Pontiac, MI - Five area businesses and a downtown development organization were awarded “Spirit of Main Street” micro business grants from Genisys Credit Union and Main Street Oakland County.
The awards, announced today by Oakland County Executive David Coulter and Genisys Credit Union, provide a financial boost for businesses severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Marketplace in Berkley, Maruca’s Kitchen in Holly, 20 Front Street in Lake Orion, Cookies and Cream in Lake Orion, the Ortonville Downtown Development Authority and Everybody Inc. in Pontiac will share $17,000 in “Spirit of Main Street” grants.
“We are grateful that Genisys Credit Union continues to support our small businesses and Main Street Oakland County through its sponsorship of the ‘Spirit of Main Street’ grants,” Coulter said. “These grants provide an economic boost at a critical time for small businesses everywhere. We applaud Genisys for being a wonderful partner.”
The grants can be used for a variety of needs, from payroll and paying vendors to making structural improvements to marketing. The Marketplace and Maruca’s Kitchen are using their awards for building renovations and equipment; 20 Front Street is using its award for streaming and broadcast equipment for live music; Cookies and Cream to acquire a nearby ice cream plant to expand its business model; the Ortonville DDA received its grant as part of its “Welcome Back to Ortonville” promotion and Everybody Inc., which employs disabled adults, is using its grant for signage in its new location inside McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac.
"We are proud to partner with Main Street Oakland County to be able to provide small businesses the opportunity to build stronger local economies and communities," said Jackie Buchanan, Genisys president and chief executive officer. "From daily business needs to structural improvements to marketing, these grants support small businesses, especially in times of economic downturns, to ensure area downtowns are destinations for residents and visitors alike."
The five businesses join Trails Edge Café in Wixom, the Liberty Bar in Pontiac and Honcho/Union Joints Restaurant in Clarkston, which received grants in May.
This is the third year of the partnership between Genisys and Main Street Oakland County. Under the terms of the grant, a minimum dollar-for-dollar match must be provided by the applicant.
In 2019, public and private investment in Main Street Oakland County totaled more than $50.2 million and resulted in 450 net new jobs; 60 net new businesses; and contributions of more than 28,460 volunteer hours.
“Main Street Oakland County is a government program that works,” Coulter said. “To date, more than $837 million in public and private investments have been made to Main Street downtowns, establishing 1,163 new businesses and generating 8,000 jobs. Genisys Credit Union has been such a valuable partner, understanding the importance of supporting small businesses in our downtowns. Its financial commitment helps ensure they remain vital and attractive destinations for residents and visitors alike.”
Oakland County is the first and still only county in the United States to operate a full-service, county-wide Main Street program.
Designated Main Street Oakland County communities include Auburn Hills, Berkley, Birmingham, Clarkston, Clawson, Farmington, Ferndale, Franklin, Groveland Township, Hazel Park, Highland Township, Holly, Holly Township, Lake Orion, Lathrup Village, Leonard, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac, Rochester, Royal Oak, South Lyon and Wixom.