“We were able to increase sales by more than 200% by adding an outdoor dining alternative versus utilizing carry out only services. This has kept cash flowing through the business and enabled us to pay bills we would have otherwise been struggling with.” – Josie Swander, Paddle Hard Brewing
Northern Initiatives along with TCF Bank offered mini-grants to support businesses during the COVID crisis. This was a reimbursement-based grant, offered to select northern Michigan businesses. The grant supports expenses that occurred on or after October 1, 2020, through January 15, 2021. The funds supported changes needed as a result of the pandemic.
Brinks Family Creamery, McBain
Brinks Family Creamery is a fourth-generation family dairy farm using milk from their registered Holsteins to make milk and cheese products. Technical assistance included accounting resources.
“With [the grant from TCF and Northern Initiatives] we will be able to cover the cost of over 8,000 milk bottles for us to continue processing our products without issues.” – Kenda Rivera
Paddle Hard Brewing, Grayling
Paddle Hard Brewing (CJ3 Investments) is a brewpub making and serving a variety of beers and a full menu of food. The funds helped buy fishing shanties and heaters (pictured) for outdoor service.
“We were able to increase sales by more than 200% by adding an outdoor dining alternative versus utilizing carry out only services. This has kept cash flowing through the business and enabled us to pay bills we would have otherwise been struggling with.” – Josie Swander
Arletta’s Flowers and Gifts, Lake City
Arletta’s Flowers and Gifts (Erine Kaye LLC) has bouquets and arrangements with free same day local delivery. The grant helped pay for website and e-commerce improvements.
“Our current point of sale system and website have been created to serve florists who have no additional offerings. Although a quality build, both the point of sale and website limit our ability to sell our own products or additional services, creating extreme limitations for expansion. We are currently developing a website that will allow us to completely separate from the order capture organizations that provide web sites to florists for significant commissions. It will also allow us to develop a comprehensive site that will allow us to sell our growing unique gift products including two developing lines of products by our own family. Once the site and POS integration is developed our goal is to offer this to other florists with support as a way to generate further revenue and bring control of small business. “ – Erine Wescoat
Dutch Maiden Farms, Harrison
Dutch Maiden Farms is a bakery known for its smoked and specialty breads and giant cinnamon rolls, with local delivery and shipping, and at festivals and events (pictured). The grant went to help with transportation costs.
“It allowed us to travel greater distances and carry a larger capacity of goods.” – John C Leutz II
Boathouse Beer Co. & Boozery, Tawas City
Boathouse Beer and Boozery (Stephanie Rose Enterprises LLC) serves handcrafted beer, food and cocktails with a view of Tawas Bay. The money was used to upgrade the gift card and credit card system. Technical assistance included marketing, management, and COVID resources.
“With the extra COVID precautions and the restrictions on in-person dining, we needed to pivot our credit card system and gift card system to be able to accept payment over the telephone in order to respect social distancing and meet our clients’ expectations of service.” – Stephanie Rose
Flowers by Josie/Tip’N The Mitten, Grayling
Tip’N The Mitten is a gift shop focused on Michigan-made goods that recently acquired the floral store next door. The funds helped buy new doors for Flowers by Josie. Technical assistance included marketing, website and COVID resources.
“It helped us save money on heating and made us more secure as doors were in poor shape.” – Stacy McIsaac