More than $8.3 million approved for Pender County debris removal

Brings Total to more than $15 Million to County for Hurricane Florence Expenses

RALEIGH, N.C. – The State of North Carolina and FEMA have approved $8.3 million to reimburse Pender County for debris removal costs following Hurricane Florence.

Funds for this project cover the removal of hurricane-related debris throughout the county such as vegetation, damaged trees, construction materials and white goods.

The approval brings the total to more than $15 million to reimburse the county’s Hurricane Florence-related expenses.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work.

Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75 percent of eligible costs and the remaining 25 percent is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state to disburse to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred costs.

FEMA’s total share for this project is more than $6.2 million and the state’s share is more than $2 million.
For more information on North Carolina’s recovery from Hurricane Florence, visit ncdps.gov/Florence and FEMA.gov/Disaster/4393. Follow us on Twitter: @NCEmergency and @FEMARegion4.

Hurricane preparedness in a pandemic

PENDER COUNTY – The 2020 Hurricane Season is predicted to have an above-average number of storms. This is difficult news for anyone who is suffering from “COVID-19 Fatigue.”

“Pender County residents have the opportunity now to prepare for a hurricane and the pandemic,” said Carson Smith, Pender County Emergency Manager. “We encourage residents to prepare for Before, During, and After a Storm.”

Before the storm is the time to think about shelter and supplies.

The first step is: Make A Plan. As we continue social distancing and taking necessary safety measures, decide: Where will you go?

“In the event of evacuation, know your zone,” said Smith. “Preplan your route by selecting a destination.”

Identify the home of a family member or friend where you can stay. Or locate an affordable hotel where you can stay.

Public shelters set up by the local health department and Red Cross should be a refuge of last resort. Due to social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the state health department, local shelters will require a sparse configuration of distancing. Officials will check the body temperatures of evacuees signing into a shelter.

Secondly, build your emergency kit.

“Now is the time to stock your essentials and have an emergency kit,” Smith said.

Supplies such as non-perishable foods, water, flashlights, batteries, a transistor radio, a manual can opener, medications, pet supplies, cash, and important documents secured in a watertight bag are essentials for an emergency kit. However, during a pandemic, you must include face coverings, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.

Every family member should have a seven-day supply of medications and toiletries, food, and water as well as a supply of hand sanitizers and face coverings. While preparing, remember to have a seven-day supply of pet supplies and pet medications, if applicable.

During a storm stay informed. Know your reliable sources of information. Don’t trust chat boards and rumors on social media. Pender County Emergency Management will post announcements on their website, Facebook page, and to local news media. Do not venture out during a storm.

After a storm flooding and down power lines may occur. Do not drive through water moving over roadways. Be aware of fire ants, bees, and use caution when operating a chainsaw. If you use a generator, do not operate it indoors.

For more information, watch our Pender County Emergency Management website or Facebook. If you have not signed up for the CodeRed alert system, register for free at http://www.pendercountync.gov/em/special-disaster-information/emergency-notification-system/ or call 910-259-1210 for details.

Register of Deeds urges residents to apply now for passports for late fall travel

BURGAW – Sharon Willoughby, Pender County Register of Deeds, urged residents requiring a passport or passport renewal to apply now.

“Due to the pandemic, we are receiving notice of processing delays from the US State Department,” said Willoughby. “We urge our residents to apply early if they have fall and winter travel plans.”

According to Congressman David Rouzer’s office, the State Department recently deemed its employees who process passports as “mission critical” employees who will return to work.

The State Department stopped processing passports on March 19 except for life and death emergencies, Rouzer reported. There is a backlog of approximately 1.7 million passports. They will start processing passports on a first in, first out basis.

“As a Passport Acceptance Facility, we will accept your completed application for a new passport and forward it to the Passport Services section of the U.S. Department of State,” said Willoughby.

Appointments are required. To schedule an appointment, call 910-259-1225. Hours of Passport Acceptance are Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., with the exceptions of holidays.

The Register of Deeds Passport Acceptance office said all applicants submitting passport application Form DS 11 must: appear in person; submit proof of U.S. citizenship (birth certificate, expired passport, naturalization certificate); and submit proof of identity (driver’s license, military ID, other government issued ID).

Passport photos are available at the Register of Deeds for a $10 free per applicant.

To follow-up the status of a passport application, Rouzer’s office recommends calling the National Passport Information Center after June 17, at 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793.

The Register of Deeds office is located at 300 E. Fremont St. in Burgaw. For more information call 910-259-1225.

Pender County Emergency Management is pleased to join NC Know Your Zone campaign

Twenty Coastal Counties Establish Predetermined Evacuation Zones

RALEIGH – North Carolina Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks and Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry today announced the implementation of the Know Your Zone initiative for North Carolina’s coastal communities. The state has worked with 20 coastal counties to create predetermined evacuation zones to help coastal residents stay safe from the impacts of hurricanes, tropical storms and other hazards, while allowing for simple and orderly evacuations.

“The goal of Know Your Zone is to educate coastal residents and visitors about their evacuation zones so that everyone knows the zone they live in and knows to look and listen for that zone when evacuations are ordered,” said Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks. “Knowing your zone and when to evacuate can save lives.”

Development of the zones by county officials began with storm surge modeling from North Carolina’s Hurricane Evacuation Study. County officials were able to use the study maps to determine potential for inundation, and combine that with population data, as well as previous local experience with coastal evacuations to draft the evacuation zones needed for their county.

Some counties only need one zone where others have up to five zones in order to evacuate as efficiently as possible without over evacuating. Some inland counties that are not as susceptible to storm surge developed evacuation zones based on river flooding.

In the past, some evacuation orders have included descriptions based on local geography and elevations. Examples include:
• All unincorporated areas of a county
• Low lying areas in a town or county
• All areas within a certain distance of a particular river or stream

“Most visitors and some residents will not know if they are in a low-lying area, or how far they are from a river or stream,” said Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “Having predetermined zones simplifies the evacuation process for local officials, residents and visitors.”

There is an online address lookup tool at KnowYourZone.nc.gov for residents in coastal counties to find their zone. The website also contains, county-by-county zone maps, educational materials, frequently asked questions and the North Carolina Hurricane Guide. The hurricane guide, which is available in both print and digital form, provides information for storm preparedness, response and recovery, and has been published in English and Spanish.
The Know Your Zone website is also available in Spanish at Conozca Su Zona.

The ReadyNC website continues to be the source for disaster preparedness information for North Carolina residents, with instructions on creating a family emergency plan and assembling an emergency kit. It also features live information on power outages and open shelters. ReadyNC.org is mobile friendly for phones, tablets and desktop computers and is available in English and Spanish. The ReadyNC app was retired after the 2019 hurricane season and is no longer available.

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Advocacy group sends invalid absentee ballot request forms to 80,000 voters

RALEIGH, N.C. – The State Board of Elections has learned that a voter advocacy group mailed about 80,000 absentee ballot request forms to North Carolina residents with voters’ information already filled out on the forms.

A state law passed last year prohibits election officials from accepting absentee ballot request forms pre-filled “partially or in whole,” and the State Board has instructed county boards of elections not to process such request forms.

The advocacy group, The Center for Voter Information (CVI) in Washington, D.C., halted additional mailings with pre-filled voter information after N.C. elections officials informed the group of the issue.

CVI plans to send about 400,000 additional mailings to N.C. residents, but they will include blank absentee ballot request forms, which are valid.

County boards of elections that receive an invalid absentee request form will send a letter to the voter informing them of the issue. The letter will include a blank request form for the voter to return.

The State Board urges voters to discard any absentee ballot request form they receive that includes pre-filled voter information.

CVI asked State Board staff to review a sample mailing in April, and State Board staff did not catch the pre-filled forms at that time. However, CVI sent some mailings before forwarding the final product to elections officials for review. Election officials discovered the issue after these mailings were sent to voters.

“We will do our best to review mailings and other voting information distributed by third parties when requested and when resources allow for it,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the N.C. State Board of Elections. “However, it’s ultimately up to advocacy groups to ensure their mailings do not confuse voters or potentially affect their ability to vote in an election.”

All registered voters in North Carolina may request an absentee by-mail ballot. The official 2020 State Absentee Ballot Request Form is available for download from the State Board website. Voters may also pick up a request form from their county board of elections or call their county board to request a form.

The Pender County Board of Elections is located at 807 S. Walker St., Burgaw. The telephone phone number is 910-259-1220.

For the Nov. 3 general election, the deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is Oct. 27. Voters may request a ballot now. Starting in early September, ballots will be mailed to voters who request them.

Hurricane season has arrived, being prepared is critical

PENDER COUNTY – With the start of hurricane season, Pender County is providing hurricane preparedness information for citizens in our county. Pender County is committed to continuing to promote personal and community preparedness techniques to ensure all citizens understand their flood risk, work to mitigate that risk, and stay informed regarding hurricanes and flood events.

“Over the past few years, we have witnessed the devasting impacts hurricanes cause, especially flooding,” said Daniel Adams, Pender County Floodplain Administrator. “High winds, heavy rainfall, tornadoes and floods can cause loss of life and damage to property. As we saw with the impacts of Hurricane Florence in Pender County, all hurricanes have the potential to cause significant damage, even if they are not considered a Major Hurricane of Category 3 or higher.”

Always keep these important facts in mind while preparing:

Know Your Risk: To search for general information about risks in your area, visit https://gis.pendercountync.gov/maps/ and type in your address. Click on layers and select flood zones to see what flood zone you are in or near.

Flood Alerts: To sign up for flood alerts that are tied to the nearest river gages, go to Pender County’s website and search for the webpage “Being Prepared for a Hurricane”. Instructions to sign up for alerts can be found under the Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network (FIMAN) section.

Be Prepared: Act now to be prepared for hurricane season. Make sure you have family evacuation and communication plans, update your emergency supply kit, and evaluate your flood insurance needs.

Survival Kit Supplies: Water, food (non-perishable), flashlight, battery powered or hand-crank radio (can be purchased at the Red Cross store online), extra batteries, deluxe family first aid kit, medications and medical items, multi-purpose tools, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copy of personal documents, cell phone with charger, family and emergency contact information, extra cash, emergency blanket, maps of the area, and if needed: Baby supplies, games and activities for children, pet supplies, and a manual can-opener.

Flood Insurance: Did you know that homeowner’s insurance does not cover damage from flooding? The good news is that Pender County is a member of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Flood insurance is available to homeowners, condo owners, apartment owners, renters and business owners. Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect. Areas in the floodplain are at a high risk of flooding. In high-risk areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.

For more information, visit the Emergency Management website or our Facebook page. If you have not signed up for the CodeRed alert system, register for free at http://www.pendercountync.gov/em/special-disaster-information/emergency-notification-system/ or call 910-259-1210 for details.

NCDHHS shares health guidance to re-open public schools

Guidance formed through collaborative process with DHHS and School Leaders

RALEIGH: New health guidelines released Monday represent a first step to help North Carolina K-12 public schools find a safe way to open to in-person instruction for the 2020-21 academic year, health and education leaders announced Monday.

The StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12) lays out a comprehensive set of baseline health practices that public schools should follow to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19 for students, staff, and families. In addition to specific requirements, the Toolkit recommends practices that schools should implement to minimize spread of COVID-19 while allowing in-person teaching to resume.

Governor Roy Cooper, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson, State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis, and NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen shared the guidance Monday.

“Getting children back to school to learn is a high priority, but they must be able to do so in the safest way possible,” said Governor Cooper. “Every child, family and public school educator in North Carolina deserves strong protection to lower the risk of virus spread.”

Schools are asked to plan for reopening under three scenarios – Plan A: Minimal Social Distancing, Plan B: Moderate Social Distancing, or Plan C: Remote Learning Only. NC DHHS, in consultation with the State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction, will announce by July 1 which of the three plans should be implemented for schools to most safely reopen. The remaining plans may be needed if the state’s COVID-19 metrics change over time.

“Opening schools will be possible if we keep working together to slow the spread of COVID-19. We will each need to do our part and practice the 3 Ws – Wear a cloth face covering. Wait six feet apart. Wash your hands frequently. These easy actions will have outsized impact in keeping viral spread low to in order to help get our children back to school,” said Cohen.

The Public Health Toolkit was developed collaboratively by DHHS and DPI with input from a range of stakeholders across the state, including local superintendents, State Board of Education members, the Governor’s Teacher Advisory Council, and members of the Governor’s COVID-19 Education and Nutrition Working Group.

“We are working together to balance the need for all of our children to get back to school – especially children who rely on public schools for their education, health, safety and nutrition – while at the same time proceeding cautiously and deliberately to protect their health and safety,” said Chairman Davis. “I know meeting these public health requirements will take a tremendous effort by our schools – but I also know we are doing the right thing and that our schools will rise to the challenge.”

The StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit will be a companion to operational guidance under development by DPI that will offer strategies for how to implement the public health guidance, and cover other non-health areas for reopening planning, including scheduling, instructional practice, and staff training.

“Today, North Carolinians have the important first step of returning to schools in the fall with this release of the final health guidance for schools from the NC Department of Health and Human Services,” Superintendent Johnson said. “In addition, the North Carolina education agency has already been leading workgroups, comprised of diverse stakeholders from teachers to school staff to superintendents to other support professionals, to create draft operational strategies that will help our school systems prepare for the fall. We will now seek feedback on the draft operational strategies from other stakeholders across the state to ensure that we best capture the needs of all our schools.”

The StrongSchoolsNC Public Heath Toolkit (K-12) was developed using the most current CDC guidance for schools and includes requirements and recommendations for eight areas: Social Distancing and Minimizing Exposure; Cloth Face Coverings; Protecting Vulnerable Populations; Cleaning and Hygiene; Monitoring for Symptoms; Handling Suspected, Presumptive or Confirmed Positive Cases of COVID-19; Communication and Combating Misinformation; Water and Ventilation Systems; Transportation; and Coping and Resilience.

For example, it requires students and others to be screened for illness before entering school, and requires floor markings to maintain social distance. It also includes sample screening symptom checklists in English and Spanish, a flow chart protocol for handling suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, and a checklist of infection control supplies schools may need. The Toolkit will be updated as new health guidance is released by the CDC and additional resources are added.

Questions about the StrongSchoolsNC Public Heath Toolkit (K-12) should be directed to StrongSchoolsNC@dhhs.nc.gov (in English or in Spanish).

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Pender County and North Carolina health and human services launch testing and contact tracing resources to help slow the spread of COVID-19

Pender County Health Department and NCDHHS Launch Testing and Contact Tracing Resources to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 in Pender County

RALEIGH — Today, Pender County Health and Human Services (PCHHS) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) are launching new initiatives to expand COVID-19 testing and contact tracing across the state and help Pender County families protect themselves and their neighbors.

“Testing and tracing are core public health measures and key components of North Carolina’s strategy to responsibly ease restrictions, while continuing to slow the spread of the virus,” Carolyn Moser, Pender County Health and Human Services director said.

People in Pender County can now access new online tools to determine if they should consider being tested for COVID-19 and find a nearby testing place. The tool will also help individuals monitor their symptoms if they have tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19. In addition, NCDHHS launched a new platform to integrate contact tracing efforts across the state. Pender County Health Department trained on the software and is using it in its ongoing contact tracing work.

“The Pender County Health Department employs professionally trained communicable disease nurses who conduct thorough contact tracing,” said Moser. “The new platform is another tool in the hands of our professionals.”

“These new COVID-19 testing tools and resources help North Carolinians have the support and information they need to take care of themselves and their loved ones,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “When more people get tested, and we all work alongside the COVID-19 Community Team to do our part with contact tracing, we can protect our loved ones and slow the spread of the virus.”

New Online Tools to Increase Access to Testing
Having more than tripled the amount of testing completed just a month ago, North Carolina continues to ramp up testing. The new online tools are intended to help people know if they may need a test, how to get a test, and monitor their own symptoms if advised to do so by a contact tracer. These tools include:

Check My Symptoms (www.ncdhhs.gov/symptoms), a public website that allows people to enter their symptoms to determine if they should consider getting tested for COVID-19. If a test is recommended, they will receive a link to a list of nearby testing sites via email or text.
Find My Testing Place (www.ncdhhs.gov/TestingPlace), a public website that allows people to enter their county or ZIP code and access a list of nearby testing site locations online.
COVID-19 Community Team Outreach (CCTO) Tool is a password-protected online software program that helps people track their own symptoms if they have been advised to do so. It is also a platform that helps streamline and integrate contact tracing work across the state.

Contact Tracing
Through contact tracing, the nurses reach out to people who may have recently come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 and connects them with the information and support needed to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Continued Prevention Measures
All North Carolinians should continue practicing their 3 Ws when they leave home: Wear. Wait. Wash.
• Wear a cloth face covering if you will be with other people.
• Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.

“If we all do our part, we can protect our family and neighbors and get back to enjoying things like family gatherings, pastimes, and community events outside of our homes,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “By working together, we will slow the spread of this virus.”

For more information on testing and contact tracing, please see contact the Pender County Health Department at 910-259-1230.

NCDHHS has provided the Frequently Asked Questions about Testing (covid19.ncdhhs.gov/Testing) and Frequently Asked Questions about Contact Tracing (covid19.ncdhhs.gov/ContactTracing). For the latest information on COVID-19, visit nc.gov/covid19. For more data and information about North Carolina’s testing strategy, visit the COVID-19 North Carolina Dashboard: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard.

 

Pender County Library facilities open to visitors

PENDER COUNTY – Pender County Public Library facilities in Burgaw and Hampstead are now open to the public. However, both libraries will continue to offer ‘outdoor pick-up’ service to customers who do not wish to enter out of precaution.

The buildings are open to walk-in traffic Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during Phase 2 of re-openings.

“Library visitors will find touchless disinfectant dispensers and a host of social distancing and precautionary measures in place,” said Mike Taylor, Pender County Library director. “Customers can browse the collections.”

“The libraries continue to apply precautionary measures to disinfect all returned books, DVDs and all other items before allowing them to be loaned again,” Taylor said. “Pender doubles-up on recommended disinfection techniques to kill COVID-19 virus that may be on books and other items that customers borrow.”

According to Taylor, all returned items are quarantined days before they can be shelved or check out again. Secondly, staff sprays disinfectant on book covers, DVDs, etc. that is CDC approved to kill COVID-19.

Outdoor pick-up is a service the library has continually offered since the doors closed in March. Here’s how that works according to library officials: Customers phone in requests for books, DVDs, audiobooks, etc. during business hours. Customers can also send requests through their online accounts 24/7. Personal library accounts are accessed from the library webpage.

Customers then wait until they are notified that their requests are ready for pick-up. Afterwards at their convenience, customers call the library when they arrive in the parking lot. Staff then place the customer’s books and other items on a table outside library entrances for ‘pick-up.’

The library’s website at penderpubliclibrary.org has a new, fresh look that is also mobile-phone friendly. New pages highlighting newly added books and other items are available. Several new virtual services are available from the website, included online story times for children and applying for a library card.

Taylor also forewarns library visitors that study and meeting rooms are still not available and that most public seating in the buildings has been taken out of service during Phase 2.

However, public computers are available as well as wireless Internet both in and outdoors. He said many visitors are using Internet from their cars and use benches on the library grounds.

For more information, call the libraries during business hours at 910-259-1234 in Burgaw or 910-270-4603 in Hampstead. Visit the library’s website at penderpubliclibrary.org.

Governor Cooper signs Executive Order to address disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color

RALEIGH: Today, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 143 to addresses the social, environmental, economic, and health disparities in communities of color that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Order directs state agencies and offices to provide targeted measures to help communities of color that have been affected by the pandemic.

“COVID-19 is shining a light on disparities that have long existed in our health care and economic institutions for communities of color,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Today’s Executive Order will expand our state’s efforts to help North Carolinians recover from the pandemic and improve access to affordable healthcare and quality economic opportunities in our state.”

To make sure all North Carolinians can recover physically and economically from the COVID-19 pandemic, this Order identifies specific actions North Carolina departments and agencies must take to eliminate disparities across sectors.

The Order does the following:

• Establishes the Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force to focus on economic stability, health disparities, and environmental justice in North Carolina;
• Tasks the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office to ensure the equitable distribution of pandemic relief funds;
• Directs the Historically Underutilized Business Office to provide small historically underutilized businesses with access to opportunities, tools, and resources that promote equitable economic recovery and procurement of State contracts;
• Directs the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to ensure all communities have access to COVID-19 testing and related health care;
• Tasks the Office of Public Engagement to increase awareness about COVID-19, COVID-19 relief services and resources, and provide education on eliminating disparities;
• Directs the Division of Emergency Management to continue coordinating efforts to protect the food supply chain and support feeding operations at food banks and school systems;
• Directs the North Carolina National Guard to provide planning and logistical support and personnel where feasible to support mass testing of food processing plant workers in impacted communities and migrant farm workers; and
• Tasks the Department of Environmental Quality to create a common discourse on environmental justice and coordinate with state executive agencies on the integration of environmental justice considerations into current and future policies, programs, and procedures.

COVID-19 disproportionately affects communities of color for several reasons, including existing social, environmental, and health inequities. Despite making up 22 percent of North Carolina’s population, as of June 1, African Americans account for 30 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases and 34 percent of COVID-19 deaths in cases where race is known. Similarly, Hispanics account for 39% of confirmed COVID-19 cases, in cases where race or ethnicity is known, despite only making up about 10% of the population in North Carolina.

The Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force

The Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force will identify best practices to create economic stability, eliminate health disparities, and achieve environmental justice in North Carolina. Andrea Harris dedicated her life to eliminating disparities in North Carolina, co-founding the non-profit North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development and serving on the Advisory Council for Historically Underutilized Businesses. Secretary of the Department of Administration Machelle D. Sanders will chair the task force.

“Health inequities are the result of more than individual choice or random occurrence — they are the result of the historic and ongoing interplay of inequitable structures, policies, and norms that shape lives,” said NC Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders. “I am deeply honored to carry Andrea Harris’ torch on this new task force, as we grapple with these complex and critical issues for North Carolina.”

Direct Health Assistance
The Order directs the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) to use funding from the COVID-19 Recovery Act to provide COVID-19 related health services to uninsured North Carolinians during this public health emergency.

This will include health services provided by community health centers, local health departments, rural health centers, and clinics. NC DHHS is also tasked with reporting racial and ethnic demographic data; providing testing supplies and PPE to community health centers and nonprofit providers that service vulnerable communities; and partnering with community organizations to establish testing sites easily accessible to communities of color.

Economic Recovery for Historically Underutilized Businesses
Governor Cooper established the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO) to help North Carolina recover from the pandemic. In this Order, NCPRO has been tasked to work with each state agency to ensure COVID-19 related stimulus funds and resources are delivered equitably; to work with the Historically Underutilized Business program and advocate for the economic recovery of minority-owned businesses in the state; and to work with the Department of Commerce to guarantee the equitable distribution of Community Development Block Grants.

A certified historically underutilized business (HUB) is a business that is 51% owned by, and the day-to-day management and daily business operations are controlled by a person of color, woman, disabled, or socially and economically disadvantaged individual. The Historically Underutilized Business Office is tasked with developing and implementing a plan that stimulates economic recovery for small, historically underutilized businesses.

Government-Wide Focus
The Order also involves the Governor’s Office of Public Engagement, the Division of Emergency Management, the North Carolina National Guard, and the Department of Environmental Quality.

Read more about the Order in a Frequently Asked Questions document.

Read the full Executive Order.

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