Jan 5, 2023
Nonprofit to provide independent retailers grants, resources

Heart on Main Street, a newly formed nonprofit, focuses on four main pillars to help independent retailers thrive: financial grants, education, mentorships and partnerships.

“Independent retailers are the heart and soul of our communities,” says Patrick Keiser, executive director and board member of Heart on Main Street. “Forty-six percent of every dollar spent in an independent retailer goes back into the community. Yet, independent retailers have less access to resources — financial and otherwise — than their larger competitors. It is the mission of Heart on Main Street to give independent retailers the resources to thrive.”

Effective March 1, independent retailers can apply for financial grants to help them invest in their businesses. Retailers who have been in business less than three years will be able to apply for acceptance to the Heart on Main Street mentorship program, in which those accepted retailers will be provided with access to experts in different phases of retail to help them plan for long-term success.

The partnership network, Friends of Main Street, will provide access to vetted resources that can help independent retailers improve their businesses in targeted areas. Starting February 2023, Heart on Main Street will launch its educational webinar series providing actionable information to retailers.

“Heart on Main Street fulfills an unmet need for independent retailers of all kinds,” says Bridget Brennan, CEO of Female Factor Corp, author of Winning Her Business and board member of Heart on Main Street Board. “Its mission is focused on providing a broad array of resources to help independent retailers adapt, grow and build sustainable businesses.”

Other Heart on Main Street Board of Director members include Crystal Vilkaitis (CEO of Crystal Media), Joan Ulrich (executive vice president of Dallas Market Center), Beth Rich- (owner of Mix It Up Home), Mary Liz Curtin (owner of Leon and Lulu), Majda Rensberger (president of OneCoast), Thom Petrouski (vice president of tag), Jim Carlisle (partner at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP), Stu Teller (retired CEO of Michel Design Works) and John Keiser (CEO of OneCoast).

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