It was just after midnight when Dannieyelle Ellington was checking the inbox for her beauty supply company Dannie Shalom Beauty Supply.
Ellington would soon discover an email from Blue Water Startups & Entrepreneurs informing her that Dannie Shalom had been selected as one of ten St. Clair County businesses to receive one of the organization’s new micro-grants.
"I was just checking emails from vendors not expecting to see this. This is truly a blessing to be chosen," Ellington says.
"I plan to order more products. That way everything would be fully stocked."
Providing entrepreneurs like Ellington the ability to restock their inventory was exactly the intent of Blue Water Startups & Entrepreneurs and their micro-grant program, which was funded through a $2,000 gift from the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. The ten winning companies each received a $200 micro-grant.
Micro-grants can be that extra nudge to purchase inventory, online courses, computer programs, or any other facet of business that an entrepreneur has been putting off.
"We are excited about these entrepreneurial pursuits and look forward to having them plug into our community of peers," says Matt Brooks, founder of Blue Water Startups & Entrepreneurs. The non-profit organization maintains a mission of connecting and growing the entrepreneur community of St. Clair County.
Nearly 50 businesses throughout the region applied for the grants, an application window that first opened on Monday, Aug. 17.
The ten winning companies are DB Delivery Solutions, Dannie Shalom Beauty Supply, Loving Hands Home Car Services, Main Street Ensemble, Pretty N Peace, RM International Resources Group, Sheer Brilliance, The Cookie Bar - St. Clair, The Makairos Life, and Zoe Counseling and Consulting.
"I told my husband about the grant and he was so happy for me," Ellington says.
"I want to thank everyone that was involved in the decision-making process. Wow. This is truly a blessing. I am so grateful."