Businesses will start applying for grants this week

When the leaders at Downtown Dover Partnership decided to host a Facebook Live fundraiser May 2, they wanted to raise spirits and money for downtown businesses.

That’s what they did. They wore silly hats. They raffled off local gifts. And they raised $20,800.

“It was amazing,” said Tina Bradbury, economic development and operations manager. “We had nothing but positivity from people online.”

For three hours, Bradbury and Brynn Voshell, administrative assistant, raffled off more than $5,000 in donated items. They sold almost 400 numbered ping pong balls, which were entered for prizes.

“We want to send a great big heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported our Downtown Dover Facebook Live Auction Fundraiser Saturday night in one way, shape, or form! We put together this major event in only 10 days and it exceeded our expectations on every level!” Bradbury wrote on Downtown Dover’s Facebook page.

All the money will go toward grants for the businesses downtown. The owners will start applying this week, and Patty Cannon, statewide coordinator for Mainstreet America, will review the applications. The grants will be rolling.

Downtown Dover Partnership is still accepting donations to this fund. If anyone wants to match a donation or give, they can email tina@downtowndoverpartnership.com or call the office at 302-678-2940. Sales of “Dover Strong” T-shirts and greeting cards continue at https://Tinyurl.com/DoverStrong.

What’s next for downtown

The day after the fundraiser, owner of Mimesis Signs Tony Espinal called and said he wanted to help.

Following Gov. John Carney’s announcement that some small businesses can start selling curbside Friday, May 8, more businesses will be reopening.

To help communicate the latest health and safety guidelines from the state, Downtown Dover Partnership is partnering with Mimesis Signs to create decals for doors and windows.

Espinal is donating all materials, and Downtown Dover Partnership is paying for the installation. “[This] is a huge savings for us,” Bradbury said. The signs will cost business owners nothing.

Bradbury said downtown will continue to follow guidance from the governor.