Spirit of Main Street Grants Help Holly, Ortonville, Rochester and Wixom
(Main Street Oakland County, August 3, 2021)
Holly, Ortonville, Rochester and Wixom each received a $ 2,500 grant for the Spirit of Main Street microenterprises from Genisys Credit Union and Main Street Oakland County.
Awards announced by Oakland County Executive David Coulter and Genisys Credit Union give financial boost to local small businesses Holly Sewn, Green Goat Gifts, economic development organizations, Ortonville Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and Rochester DDA. one of the county’s top priorities to provide assistance to residents, businesses and organizations as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, âCoulter said. “And I really appreciate the partnership between the County’s Main Street program and Genisys Credit Union.”
Grants funded by Genisys can be used for a variety of needs, from payroll and supplier payment to structural improvement in marketing. Under the terms of the grant, a dollar-for-dollar match must be provided by the applicant.
“As downtowns across the region work to recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud to partner with Main Street Oakland County to fund small business grants to strengthen economies and local communities, âsaid Jackie Buchanan, President and CEO, Genisys Credit Union, Auburn Hills.
Holly Sewn in Holly is using her grant money to take an old alteration store and convert it into a comfortable and functional retail space and studio, and Green Goat Gifts at Wixom is expanding its store area. Downtown Ortonville is working with DEI Creative, a small, woman-owned design company in Seattle, to create the âOrtonville Online Marketplace,â using the agency’s local support platform. Downtown Rochester is using its grant to upgrade its community communications platform to include text messaging.
âAs a child, I looked in the window of the alterations store and admired all the sewing machines,â said Melissa McIsaac, owner of Holly Sewn. âNow, thanks to the grant, I am able to make a dream come true and convert the alteration store into a creative sewing studio and one-stop retail store with unique clothing and home items. My mission is to help the planet by repairing and renewing old fabric items, making them new and modern again.
The art studio space will include classes in sewing, mending, pattern reading, fabric dyeing and painting.
âWe were thrilled to receive this grant because it meant we could use the money to build our retail store in downtown Wixom,â said Caitlin and Steven Hartman, owners of Green Goat Gifts, Wixom. “We appreciate that they are willing to invest in us and help us become a more meaningful part of the community.”
âThroughout the pandemic, small businesses in downtown Ortonville have struggled to build an online relationship with customers, primarily improving their social media presence,â said Matt Jenkins, executive director of Ortonville DDA. âThe environment for downtown revitalization has fundamentally changed due to the pandemic, and ‘The Shop Ortonville Online Marketplace’ is an investment in this new reality for our small businesses.â
This is the fourth year of the partnership between Genisys Credit Union and Main Street Oakland County. A second annual round of funding is planned, with a deadline of 5 p.m. on August 6.
Eligible small businesses must apply in one of the 16 Main Street communities: Auburn Hills, Berkley, Clarkston, Clawson, Farmington, Ferndale, Franklin, Highland, Holly, Lake Orion, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac, Rochester, Royal Oak and Wixom. For more information, visit MainStreetOaklandCounty.com.
âThe Wixom DDA would like to thank Genisys Credit Union and Main Street Oakland County for their support of small businesses. It is programs like these that allow businesses to receive a little help that can help them open or grow their business, âsaid Laura Cloutier, Managing Director of Wixom DDA. âGreen Goat Gifts enhances the diverse business sector we have in downtown Wixom. The whole community welcomes them and looks forward to shopping with them soon.
Of the eligible MSOC communities, 14 have received one or more grants since the inception of the program in 2018.
During the 2020 pandemic, public and private investment in Main Street Oakland County totaled more than $ 35.9 million and resulted in the creation of 24 net new full-time jobs; 36 net new businesses; and contributions of over 16,300 volunteer hours.
âMain Street Oakland County is such a successful program,â Coulter said. âGenisys understands the importance of supporting small businesses in our inner cities and its financial commitment helps ensure that they remain vital and attractive destinations. “
To date, nearly $ 963 million in public and private investment has been made in downtown Main Street, creating 1,254 new businesses and generating 8,303 jobs.
Oakland County is the first and still the only county in the United States to implement a full-service county-wide coordination program on Main Street. The MSOC currently has 25 designated communities in the program.