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Press Release

Duke Energy and Retail Strategies’ Innovative Collaboration Supports Rural Florida Communities

duke energy partners with retail strategies

CONTACT: Katelyn Little
Retail Strategies

Duke Energy and Retail Strategies form Partnership for Rural Florida Communities

BIRMINGHAM, AL (July 18, 2023) – Five communities in North Florida have been awarded funding from the Duke Energy  Economic Development Grant Program to focus on community development and job creation. The grant will fund partnerships for each locality with Retail Strategies, a community development firm focused on retail attraction strategies and downtown revitalization. Cross City/Dixie County, Madison County, and Suwannee County will receive retail and restaurant strategic plans with the execution of the plan from Retail Strategies. The cities of Alachua and Madison will receive support from Downtown Strategies, focusing on advancing their downtowns.

“Duke Energy helps to create opportunities that strengthen the communities we serve and promote long-term economic growth,” said Marc Hoenstine, Duke Energy’s Managing Director, Economic Development for Florida.

“We started our relationship with Retail Strategies by hosting the Next Level Retail Exchange earlier this year, where we invited rural community leaders to join us in a session that covered the basics of retail economic development. Now each locality will receive customized data and strategic planning from experts in retail and downtown revitalization through the Duke Energy Foundation Grant. This collaborative effort is something we’re extremely proud of and hope to replicate for other Duke Energy communities in the future.”

Marc Hoenstine, Managing Director, Economic Development for Florida

“The Next Level Retail Exchange was unlike any other event in the state, created to bolster retail economic development in rural Florida,” said Sarah Beth Stewart, Vice President of Retail Strategies. “We are excited to move into the next phase of this innovative partnership with Duke Energy, focusing one-on-one with each locality to create and execute custom plans developed specifically for the community or county. I applaud Duke Energy’s commitment to giving back to their community partners specifically rural municipalities who are eager take the next step in retail development.”

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About Duke Energy Foundation  

The Duke Energy Foundation provides more than $30 million annually in philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation is funded by Duke Energy shareholders.

About Duke Energy 

Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns 10,500 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 1.9 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,600 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050. The company has interim carbon emission targets of at least 50% reduction from electric generation by 2030, 50% for Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 upstream and downstream emissions by 2035, and 80% from electric generation by 2040. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2023 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “World’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues.
Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

About Retail Strategies

Retail Strategies is the national expert in community development and retail economic development. Our mission is to provide the real estate expertise, tools, and human effort that position deserving towns as alluring locations for national businesses and destinations for tourism and quality-of-life amenities. We confidently pursue this mission by delivering unparalleled customer service as a unified team with unmatched real estate and community development expertise. Our activities pay a return in sales taxes, added jobs, and businesses that enhance and add to the unique qualities of your community.

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