Vacuum Repair, Ice Cream Shop, Bowling Alley among Madison Heights Grant Recipients
(Drew Saunders, July 18, 2020)
Madison Heights, MI – Small businesses have taken wallop after wallop in the recession that has accompanied the coronavirus pandemic and the economic shutdowns put in place to reduce the spread.  With over a million people per week starting new unemployment claims nationally, and consumers still often frightened to go out, local businesses around the whole world are hurting.
That’s why the City of Madison Heights launched a Stand With Small Businss program, which raised funds online and included a matching fund contribution through Main Street Oakland County. Several cities participated in similar fund drives through the crowdfunding site Patronicity.
“The majority of these companies got no other help,” City Manager Melissa Marsh told the Oakland County Times. “They couldn’t apply for a CARES grant, [or] payroll protection money from the federal government. A lot of them are just small businesses, who were really struggling.”
The City originally planned on raising $10,000 through donations from private individuals and businesses. But after tailing up the donations from five dozen citizens and businesses, they ended up with a total of $30,750.
This was divided up and distributed to a dozen small businesses who qualified for a check of $2,550 each.
One of those businesses was ABC Vacuum, whose owner said that he found this process much easier than any county or federal application process that he had tried to complete.
“If I had gotten a dollar, I would’ve been happy,” Scott Hamilton said.
This program helped firms with fewer than 30 employees, according to the city. The funds are going to cover wages, rent and utility payments, to keep them going.
This was especially helpful to companies like You Scream, I Scream Ice Cream.
As a business that is seasonal by definition, the ice cream stand located at 26137 John R Rd establishment took a massive blow by being shut down for two months.
Co-owner, and Madison Heights Downtown Development Authority member, Joe Jarbo said that the program “helped tremendously” in purchasing personal protection equipment and making regular payments.
“Everybody is struggling,” Jarbo said. He added that what he and his neighboring business are going through is an emotionally strenuous time just as much as it is a financial bind. He added “Talking to people, it’s stressed out so many people. I just wish more people knew the human factor of it.  There were days when we were just keeping our heads above water.”
Twenty-one businesses applied and a 11 received full grants, according to the city. The program ended up with $150 left over which was awarded to Sunrise Thai, which was chosen in a drawing of the remaining businesses.
Businesses helped by the grants include a barbershop, bowling alley, a child care facility and Clark’s Fabrication which is owned by Madison Heights City Councilperson Kymmburleigh Clark.
“This program, and the generosity of businesses and individuals in our community, shows the caring and compassionate people here in Madison Heights,” Marsh said.  “Local businesses are owned by our neighbors, classmates and friends, and are part of our extended family. This outpouring of support demonstrates the true spirit of our community.”
Recipients are:
ABC Vacuum Shop
BA’s Barbershop
Clark’s Fabrication and Design
Fit One for Women
Madison Park Bowl
Manufacturing Dynamics
MedPlus Equipment Services
Miss NeNe’s Child Care Center
Planet Rock
Salty Dog Bar
Sunrise Thai Restaurant
You Scream, I Scream Ice Cream