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2020 Year in Review

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

2020 was an eventful year we will never forget. A global pandemic, widespread rioting and a never-ending presidential election...

HEART is the economic development agency that serves the City of Hart. Formerly Hart Main Street, the Hart Economic & Redevelopment Team formed to expand its reach and provide business development and retention services to all businesses within the city. Our mission is to develop and implement creative community-based strategies to enhance economic opportunity through educational partnerships, a consolidated infrastructure system, regional collaboration, business retention and attraction, high quality of life, and a strong sense of community.

Since forming, nine months ago, HEART focused on the businesses hit hardest by COVID-19 and its restrictions, especially food service, retail and entertainment. Through use of Hart Main Street funds and additional stakeholder support, we raised $83,300 to support our local businesses in Hart and throughout Oceana County through the Gift Card Give Back "matching money" program. This funds flow directly to our local small businesses and we will continue to expand on these initiatives.

In partnership with the City of Hart, and participating foodservice businesses, we also launched the heart social district to help create a safe place for outdoor dining.

In addition, marketing support was ramped up along with assisting business wanting to increase their online presence. A Discover Oceana county-wide business support organization formed in the early months of covid and provided a free online business directory for all county businesses. This group launched a heartwarming Shop Local Video reminding our community that small businesses are essential.

The Hart Economic and Redevelopment Team would like to express our appreciation to everyone who helped promote the community's success. We look forward to putting the challenges of 2021 behind us and launching into 2021 stronger, wiser and more resourceful.

Happy New Year!

Nichole Steel

Economic & Community Development Director

2020 Highlights

  • Main Street program “graduated” into forming HEART in (January)

  • Office was cleaned, purged and organized

  • HEART bylaws were adopted by city council (March)

  • HEART Director was hired (March)

  • COVID-19 Shutdowns (March)

  • Created a Mission Statement

  • Hosted Gift Card Incentive Program Round One using $5,000 from HEART funds generating $9,800 for Hart businesses – 280 cards sold (May)

  • Developed a Property Improvement Grant

  • Received anonymous $10,000 to support efforts to form a county-wide business support organization & to expand gift card incentive program county-wide (May)

  • Formed Discover Oceana county-wide business support organization

  • Formed Economic Development Committees

  • Hosted Round Two Gift Card Incentive Program generating $42,000 county-wide - 1,200 cards sold in 2 days (June)

  • Hosted a Covid-safe Summer Concert Series

  • Designed/ordered new downtown banners

  • Pocket Park construction started (July)

  • Hosted a community cleanup day (September)

  • Hosted Round Three Gift Card Incentive Program generating $31,500 county-wide - 900 cards sold in 2 hours (November)

  • Launched a county-wide Shop Local video (November)

  • Hosted 1st Thrift & Gift Crawl

  • Hosted 1st Holiday Decorating Contest with interactive self-guided digital tour map & public voting (December)

  • Created a new Hart Economic Development Team website

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