By Dana Kroll, Uptown Marketing and Communications Specialist
Uptown Grand Rapids, Inc. is pleased to announce that it, on behalf of two of its district’s small businesses, has been selected as a recipient of a portion of the latest grant opportunity offered via the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s ‘Match on Main’ program. It is one of twenty-eight communities across the state awarded monies from this grant.
The purpose of the program, which has awarded a collective total of over 1million dollars to recipients across the state in 2021, is to offer support to small businesses and encourage the retention of, and addition to, their workforces. The grant is awarded to the Uptown organization, to be distributed as reimbursements to those businesses whose applications were approved for submittal by the organization.
In this most recent round, the organization was given the opportunity to move forward with up to two total requests for funds. The businesses selected to move forward, and who will ultimately receive a portion of the grant, are Brown Butter Creperie and Café, and LORDE Beauty and Cosmetics, both located within the Eastown business district of Uptown.
Says Ingrid Miller, Executive Director, Uptown Grand Rapids, Inc.: “UGRI is proud to be the link to critical small business support for our district businesses and specifically for the projects planned for both LORDE Beauty and Cosmetics and Brown Butter Creperie and Café. I believe this is the beginning of an important partnership between UGRI and MEDC to deploy resources locally.”
The creperie is located within one of Uptown’s most unique and historical buildings. The business requested the grant in order to make several imperative repairs to the building and its property, as well as system improvements, with the goal of adding both additional seating and an improved overall experience for its guests. Says Gina Mudrey, Owner: “We are so grateful for this opportunity! We look forward to refreshing the décor, making several updates and upgrades- as well as some process, ordering, and technology improvements.”
Meanwhile, LORDE Beauty and Cosmetics will be using its portion of the grant reimbursement to further its mission of sustainable, conscious, and diverse clean beauty offerings, as well as expand the brand’s current established reach. Additionally, LORDE will expand their luxury beauty offerings in 2022, with products for persons of color, a demographic long underserved in this category.
Says Rachel Leep-Williams, Owner: “The only way to grow and expand is with the inclusion of all people. Intentional progress only happens when what is offered is actually serving a need and fulfilling its purpose. LORDE since its conception, has stocked brands from around the world, which serve a vast range for all complexions. I have intentionally staffed a team which aligns and celebrates inclusivity for race, gender, and age. I am thrilled to receive a MEDC grant to further this mission, and am thankful to MEDC as well as Uptown, who share in this commitment of health and equity for all.”
Uptown consists of four business districts: Eastown, East Fulton, Wealthy Street, and East Hills. In all climates, Uptown celebrates its people, partnerships, and possibilities. Its mission is to sustain a strong and vibrant urban district through planning, coordinating, and communicating with and between all sectors of the Uptown community and beyond.
For more information about this and all things Uptown, please contact Ingrid Miller.