Nearly $500,000 awarded by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to nineteen communities throughout the state to support small businesses
LANSING, Mich. – Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced that the City of Hart is one of 19 communities around Michigan that has been awarded $25,000 of total of $491,834 in grants aimed at supporting small local businesses to create resiliency and strengthen downtowns. MEDC’s Match on Main (MoM) program provides funding to communities that are a Certified Redevelopment Ready Community. The communities, who receive the grant funding from the MEDC, in turn award grants of up to $25,000 to eligible businesses seeking support. The Hart Economic and Redevelopment Team (H.E.A.R.T.) chose to apply on behalf of Lakeside Family Fitness Coffee, Smoothie & Bagel Bar (Lakeside) because their project scored at the top of the matrix used to evaluate local applicants. Fitness and rehab centers were one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic, and one of the last to reopen. Instead of focusing on what she couldn’t do, owner Deborah Windell chose to invest in expanding her coffee/smoothie bar by adding a full kitchen offering take-out New York Bagels, sandwiches, and salads.
Lakeside Family Fitness opened in April 2013 as a fitness center with fitness classes and personal training. In June 2018, a Coffee and Smoothie Bar was open inside the fitness center. A Bagel Bar with full menu of bagel sandwiches and salads was added in December of 2020 along with a full kitchen. The Coffee, Smoothie, Bagel and Salad Bar operated as a take-out restaurant. Now that Covid restrictions have lifted, the restaurant would like to offer a dine-in seating area separate from the gym.
The proposed renovations will utilize the beautiful views of Hart Lake to create an indoor dining area in the front bay window area of the building. The goal is to separate the exercise floor from the view of the proposed seating area with an 8-ft x 29-ft wall. The separated seating area will have new lights, flooring, bar tables and chairs positioned in the bay windows. A couch, chairs and tables will be placed along the newly erected wall with a 60" wide electric fireplace on the north wall. Renovations will create a seating space overlooking the downtown Hart giving the community an opportunity to meet, socialize and help expand the business
The project provides security to the business, helps grow their customer base, and contributes to their longevity. These outcomes align with H.E.A.R.T.’s business retention and business development strategy.
The Hart Economic and Redevelopment Team provides business incentives, retention, expansion, and start-up services for all sectors within the City of Hart. HEART strives to stay in front of the community as a business and community resource making sure processes are such that developers, new residents, and visitors find their experience in our community inviting and welcoming. To learn more about HEART’s business services, visit here.
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