In 2018, Main Street’s Business Support Committee developed a grant for businesses in the district looking for additional technical assistance. The “Biz Boost – Growth & Innovation Grant” provides a four-hour technical assistance consultation from a qualified professional in the field of choice. Consultant fees were covered by the Czech Village-New Bohemia Main Street program.
The technical support available to Main Street Businesses through this grant covers a wide variety of services including: business plan, financial, business transition, business operations, conceptual façade or interior layouts, building/site improvements, promotions, marketing, social media, market analysis, website and many other options.
Beth DeBoom of Little House Artifacts was looking for Technical Consultation for her website. Main Street paired her with McNary Marketing & Design, also located in the Main Street District. After the consultation, Beth said, “I learned a whole new approach to building my web site, from structure and design to content. I also learned how to turn the revised website into a means of bringing customers into my store. This will, hopefully, increase my customer base and sales.” Beth would recommend this program to other Czech Village New Bohemia Main Street District Businesses because, “It was incredibly helpful to see my online marketing through a professional’s eyes. I believe this level of feedback will make my online presence more business savvy and translate into increased sales.” Josh McNary was proud to be involved with the new program, stating; “We aim to support the businesses which make our community so special. Being involved as a provider via the Main Street Biz Boost Grant is one way we can apply what we have learned from our Marketing Technology Work state and nation wide, right here to our local community.”
Anne Armitage, owner of in Moss Cedar Rapids & Iowa City, was looking for HR Consulting help. Through the “Biz Boost Growth and Innovation Grant,” Main Street paired her with a consultant through the Small Business Development Center to help organize their management and employee structure. During the consultation, Anne said she was provided valuable information on employee onboarding and offboarding as well as a kit that contains all the required documents in one digital folder that allows her to understand state and federal laws and requirements. After the consultation Anne said, “I have a better grasp of my rights and responsibilities as an employer and now have a digital new hire kit that contains all HR documents for new staff. This will save me time and resources in the future when I hire new staff.”
When asked if she would recommend this program to other local businesses, Anne Armitage said, “This service was very helpful to me. Now I know where to turn when questions surface.” With the success of the spring round of grants, Main Street offered the “Biz Boost Growth and Innovation Grant” once again this fall and looks forward to sharing the results.