Three Small Texas Businesses Receive COVID Relief Grants from Main Street America, the Hartford

Three small businesses in Texas Historical Commission Main Street communities received grant funding from Main Street America and The Hartford. Gene’s Photography in Mineola, Mesquite Creek Outfitters in Del Rio, and The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods Store in Elgin were among 67 businesses across the country to receive $5,000–$15,000 from the HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program. 

The HartBeat of Main Street grants help small, brick-and-mortar businesses in historic commercial districts respond and adapt to COVID-19 challenges. 

Del Rio’s Mesquite Creek Outfitters will use its grant funds to create a safe outdoor beer garden, with easy-to-clean outdoor furniture, adjacent to its existing craft wine and beer business. Gene’s Photography, Minneola’s oldest family-owned downtown business, plans to use its funds for a façade renovation and an inside workstation with plexiglass dividers and a sanitation station. Recognized in 2013 as the state’s best downtown business by the Texas Downtown Association, Elgin’s The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods Store plans to build a more robust online retail presence with its grant funds. 

“We are so proud that small businesses in three of our designated communities have been selected to receive HartBeat grants,” said Debra Drescher, state coordinator of the Texas Main Street Program. “All three are in long-time Main Street communities that have prioritized their historic downtowns and support the entrepreneurial, independent businesses that are so important to a community’s vitality.” 

These grants were awarded during the first round of the HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program. A second round ends October 29. More information about the grant program is available at www.mainstreet.org/howwecanhelp/hartbeat. 

The Texas Main Street Program is affiliated with the National Main Street Center/Main Street America, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. There are currently 87 designated Main Street communities across the state. 

The unique, preservation-based Main Street Four Point Approach helps stimulate private-sector downtown reinvestment in historic downtowns, and helps retain, expand, and recruit small businesses, while also creating new jobs in Texas. Since the first communities joined the program in 1981, more than $4.6 billion in overall reinvestment has been generated by the public and private sectors. Additionally, almost 43,000 jobs and 11,000 small businesses have been created in the state’s Main Street-designated downtowns. 

For more information on the Texas Main Street Program, contact State Coordinator Debra Drescher at 512-463-5758 or debra.drescher@thc.texas.gov, or visit the THC’s website at www.thc.texas.gov/mainstreet.