DDA launches crowdfunding campaign for business relief

By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
After over two month of shutdowns, mom and pop shops are struggling.
To support downtown businesses, Oxford Downtown Development Authority has launched a crowdfunding campaign, called Love Oxford. The DDA will use the money raised to create micro-grants of equal amounts to distribute to qualifying downtown businesses, based on needs.
The fundraiser’s goal is $8,000 by 8 p.m. on May 28. As of May 23, the campaign had raised $1,290 from 30 patrons.
Main Street Oakland County will match every dollar raised, up to $4,000. That means $12,000 could potentially go into downtown businesses.
Oxford joins 21 of Main Street Oakland County’s designated communities that have raised a combined $74,000 so far.
“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.”
Main Street Oakland County is a program of the Economic Development and Community Affairs Office of Oakland County. It is the only countywide Main Street Program in the United States as recognized by the National Main Street Center.
“By supporting this campaign, you will play an important role in getting our business community up and running again,” the fundraiser’s page says. “Not only will these efforts help boost our local economy and morale, but they will also foster a strong sense of passion and pride in our community! Making a donation of any size will help our businesses survive and thrive.”
Businesses can use the grants for business expenses such as: rent, mortgage, payroll, utilities, inventory, other working capital, costs associated with public health recommendations, and marketing.
Qualifying businesses must require face-to-face, in-person contact and need to be located within the boundaries of the Oxford Downtown Development Authority. Businesses cannot be a franchise, major corporation or a publicly-traded business.
Sole proprietors with 10 or fewer employees are encouraged to apply.
To make a donation to support downtown businesses, visit patronicity.com/project/loveoxford. All donations are coordinated through the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester.

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