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Main Street America and Brother International Award Grants to Small Businesses

March 16, 2021 | Main Street America and Brother International Award Grants to Small Businesses

Clockwise from upper left to bottom right: Karson Butler Events at the Ah Louis Store in San Luis Obispo, CA; photo credit: Cameron Ingalls. A yoga class at LiveWell Camas in Camas, WA; photo credit: Mad Fizzy Photography. Alyssa Olive, owner of oLive Juicery outside her storefront in Kosciusko, MS; photo courtesy of oLive Juicery. The Small Time Skates storefront in Hammond, LA; photo courtesy of Small Time Skates. The interior of Bunyaad Marketplace in Lititz, PA; photo credit: Jenni Leister. The exterior of PJ’s Barbers and Stylists in Washington, DC; photo credit: Patricia Boykins. The owners of Revel in Silver City, NM; photo credit George Austin. Pittsburg Hot Links in Pittsburg, TX; photo courtesy of Pittsburg Hot Links.

Main Street America and Brother International are pleased to announce the recipients of the At Your Side Small Business Grant Program. Grants of $5,000 - $10,000 have been awarded to eight brick-and-mortar small businesses in designated Main Street districts across the country. Funds will help these businesses adapt to COVID-19 and prepare for the next phases of reopening across the country, while also helping to revitalize and strengthen older and historic commercial corridors.  

“After a year of facing challenges related to the pandemic, the small businesses that make our downtowns and Main Streets thrive need extra support,” said Main Street America’s President and CEO Patrice Frey. “We are thrilled to have teamed up with Brother International to both help small business owners as they work to weather the impacts of COVID-19 and support the vitality of older and historic Main Street commercial districts.” 

Grant projects range from physical improvements to meet reopening guidelines, like expanding outdoor dining, to equipment to comply with public health and safety guidelines, like installing plexiglass barriers at check-out counters. Other funds went to businesses looking to develop their ecommerce presence, sell gift cards, and purchase new points of sale. Some grantees also received funds for rent, payroll, and operating expenses.

“We are so happy to have partnered with Main Street America to give back to the small business community in a meaningful way,” said Phil Lubell, vice president of marketing at Brother International Corporation. “Small businesses are a big focus for us, and we’re dedicated to providing the tools and resources they need to be successful. We’re looking forward to watching these businesses thrive and hope to continue lending our support to this community.” 

Of the eight grants awarded, six will benefit diverse-owned businesses, defined as BIPOC, woman, veteran, disabled, and/or LGBTQ-owned. Grants were awarded to businesses from a variety of industry types – from restaurants and a yoga studio to a rug store and a skate shop. All grantee businesses are located within designated Main Street America or UrbanMain 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 the work.
  • How the grant would help improve the viability of business; business’ contribution to the local community.
  • Strength of letters of recommendation and supporting documents.

Here is a full list of the grantees:
  • Karson Butler Events at the Ah Louis Store: San Luis Obispo, CA
  • LiveWell Camas: Camas, WA
  • Bunyaad Marketplace: Lititz, PA
  • oLive Juicery: Kosciusko, MS
  • Pittsburg Hot Links: Pittsburg, TX
  • PJ's Barbers and Stylists: Congress Heights, Washington DC
  • Revel: Silver City, NM 
  • Small Time Skates: Hammond, LA