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Lowe's to grant $9.2 million to Charlotte-area businesses

A handful of businesses and non-profits in the Charlotte area are getting a huge boost thanks to more than $9 million in grants just announced from Lowe's.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Mooresville-based retailer Lowe's is giving away the grants focusing on helping keep businesses running, getting people back to work and into affordable housing.

Lowe’s is one of the few businesses that is more than thriving in this pandemic and they’ve been giving back all along, but Tuesday's announcement is a big one with millions of dollars helping people in Charlotte.

RELATED: Lowe's to hand out another round of bonuses worth $100M

Dreaming big can be tough for kids growing up on Charlotte’s west side – but a two-year-old nonprofit is working to change that.

"We can’t change the high housing cost in Charlotte, we can’t change racial inequity, but we can help a kid on the west side make $50,000 before they're age 20," said Darren Ash, executive director of The Roc.

The Roc is a construction trade school in west Charlotte that takes juniors and seniors from Phillip O. Berry, Harding, and West Meck high schools and trains them to be carpenters, electricians, and construction managers — all in a working lab.

"These kids thrive by doing and that’s how they learn," Ash said. "So you’re seeing a whole new breed of kid that would have fallen behind in a regular classroom that has become a superstar in ours."

Those superstars just got a supercharged gift.

"We got 300,000 from Lowe's…that’s a very big number!"

The money from Lowe’s will help grow the program that right now can only serve 70 students. The grant is a part of $9.2 million in grants that Lowe's is giving out in the Charlotte area.

The money is dedicated to helping create affordable housing, boost technology and to help small businesses suffering because of the pandemic.

"It was just pulling at our heartstrings and we said, 'Whatever we can do to make a difference for these small businesses we're gonna do it,'" Janice Dupre' Little, Lowe's Executive Vice President of Human Resources, said.

The Roc’s executive director said the pandemic has shown there’s an even greater need for the skills his students are learning.

"In the new world economy, they really need a skillset in a particular trade- in our case construction," Ash said.

In all Lowe’s is giving away $55 million in grants. If you’re a small business owner interested in applying, visit. www.lisc.org/lowes.

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