A Main Street Oakland County crowdfunding campaign to support downtown small businesses struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic has raised more than $45,000.
The countywide campaign is the first of its kind in the nation to be sponsored by a Main Street program. The funds have been generated from 14 of Main Street Oakland County’s 25 designated communities. Five additional communities are expected to join the campaign on Friday.
“It’s gratifying to see the community support for our downtowns,” Oakland County Executive David Coulter said. “This pandemic has been devastating to small businesses across the country and certainly to our downtowns. The county has allocated nearly $14 million to help small businesses in the county keep their heads above water. Communities understand the importance of these businesses to our downtowns and Oakland County’s economy.”
Local small businesses are defined as independently owned and operated with 30 employees or less. They will receive critical help with things like rent, payroll, supplies and marketing. This program may be their only funding source in order to stay in business. Funding decisions will be made at the local level. Each community determines campaign dollar amount goal, length of campaign, promotion, and their application, review, and fund distribution process based on needs and priorities.
Eligible communities include Auburn Hills, Berkley, Birmingham, Clarkston, Clawson, Farmington, Ferndale, Franklin, Groveland Township, Hazel Park, Highland, Holly, Holly Township, Lake Orion, Lathrup Village, Leonard, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac, Rochester, Royal Oak, South Lyon and Wixom.
Community partners and supporters interested in donating to their favorite downtown, seeing how close each downtown is to its fundraising goal or learning how the funds would be used should visit www.patronicity.com/MSOC. All donations are coordinated through the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester. Questions about the program can be sent to Main Street Oakland County coordinator John Bry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
Oakland County is the first and still only county in the United States to operate a full-service, county-wide Main Street program.