Hannah Horecka, owner of Quiet Strength Yoga in downtown Ellsworth, one of the winners of 11 grantees of the 2021 Downtown Grants Program. Courtesy photo

ELLSWORTH – A total of 11 downtown Ellsworth businesses received grants to fund new entrepreneurial projects to develop additional revenue streams and boost long-term sustainability. Four Ellsworth community banks, Bangor Federal Credit Union, First National Bank, Franklin Savings Bank, and Machias Savings Bank, with support from Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, joined together, contributing a total of $11,000, making the 2021 rendition of the Downtown Grants Program the most significant yet. 

Heart of Ellsworth’s Downtown Grants program is a foundational component of their entrepreneurial ecosystem work that aims to connect entrepreneurs, small businesses, innovators, and start-ups to community banks, resources, and opportunities to advance their growth. 

Awardees include: Anchored Women’s Health, Cute Knits, Downeast Specialty Bakery, Fogtown Brewing Company, Honey In That Rock Cider Company, Little Red Flower Truck, MacRevival + Archangel, Nisa Jewelry, Precipice Coffee, Quiet Strength Yoga, and Sara Grover McDougall. 

Heart of Ellsworth’s Executive Director Cara Romano, said, “These five banks have chosen to reinvest in the community they do business in; it’s inspiring to see them join together, creating a larger pool of resources for established and aspiring entrepreneurs. Programs like this provide a platform for our work to deeply impact the local economy. We were pleased with the range of applications, and while it was difficult not funding them all, we now have a deeper understanding of small business needs and can work to build out the 2022 program with additional resources.” 

Romano continued, “We are excited to see creative downtown business owners expand their offerings through the development of alternative revenue streams that will build capacity and expand the knowledge base, making their business sustainable for years to come” All funded projects are expected to be completed by late winter of 2022.

To learn more about Heart of Ellsworth and its programs, visit heartofellsworth.org 

Heart of Ellsworth, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, promotes artistic, economic, educational, environmental, cultural, and historic activities in the “downtown” area of the city of Ellsworth, Maine, to provide a vibrant community for all residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and local government.