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The Small Town Strong project, initiated by Mineola Community Bank, is a reinvestment fund for independently owned small businesses in Mineola, Winnsboro, Lindale, Grand Saline and Edgewood.
Its mission is to help small businesses remain functional by offering assistance with fixed expenses such as rent or utilities during the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
As increasing government mandates request social distancing and push non-essential businesses to close their doors for public safety, many small businesses are suffering and fear they won’t be able to recover.
MCB hopes the Small Town Strong project will help them come out on the other side of the pandemic still intact.
The bank began the project with an initial contribution of $10,000 in a fund for each town, a total of $50,000. They have called upon businesses, corporations and individuals to join by contributing to their town’s fund.
In an effort to keep the local economy stimulated and to grow the reinvestment fund in each community, MCB will add an additional $1 to a town’s fund with every local receipt turned in. The project will continue for four months with the opportunity for each town to earn up to $10,000 for receipts each month.
Receipts can be dropped off at any MCB drive-through location, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted publicly on Facebook using the hashtag #smalltownstrong2020. Due to privacy settings, the post has to be public to be seen. The receipts need to show the company name, date of transaction and which town.
The Mineola Economic Development Corporation donated $10,000 to help promote job and business retention in Mineola during the pandemic. They are being proactive in helping small businesses by offering them financial assistance now instead of having to wait on very competitive state and federal relief funds.
Winnsboro First National Bank donated $10,000 to the Winnsboro fund.
FNB South Town drive-through location is accepting local receipts for the receipt challenge, and applications for financial assistance may also be picked up there.
Economic development corporations in Winnsboro and Edgewood each have also made pledges of $10,000 for their towns’ funds.
Even the young citizens are doing their part to help. Eight year old Brooklyn Gann heard her parents talking about the Small Town Strong project and wanted to help. She emptied her piggy bank and donated her savings of $25 to help her hometown Grand Saline.
The project is not intended to supplement lost income but to help small businesses that may be struggling. While MCB understands that they may not be able to assist everyone in need, their goal is to help keep as many local businesses intact as possible during this crisis.
Applications for assistance may be picked up at any of the MCB drive-thru locations. To expedite the decision process of the local approval committees, they ask that businesses fill out the application in it’s entirety and include a copy of any bills for which they are requesting assistance.
Any individual or business that would like to contribute to a town fund of their choice can make donations directly to Small Town Strong project at any MCB branch.
Each contribution will expand the number of applicants MCB will be able to assist during this difficult economic time, and will help keep the doors open on the small businesses that not only provide character and individuality to the community, but also create employment opportunities.