We are excited to announce the winners of our Downtown Dollars marketing mini-grant competition for small businesses in Aroostook County. Two awardees were selected from a strong group of applicants throughout Aroostook County.
Wicked Water Graphics on Main Street in Madawaska received an award of $300. The business is a Factory Certified and Factory Trained Company in Hydrographic Printing. This process is also known as Camo Dipping, Liquid Transfer Printing, and Liquid Printing. Currently serving the OEM market, the Downtown Dollars grant will enable them to add marketing materials specifically targeting end-users and broaden their consumer reach by way of a new brochure. They will also use the grant to acquire a sign which will provide better visual identification of their physical location.
MaineSimple on Presque Isle Street in Fort Fairfield received an award of $100. This 2016 start-up business creates, crafts and sells quality Maine made products including unique soaps, insect repellent, candles, jewelry, and other fun stuff. The marketing mini-grant will help them explore the markets on Facebook and Etsy, through the purchase of ‘boosts’ and ‘clicks’. This short term enhancement to existing marketing will help determine the feasibility of investing in increased marketing campaigns in those venues.
Cindy Johnson, owner of The Cubby Thrift Stores in Presque Isle, Caribou, Madawaska and Houlton, lent her expertise as one of the members of the review committee. “The mini grants are a wonderful opportunity for local businesses to grow and develop their marketing strategies, reach out to and meet their target audiences, and solidify their presence in their area of expertise. I would encourage all budding entrepreneurs to reach out to the New Ventures Mini Grant Program as a financial platform to boost their business endeavors and take advantage of this gem of a program available to Aroostook County businesses.”
New ventures Maine’s Downtown Dollars marketing mini-grant competition was especially targeted at communities affiliated with the Maine Downtown Center. Criteria for the contest included being in business five years or less, having five or fewer employees, having gross annual sales of $250,000 or less, and presenting a compelling marketing project to support business growth. Support for NVME’s partnership with Maine Downtown Center and the Downtown Dollars mini-grants program was provided in part from The Betterment Fund.