EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS: Local small business loan advocate awarded, mortgage help available

Dec. 15, 2013 @ 05:08 AM

A Pittsboro woman was given the Leadership Triangle Economic Development Award for her work aiding small businesses in the area this week at a ceremony in Durham.

In 2010, Carol Peppe Hewitt co-founded the small business lending non-profit Slow Money NC with other local residents "who wanted to strengthen the local economy by helping fund local businesses that needed modest amounts of capital to grow," according to a press release.

Local businesses that have been assisted include Dandalia Bakery and Coffee House in Sanford, Lilly Den Farm in Goldston, Succotashed — a new farm-to-table restaurant in Siler City and Lula’s Café in Southern Pines.

Hewitt has also recently written a book, "Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food with Slow Money," and travels the country speaking and teaching other communities how to grow their local food production networks.

In other news...

* Thinking about getting a new smart phone or tablet for yourself or someone else this Christmas? The Sanford U.S. Cellular office at 3274 N.C. Highway 87 S. will hold a workshop this coming Saturday at 9 a.m. open to anyone who wants to come.

* Homeowners in the area who meet certain qualifications — including those who recently lost a job or left the military, are coming out of a divorce or are facing other hardships like an illness or a spouse's death — can receive mortgage payment assistance through the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund. For more information, call 1-888-623-8631 or go to www.NCForeclosurePrevention.gov.

* Charlie Welborn, a partner at the Sanford branch of Davenport, Martin, Joyce and Co., served as a delegate to the annual CPA International Tax Conference, held last month in San Diego.

* First Citizens Bank, which has two Sanford branches and was named the best regional midsize bank in the country last year by CNN Money, is in the final stages of absorbing 1st Financial/Mountain 1st Bank. The smaller company has 12 branches in Western North Carolina and reported $675 million in assets, $660 million in deposits and $347 million in loans as of Sept. 30. The merger is expected to be complete soon.

* More than 5,000 North Carolina soldiers stationed overseas will receive a holiday gift package donated by State Employees' Credit Union (SECU) members this holiday season. And First Bank — not to be confused with the aforementioned First Citizens Bank — has raised more than $25,000 to sponsor finance education programs for military members and their families in conjunction with the North Carolina USO.

* Business fluctuations: In the last week, five new corporations formed in Lee County — Cobra Direct Services, Goodwin Law PLLC, Gordon Brown, LaFamilia NC and LSW Properties — and two, Dossenbach Associates and Investments Plus, were dissolved or withdrawn.

Have business news? Contact Will Doran at wdoran@sanfordherald.com or (919) 718-1217.