January 7, 2021
Harrisburg, PA – Two Pennsylvania small businesses have been awarded grants by the HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program – Grand Illusion Hard Cider, downtown Carlisle, and Lincoln Into Art, downtown Gettysburg. Both both businesses are located in central business districts that are part of the Pennsylvania Main Street program, connected to the Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC), the state Coordinating Program for the National Main Street Center.
Chad Kimmel, owner of Grand Illusion Hard Cider, shared "Grand Illusion is honored to receive the Main Street Hartford Grant. We believe strongly in economic and community revitalization and embrace the four elements of the Main Street Approach. As an academic, I studied Main Street Programs in Pennsylvania and know very well the benefits that are derived when downtowns follow their model. As one of Main Street's first designated programs, Carlisle, PA boasts in its commercial core. Grand Illusion Hard Cider occupies three floors of an 1844 building. The grant will be used to custom build four private booths for guest's enjoyment. Privacy, we believe, is the next frontier in the restaurant industry, and this grant will allow us to meet the new needs of our growing customer base."
Wendy Allen, owner of Lincoln Into Art stated, "With enormous gratitude to Main Street America and The Hartford, I want to share that Lincoln Into Art Gallery was selected to receive a Hartbeat Main Street grant. Our gallery has been closed to the public for almost a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we are now working hard to make the necessary physical improvements to our historic building so that we can open again safely.
We are anxious to reopen with new and exciting products to offer. We look forward to a vibrant future on a profoundly important Main Street in America, Baltimore Street in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Again, we are extremely thankful for this financial assistance provided by Main Street America and The Hartford."
Main Street America and The Hartford awarded grants of $5,000 - $15,000 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.
For the full list of grant recipients visit mainstreet.org.