Small business microgrant winners announced in Oakland County

Main Street Oakland County and Genysis Credit Union have begun to announce the winners of its first round of small business microgrants throughout the county.

In all, there were six winners of the Spirit of Main Street Micro Business Start-Up Grant, each of them located within communities of the Main Street Oakland County program. Four of those have won $2,500 grants and two have won $1,250 grants.

Interest in the program has been so great that Genysis is already planning another round for 2019, says John Bry, Oakland County Main Street Program Coordinator.

"One thing we always hear about is funding, that small businesses are always in need of funding support and that no amount is too small," Bry says.

And while no amount is too small, Bry says that they are currently searching for additional partners to increase the grant pool.

Genysis recently presented Royal Oak-based whiskey distiller Motor City Gas with a $2,500 check. Other $2,500 grant winners include the Highland Downtown Development Authority for its rental support program, the Ortonville DDA for its retail initiative to recruit and support retail businesses downtown, and Holly Positive Care in downtown Holly.

Winners of the $1,250 grants include T. Ramsey & Associates, a consulting firm in Pontiac, and Folio, a co-working space in Berkley.

In selecting the winners, Genysis was looking to support small businesses that were new or relatively new and still in the startup phase. The funds are to be used toward location renovations or preparations, signage, marketing materials, and more.

For those looking to enter next year’s competition, the small businesses must be located one of the Main Street Oakland County communities. These include Auburn Hills, Berkley, Clarkston, Clawson, Farmington, Ferndale, Franklin, Highland, Holly, Lake Orion, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac, Rochester, Royal Oak, and Wixom.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.