetteville businesses? 

Jose Diaz owns Latinxs Infusion Gift Shop on Yadkin Road with his wife, Irma. The pair moved to Fayetteville in 2014 and opened the shop in early 2020. They also own a Puerto Rican desserts food truck called Sweet Temptations by Marrett.  

The Army veteran said they struggled to stay open and keep their two employees on the payroll through the pandemic and are “really grateful” for the $24,251 in funding the business received.  

“We were in bad shape when they approved the grant,” he said.  

Isaac Dawson has owned My Next Mattress Outlet on Cliffdale Road since 2018. He said a handful of other area mattress stores closed since COVID-19, but he’s been lucky to keep the doors open. He said the $50,000 in grant funding received helped pay off debts.  

Reporter Taylor Shook can be reached at tshook@gannett.com.