The Zionsville Redevelopment Commission awarded grants recommended by the town’s community development corporation to two additional Zionsville businesses to help ease the burden of unplanned expenses and lost revenue incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zionsville launched the grant program earlier this summer. The funding option is available to businesses in the 106th Street tax increment finance district, an area bounded by Poplar Street, Elm Street, 96th Street, Michigan Road and Zionsville Road.
Salon G, which requested a $20,000 grant, was awarded $10,000. Salon G owner Melissa Gee said she will use the grant for marketing purposes, including updating the salon’s website, which has not been updated for eight years, and hiring a social media consultant to improve outreach to patrons in Zionsville and surrounding cities and towns.
“During COVID, we were shut down for nine weeks and pretty much realized now more than ever, with people being home more, people are turning to websites, social media, and that was when we realized we need to get a better presence,” Gee said during the redevelopment Nov. 23 commission meeting.
The redevelopment commission also awarded a $10,000 grant requested by Blooming Life Yoga Studio. Owners Geoff and Kristen Barfield will use the grant for operating expenses, marketing, teacher expansion, Pilates machines and technology upgrades to provide online classes.
“When the pandemic happened and we had to close, it was a real challenge,” Kristen said during the meeting. “Yoga studios aren’t really known for technology. We’re known for maybe coming in to get away from that stuff.”
The yoga studio was closed for several weeks at the start of the pandemic. The Barfields purchased the studio in late spring because they wanted to keep it open when it was safe for clients to return.
“The thought of closing those doors was really heartbreaking to me,” said Kristen, who has taught at the studio since it opened in 2015. “(Yoga is) such a necessary part of not only physical health, but mental health, so Geoff and I decided to go all in and do what we can to keep those doors open.”
The studio reopened June 1, offering in-person classes with mitigation protocols and a livestream option, Kristen said.
Previously, grants were awarded to eight Zionsville businesses: Blooms by Dragonfly, Casalini Portraits, CV Art and Frame, Frances+Parke, Hopwood Cellars, Lesley Jane, Village Antique Mall and zWorks. A total of $93,500 in grants has been awarded so far.
Funding for businesses in TIF district is available but limited for the remainder of 2020, according to town officials. For more on the grant program, email the town at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Wayne DeLong, the town’s director of planning and economic development, at 317-503-6170.
The Zionsville Community Development Corp. is a nonprofit service organization whose mission is to undertake activities that are for the “betterment of Zionsville. Formed in 2016, the CDC contributes to the community in a variety of ways, including offering economic development incentives in the form of grants and loans to businesses in the 106th Street TIF district as well as operating and maintaining the pathways, rain gardens and common areas in Creekside Corporate Park.