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Main Street America and The Hartford Award More Than $430,000 in Grants to Small Businesses

January 6, 2021 | Main Street America and The Hartford Award More Than $430,000 in Grants to Small Businesses |

Top photo from left to right: Bricolage Art Collective: Paducah, KY, Credit: Landee Bryant; Curitiba Art Cafe: Fredericksburg, VA, Credit: Curtiba Art Cafe; MiLadies 182: Florence, SC, Credit: Downtown Florence; Terra Running: Cleveland, TN, Credit: Sue Joyner; Starlings Coffee & Provisions: Charleston, WV, Credit: Jon Steele; Cakewalk Chicago: Chicago, IL Credit: Cakewalk Chicago; 

Main Street America and The Hartford are pleased to announce the second-round recipients of the HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program. Grants of $5,000 - $15,000 have been awarded to 31 brick-and-mortar small businesses across the country. Funds will help these businesses respond and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and help to revitalize and strengthen older and historic downtown commercial districts. In total, more than $1.2 million in grants have been awarded to 98 businesses over the course of the program.

“As small businesses continue to face enormous challenges in the wake of COVID-19, they need our support now more than ever,” said Main Street America’s President and CEO Patrice Frey. “We are proud to partner with The Hartford to help small business owners address these challenges and support the resilience of the commercial districts that make our communities thrive.” 

Grant projects range from physical improvements to meet reopening guidelines, like building to-go windows and expanding outdoor dining options, to equipment to comply with public health and safety guidelines, like installing air purifiers and plexiglass dividers. Other funds went to businesses looking to bring their services online, improve their digital marketing presence, or expand other parts of their business model. Some grantees also received funds for rent, payroll, and operating expenses.

“Small business owners are a special breed,” said Stephanie Bush, head of Small Commercial and Personal Lines at The Hartford. “They're strong, resilient and creative, committed to their dreams and their customers. Almost overnight they moved to delivery service, contactless payments, remote work, Zoom calls with clients and more. The way they have found new and meaningful ways to serve their communities is truly inspirational. We have been so proud to partner with Main Street America on this program and extend our congratulations to all of the recipients.” 

Of the 31 grants awarded, 26 benefited diverse-owned businesses, as defined by the Small Business Administration as minority, woman, veteran, disabled, and/or LGBTQ-owned. Grants benefitted a range of industry types – from bakeries and beauty salons to dance schools and breweries. 27 out of 31 grantee businesses are located within designated Main Street America districts.

Grant proposals were judged based on: feasibility; the extent to which the grant will help address an acute business need or help a business owner implement innovative solutions to address COVID-19-related challenges; opportunity for other businesses to learn from work; how the grant would help improve the viability of business; the business’s commitment to giving back to their community and/or community engagement; and strength of letters of recommendation and supporting documents.

Here is the full list of grantees:
  • ArtsXchange: East Point, Georgia
  • B&B Billiards: Brigham City, Utah
  • Backstep Brewing Company: Crawfordsville, Indiana
  • Bricolage Art Collective: Paducah, Kentucky
  • Cakewalk Chicago: Chicago, Illinois
  • Community Players, Inc.: Beatrice, Nebraska
  • Cork Wine Bar & Market: Washington, DC
  • Curitiba Art Cafe: Fredericksburg, Virginia
  • Deja Vu Boutique: Mt Airy, Maryland
  • Evermore Coffee Roasters: Burlington, New Jersey
  • Figg's Ordinary: Chestertown, Maryland
  • Flamenco Works, Inc.: Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Gentz Barbershop LLC: River Falls, Wisconsin
  • Grand Illusion Hard Cider, LLC: Carlisle, Pennsylvania
  • Horton's Books & Gifts, LLC: Carrollton, Georgia
  • Hunan House: San Francisco, California
  • Johnson Jewelers: Puyallup, Washington
  • Lincoln Into Art: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
  • Melba Theater: Batesville, Arkansas
  • MiLadies 182: Florence, South Carolina
  • Muncie Community Market: Muncie, Indiana
  • Oh Olive Libertyville, Inc.: Libertyville, Illinois
  • Perfect 10 Unisex Salon, LLC: West Roxbury (Boston), Massachusetts
  • Pies by Inge, Inc.: Monticello, Illinois
  • Rich City Studios: Richmond, California
  • Spinning J Bakery: Chicago, Illinois
  • Starlings Coffee & Provisions: Charleston, West Virginia
  • Terra Running Company: Cleveland, Tennessee
  • The Dance Institute of Washington, Inc.: Washington, DC
  • Total Fitness Control LLC: Decatur, Georgia
  • Walking Man Brewing LLC: Stevenson, Washington