New Program Credited With Bringing Seven New Businesses To Spencer

Wed 2-3-2021

(Spencer)-- The city of Spencer is celebrating the success of a relatively new program designed to draw new businesses to the city's downtown. Nancy Naeve of Spencer Main Street says the Kickstarter program has been in place since 2019 and has resulted in seven new businesses coming to the community...Kickstarter01 

"And it's six partnerships that came together, we all said were going to give, we committed $25.000 each over five years, but we've already spent that and it's just the beginning of 2021. There was such a big interest in it. And what it is is we really want to find those niche retail or restaurants that the need isn't being met in Spencer, to help them get into a location and get them open. This is really not supposed to be the major funds that they will use. They have to have matching money, we want them to use a local lendo, unless they're an expansion then they can use the bank they're already using. But we were just really looking for a kickstarter to retail and we've definitely done that." 

Three of the new businesses were recognized Tuesday...Kickstarter02 

"Grand Bridal got $38,197 and that is a mix between revolving loan and a forgivable loan, so every year they're open, up to five years, that loan will be forgiven. So they got money. We also gave $2,500 to Game State, that was to help them move into their new business and Kevin Rohan bought out his partner, and then we also helped the Loft By Pressed which is upstairs at Pressed, their upper story, that's going to be a photography studio and a podcast studio, and they got $9,500. So in total we've all spent $150,000. Each entity has spent their $25,000 so now we're just working on the re-paying you know, to generate more money in the revolving fund and then maybe get some new partners invested in it, too."

Naeve says the fact they've seen this kind of response to the program speaks volumes of the Spencer community...Kickstarter03 

"I think it says something about our community that we do have entities that are willing to put money in a pot to help new businesses. That is not surprising to me. I love Spencer for that very reason. It is surprising though how many people are aware of it and have applied. You know we've had to turn some away just because it's not meeting our goal. You know this is all of our money and so we're very specific about who we are granting this money to."

Naeve thanks those who have participated financially in the Kickstarter Program. They include the Spencer Chamber of Commerce, city of Spencer, Northwest Bank, Community Bank, Farmer's Bank and the Spencer Main Street program.