The Hannah Grime’s Center for Entrepreneurship’s recently created Pandemic Pivot Fund is entering its second round of micro-grant contributions. After a trial run, HGC has found that investing small amounts on the grass roots level can have a measurable impact for entrepreneurs. The funds afford business owners a cushion as they take small risks in investing towards innovation and growth in a tumultuous economy.
On a larger scale, HGC views these small grants as a way to support the greater community in efforts to rebuild the economy. The continued flow of creative ideas are the best chance for moving successfully forward in changed times. The fund will cover costs for things like new equipment, new or upgraded web sites, marketing, new space, expenses related to inventory and packaging for new product lines, or significant expansion of existing product lines. The goal is that these investments will support resilient businesses and therefore, a strong local economy both now and in the unknown times to come.
In round two of these micro-assistance grants, $11,226 has been raised by the community and will be distributed to 10 businesses with each receiving $1,122. If more funds are raised throughout the month of July, these dollars too, will be distributed equally.
Here are some of our micro-grant, round-two recipients along with their plans for investment.
Linda Rubin, owner of Frisky Cow Gelato sells to stores and co-ops in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. She plans to invest in an official online ordering system as an alternative to customers placing orders over email.
Dominique Caissie, part-owner of Terrapin Glass in Jaffrey has had to close the studio throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic. She is looking to reopen with separated work stations with proper ventilation that provide ample space for 6 ft social distancing.
Albert Diemand of Elm City Compost plans to turn his focus back to aspects of his business that were starting to flourish prior to the Covid-19pandemic. He plans to boost his marketing so as to attain more residential and commercial customers. He also hopes to pay rent on a wash barn at Stonewall Farm for cleaning his clients’ composting bins.
Cathy Furze of Country Bridal and Formal Wear in Jaffrey has now cut her daily appointment number down to 8 from 15 bridal meetings a days in order to allow for ample space and time to sanitize the store before her next client. She is hoping to set up virtual workstations in her store so that brides can minimize their face-to-face time in the store.
Carolyn Edwards of Sunflower Café and Catering is looking to add a “grab-and-go” section to her business’ dining area. She plans to purchase a refrigerated glass display case and make interior renovations to the café to devote a section of her space for take-out only.
Julie Gargen, bread baker and owner of the Bread Box has seen her bread orders go from 15-18, to 60-70 per week. Currently she mixes all of her dough by hand and uses her conventional home oven. She plans to purchase a spiral mixer, as well as some proving baskets for overnight sourdough fermentation.
Nancy Salwen of Music all Around hopes to boost her online presence and be able to offer high quality online lessons. She plans to use her funds for FB ads, flyers, and other marketing efforts.
Kevin Dremel, co-owner of Jack’s Crackers, LLC has seen many of his scheduled shows (where he sells most of his product) cancelled due to the pandemic. He also plans to turn his focus to online bulk sales and plans to use his money to support his marketing campaigns and professional website.
Marcia Duffy, of Geographic Gems, uses marbleized National Geographic Magazine images paired with glass as “gems” for her pendants. Prior to the pandemic, she was successfully selling her jewelry in 15 stores across New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts. She will use her funds to take some courses on how to boost her online presence. She also hopes to better her marketing and create a wholly “pandemic-proof business.”
Kat Wood and Aaron Shields of Mudita Massage, a small yoga and massage studio, will use the funds to upgrade their studio space and purchase the supplies needed to accommodate clients safely.
Stay tuned as we follow and support these businesses in their ventures to see how a little bit, can truly go a long way.