The Main Street Oakland County Program crowd funds to help downtown businesses impacted by pandemic

A group of 25 Oakland County municipalities organized into The Main Street Oakland County Program are crowd funding.

The money is to help small businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic - the best part might be the funds are matched.

The Main Street Oakland County Program claims this is the first mass community crowd fund of main street communities in the nation.
It is working with Patronicity to get the job done, an organization that helps municipalities raise money online through friends, family and whoever.

Eight community campaigns are already live online including Pontiac, Ortonville, Berkley, South Lyon and Wixom.

"We are on a mission to raise $15,000 so we can help our downtown businesses during this COVID-19 crisis," said Laura Cloutier, executive director of Wixom's downtown Development Authority.

Main Street Oakland County says they expect 11 more communities just like Wixom, to come online. Many businesses across metro Detroit are in the same boat.

"The mom and pop stores of our communities are hurting drastically right now," Cloutier said.

The crowd funding program raises money for each municipality to dole out to small businesses. They design their own campaigns and how long it runs, plus set their money goal. 

Anyone can donate and help.

"This money will help them pay rent, utilities, pay roll, day to day operational expenses," she said. 

"There's been staggered guidance that's been issued on the federal level, all the way down to the state, county level and professional level," said Caleb Sheng, Wixom DDA Chair. "The businesses can be certain that we're there alongside them every single day. And that is our motivation to stand with these social programs and what motivates people like (Cloutier) to work overtime to help these folks. Because these are our neighbors that operate in this uncertain time."

Eligible Oakland County Main Street communities can simply start a campaign online. The money raised will be matched one-to-one, up to $4,000 matching funds coming from Main Street Oakland County.

Communities have until the 15th to get their campaigns up and going.