Thank you to all of the local small businesses that self-nominated for the $5,000 Small Business Relief Grant. After reviewing all of the nominations, we’ve selected eight small business nominees! Now, we need your help to decide which two Yolo County small businesses will be awarded a grant. Below you will find a list of the nominees, along with their backgrounds and testimonials describing how they have been impacted by the recent pandemic, how they support our local communities, and how they plan to utilize the relief grant.
To vote for the nominee you believe is most deserving, click the vote button. All votes are due by Friday, June 5, 2020 – so make sure your vote counts! The two businesses with the most votes will each receive a $5,000 Small Business Relief Grant.
Not deemed an essential business, Alterations and Designs was able to continue serving their community by sewing face masks for customers and providing alterations to uniforms and scrubs for essential workers. Although they are the only alterations shop in West Sacramento, they have seen a severe drop in business and are now financially struggling.
If awarded a $5,000 grant, the owner Lyubov Andreychenk stated, “I would use the grant to pay for rent for my business space, I am behind on rent by three months.”
They also would use the funds to help keep their business operating to continue providing alteration services for the public. “I offer alterations to many customers in the workforce, whether it be patches or alterations for police, fire, and any armed forces. I offer alterations to businessmen and women, and lastly, alterations to all local residents for any home or personal needs.”
Started in 2012 by four friends, Bike Dog Brewing is a craft brewery that specializes in good beers with a community focus. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bike Dog has had to slow its production, close their taproom, and limit distribution, which ultimately led to having to lay off several employees.
When asked how they would utilize the funds, Bike Dog stated, “a $5,000 grant would help us finalize the new taproom and bring our employees back to help launch it once the shelter-in-place is relaxed.”
The new taproom is a project that was started before the pandemic and has since stalled.
If awarded the grant, they also plan to reestablish their commitment to the community through donations and fundraisers with local groups and causes. “We want to be part of our community again and celebrate this opening with them.”
Bike Dog has a passion for bike and dog groups and works closely with organizations and causes such as animal shelters, rescues, bike advocacy, trail groups, and more. They also host a monthly bike ride through the Yolo Bypass and look forward to bringing that event back to the community.
As a wedding and event florist, Flower Mama is passionate about teaching, encouraging, and inspiring others by offering floral design and workshops to the community of Davis, CA. The business has been impacted primarily due to festivals and weddings being canceled or postponed through summer and has adapted by offering weekly bouquets made with local flower farmers. Although the response has been incredible, it does not compensate for the weddings and events that will be missed.
When asked about how they plan to utilize the grant funds, the owner, Katie Koch said:
“Receiving this grant and having this cushion would give me the peace-of-mind I need to take time to consider and research alternative options. One idea that comes to mind is teaching virtual classes on floral design.”
“As a single mom and business owner, and with my business being completely flipped upside down, this is a scary time. It’s also exciting because I know there are more opportunities for me to continue my business and doing what I love while offering value to my community.”
To learn more about Flower Mama, visit the website at CaliFlowerMama.com or follow on Instagram.
Musictown Studio was established in 2011 with the dream of training and inspiring a generation of creatives through private lessons on a variety of instruments, including voice instruction. The business provides local residents with a dynamic learning environment to grow and develop a passion for performing and creative arts for hundreds of students. Over the last few months, Musictown has continued to provide support to students through online sessions.
If Musictown was awarded the grant money, they would use it to pay the necessary business expenses until they are able to re-open and welcome students back to the studio.
The owners built the business on relationships, inspiration, and creativity. To welcome the community into the “Musictown Family”, they created a program in 2017 called Musictown Gives Back. Through this program, the business restores old instruments, audio gear, and lighting for donations to nonprofits, local music programs, or families who are in need. When asked how their business gives back, Musictown said:
“We were getting ready to launch a ‘Make a Wish’ type program right before COVID hit. The premise of the program is that people in the community would submit a wish and we would work to make it come true. The program has been put on hold until shelter-in-place is lifted.” said Jason Squires, Owner
Oasis Club & Spa has served the community of Woodland for over 30 years by helping women of all ages and fitness levels achieve goals both mentally and physically. “A huge part of our business are seniors, aged 65-85. I feel that this closure has affected them the most during this time as we are the main physical and social outlet that many of them have. We focus on small group senior training and flexibility to help them stay mobile during these years of their life,” said Melika Salvemini, owner of Oasis Club & Spa.
On a monthly basis, Oasis Club & Spa participates in local fundraising activities and has donated to numerous charities over the years, including school and sports fundraisers, Omega Nu, Woodland Little League, and Cal Ripkin the local children’s museum. Plus, they have previously sponsored the Woodland 4th of July Run and the local turkey trot, Running of the Turkeys.
If selected for the grant, it would be used to rehire employees, cover overhead, and prepare the club and spa to reopen their doors again to the community.
At the Pamela Trokanski Dance Workshop, they know that dance is much more than a great activity for children. They believe that movement classes build community through a shared positive experience while also acting as an avenue for living a creative, healthy, and successful life. This philosophy has shaped their programs for over three decades drawing in an average of 750-1,000 weekly visits to the Dance Workshop with participants throughout Yolo County. Due to the shelter-in-place order, they were forced to close and cancel in-person classes.
When asked how they would utilize the grant funds, the owner, Pamela Trokanski responded by listing four areas they would focus on improving. First, purchasing safety equipment and supplies for both staff and students. Second included upgrading technology to help improve connection and promote distance learning.
“Since the shelter-in-place began, we have recorded dance classes for our students and emailed them links, in hopes of maintaining connections and helping them to feel a bit more normal during this time,” said Pamela Trokanski.
In addition, to improved safety and technology, the dance studio would provide new program supplies and equipment for personal use. Lastly, they would plan to support those in the community of those experiencing financial hardships by developing a scholarship fund for children to attend camps and classes.
To learn more about the Pamela Trokanski Dance Workshop, visit their website at trokanski.com and like them on Facebook.
Steady Eddy’s Coffee House is a small family-owned coffee shop located in Historic Downtown Winters, where locals and tourists can enjoy coffee and the city. The coffee shop is named after the friendly cat that previously lived beneath the building. The former owner, Jack, wished to pass on the shop to someone that would care for and serve the community. The current owners share the town’s passion for quality, local food, and drink, and love being a part of downtown Winters. In keeping with their promise to the community, the coffee shop uses fresh, local ingredients, and the shops Master Roaster, Mel Wroten, roasts all of the coffee for the shop’s daily needs!
When asked how they give back, the owner, Carla Wroten said “I personally have a passion to work with other businesses to make Winters better. I’m currently working on reopening Winters Message with other business owners and with the city to see how we can get downtown to have more outdoor seating while we start to open up.”
They also give back to the community by supporting local events like Coffee Fest (which they’ve hosted two years in a row), as well as non-profits: Winters PTA, Rotary Club, Winters Education Foundation, Winters Friends of the Library, and the Winters Chamber of Commerce, and are currently a sponsor of the Senior Breakfast with Putah Creek Cafe.
If awarded the Yolo Federal Small Business Relief Grant, they would use the funds to purchase tables, chairs, plants, and decor to add more outdoor seating options for the coffee shop.
Winters Barber Co. is a family-friendly, locally owned barbershop in Historic Downtown Winters located in the northeast corner of the old library building.
Over the years, the barbershop has demonstrated their commitment to the Winters Community by sponsoring the Winters Little League, Jr. Warriors football, the Cheer program, PTA, and have been proud supporters of school events such as Poker Night, FFA, and Youth Day events.
“We have been closed since March 17th and continue to struggle to pay the rent to our building landlord,” said the owner Alyshia Fox-Jimenez. If awarded the Yolo Federal Relief Grant, they would use the funds to pre-pay rent, insurance, and help their four barbers get back on their feet.
Follow Winters Barber Co. on Facebook to learn more.
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