In order to help businesses recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Main Street Beatrice has announced a second round of mini-grants that downtown businesses can use to creatively market themselves.
The grants will range from $200-$500 each to help small businesses with marketing and digital development expenses incurred between April and June of this year. The grants are funded by the donations that Main Street has received from the community within the past year.
“The way we do business, as far as the way we make funding, is usually through community fundraisers and things like that,” Main Street Director Michael Sothan said. “Those were not able to happen, so we really felt quite blessed by the fact that Main Street was able to start this year in a strong financial position, at least stronger than what was anticipated during the pandemic. We wanted to be able to put that money into the hands of our businesses and hopefully make a local impact.”
The first round of grant applications were awarded in December to Bagby Travel Agency, The Black Crow Restaurant and Bar, Blue Bulldog, Colleen’s Catering, Community Players, Fletchers Decorating, Kabo Bar, The Mechanical Room, Nick’s Shell, Production Creek, R & D Barber, The Resolution Center, Smith, Schafer, Davis, and Gaertig LLC, Southeast Nebraska CASA, Stone Hollow Brewing Company, Tall Tree Tasting and Valentino’s.
Sothan said some of the grants were used for marketing on social or print media, while others updated the signs on their businesses or expanded their online presence.
“Our businesses, especially our smaller shops, have been negatively impacted by the pandemic,” Sothan said. “We know that our community wants to try to support these businesses, but oftentimes we have a communication gap between the businesses and our local consumers of just knowing when are businesses open. We’ve got several new businesses. Who are those? Those types of questions. We hope that these little mini-grants can help bridge that communication divide, and hopefully get local dollars generated to make sure that our businesses are here for the long run, and don’t have to close due to pressures that are lingering from the pandemic.”
The grants are only available to small businesses within Main Street’s designated downtown district, with a priority given to their contributing partners and downtown dining and entertainment sector. A map of the district, as well as the application form, can be found at mainstreetbeatrice.org.
Applications are due by Wednesday, April 14. Further questions can be directed at Main Street at 402-223-3244.