By Megan Kelley
On May 12, the Downtown Development Authority board met virtually for their regularly scheduled meeting, with Executive Director Molly LaLone introducing several new campaigns and event changes.
One of the more notable campaign’s was the Patronicity Business Assistance Crowdfunding Campaign, which launched the following day. This campaign will expand the current Lake Orion Loyalty program to aid downtown businesses impacted by COVID-19.
“Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority is expanding the Lake Orion Loyalty program to include a crowdfunding campaign for all eligible businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds raised will be matched by Main Street Oakland County (up to $4,000),” said LaLone. “As a community we have always strived to support each other; now it is needed more than ever before. Let’s meet this challenge together.”
The campaign is expected to run until 11:45 p.m. on June 21 with a goal of raising $25,000. With the contribution from Mainstreet of Oakland County, the Lake Orion DDA would have $29,000 to donate in equal amounts directly to downtown businesses based on need.
As of May 18, the campaign had raised $930.
The funds would be distributed through the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester, LaLone said.
Grant money received by downtown businesses can be used in any way that the businesses see fit: paying rent, mortgage and/or utilities, paying to adjust services in order for businesses to operate during the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order, purchasing inventory or other business expenses.
Businesses eligible for this grant must be located within the boundaries of the DDA (along M-24 from Heights Road to Elizabeth Street and in downtown Lake Orion), require face-to-face/in-person contact and cannot be a franchise, major corporation or a publicly-traded business.
To make a donation to support downtown businesses, visit www.patronicity.com and search “LO Loyalty.”
Donors will receive prizes depending on their donation amount. The prizes include downtown dollars, LO Loyalty koozies, t-shirts, masks and their name engraved on a brick in Children’s Park.