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The original item was published from 5/28/2020 1:44:33 PM to 7/1/2020 12:00:02 AM.

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Main Street DDA

Posted on: May 28, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Support Downtown Charlevoix Businesses Through COVID-19


Charlevoix Main Street DDA created this campaign to raise funds to help small businesses pay rent, purchase safety equipment, and market their product during this new way of doing business. Please help by supporting our campaign for the relief and recovery of our small business community.

Downtown Charlevoix is a beautiful, small rural community, surrounded by water. The downtown businesses are heavily reliant on the summer, tourist season to do the majority of their business for the year. The loss of any retail and restaurant businesses would be devastating to our community’s economy. Many are struggling to stay open and others are concerned about opening safely and responsibly in order to do business in these unprecedented and difficult times. 

The Project

The Charlevoix Main Street Board of Directors and Economic Vitality Committee members are working to create a grant fund that will help support our downtown businesses financially in a multitude of ways. Grants may be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, COVID-19 relief or recovery expenses or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business.

The Impact

We’ve known small businesses would be hit hard by COVID-19, but results from a recent survey conducted by Charlevoix Main Street DDA makes it clear: our small businesses need our support now more than ever. 

43% of surveyed small businesses in downtown Charlevoix are at risk of closing over the next five months as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Of the 44 small businesses surveyed, 18 indicated their businesses are at risk of closing permanently in the next five months. Looking out to a year from now, downtown Charlevoix could see as many as 28, if not more, businesses close their doors. 

Downtown Charlevoix has been fortunate to boast a low vacancy rate for the last 5 years but that could change if 25% of our storefronts were shuttered permanently. 

Many of the federal and state funding programs to support small businesses have failed to meet the needs of many. Even more troublesome is that many of these programs only assist already established businesses. Little to no funding has been made available for start-ups. This means that if businesses close, vacancies will be even more difficult to fill than they were before. Here is where the community can step in.

How You Can Help

Aside from supporting our local businesses any way that you can, contributing to this campaign will help ensure the livelihoods of the small businesses that make Charlevoix the unique destination that it is. It’s time for neighbors to help neighbors. Any amount donated will be added to a pool of funds that consist of grant dollars from federal, state, and local resources. 

All monies will be awarded to small businesses in our community. Contributors of $500 or more will be invited to review grant applications to help determine which businesses get financial support. If you can’t contribute, that is fine - you can help spread the word via social media! 

If you prefer to give offline by cash or check please make out to Charlevoix Main Street DDA and mail to: 210 State Street Charlevoix, MI 49720

If you have questions or inquiries contact Lindsey Dotson by calling 231-547-3257 or emailing

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