Roseboro mayor Alice Butler and the commissioners of the town continue making strides to revitalize the downtown area.
Just in the last year, despite temporary closure of Hwy. 24 on both ends of town, new businesses have opened in the area, as well as the expansion and remodel of others.
According to Butler, there have been several businesses to open in Roseboro since January, including Moore Tax Solutions and Pelican’s Snoballs. Professional Eye Care has renovated their building and will be reopening as Vision Source in the future. Subway has expanded and is now offering new menu items and The Point Fitness Center opened in the Food Lion Shopping Center.
“We are very fortunate to have such a wide variety of businesses in our town and it is important for our citizens to support them,” Butler said.
Last year, Roseboro was among seven communities across the state selected by the North Carolina Rural Center to participate in the Small Business Recovery Program. Other communities selected were Fair Bluff, Kinston, Lumberton, Pembroke, Princeville and Whiteville. As part of the program, Roseboro will receive help over the next year to rebuild its economy in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The program provided long-term planning and technical assistance to each town for two years.
Over the course of the last year, Roseboro has erected billboards on Hwy. 24 at both the east and west sides of town, informing travelers of opportunities to shop, live, play and work in the town. Additionally, Roseboro has two different loan program available to qualifying businesses.
“Both loan programs offer loans up to $25,000 for qualifying applicants,” Butler explained. “The town also has a facade grant program to help businesses improve their storefronts.”
Through the program, the Rural Center has seeded a locally-led loan fund that has been administered to promote entrepreneurship and small business development in the community. Each participating community received an initial $100,000 investment in their local loan funds. Additional resources are available to increase funds to nearly $300,000 to meet the local demand for small business loans.
“Over the next year we will continue the programs already in place and continue to encourage property owners in the downtown area to fix up their buildings or sell them to potential business owners,” Butler said.
Despite initial disruption to the town when Hwy. 24 at both the east and west sides of town was temporarily closed, Butler says those entrances will soon be open and travelers will have easy access to the town at each interchange.
“We look forward to the expected growth in that area that will be beneficial to Roseboro and the surrounding areas,” Butler said.
The Small Business Recovery Program was made possible with a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation under the Disaster Recovery Act of 2016.
The Small Business Recovery Program is part of the Rural Center’s larger disaster recovery efforts, which include the North Carolina Small Business Recovery Fund, an initiative to help the state’s small business community recover from the effects of Hurricane Matthew, the western wildfires, Tropical Storm Julia, and Tropical Storm Hermine.