MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. - (WXYZ) — For small business owner Mike Sheppard, the phone doesn’t ring quite like it used to ring.
"You’re going through your day to day business, and all the sudden you come to grinding halt, and your expenses are still there," said Mike Sheppard owner of Northern Audio in Madison Heights.
Mike owns Northern Audio Service, an 80-year-old Madison Heights mainstay, that specializes in repairing and rebuilding music related equipment.
"Going from full throttle, everybody working overtime to zero and then having to tell customers you have to wait till couple of months, you know, that's hard to do," said Sheppard.
When the pandemic began, Mike was forced to lay off his employees and close up shop and he began wondering if the business would live to see another.
Then a lifeline appeared! Madison Heights Economic Development Supervisor, Giles Tucker, is helping city businesses find funding.
"When things are difficult, we rely on our community to help build us back up," said Giles Tucker from the city of Madison Heights.
"The city, Main Street Oakland County, Madison Heights- Hazel Park chamber of commerce and our DDA, they all kind of pitched together," said Tucker.
The county coming up with an innovative idea, a mom and pop business relief fund all aggregated through crowdfunding, the first program of its kind in the country.
Here’s how it works: Each Oakland County city crowd sources from its own community and the county matches dollar for dollar up to $4000.
For Madison Heights, the success was unexpected.
"We set our initial goal at $10,000 and we raised it in six days so we actually did a stretch goal of $15,000," said Tucker. "It's been a real team effort."
An effort aiming to keep businesses like Mike’s alive.
"This is a way our residents are saying thank you because when things get back to normal, these are the types of businesses that support what we do locally," said Tucker.
Those businesses saying thank you in return.
"Any extra income you can get is phenomenal," said Sheppard. "It's like the old thing, if you all stick together, and where we go one, we go all."
The city of Madison Heights is now accepting applications from businesses Click here to apply
Click here to donate to Madison Heights Patronicity campaign
SO HERE’S THE REBOUND RUNDOWN
- IF YOU OWN A SMALL BUSINESS IN OAKLAND COUNTY AND NEED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE- CONTACT YOUR CITY AND APPLY TO RECEIVE THE FUNDING
- SUPPORT THE MOM AND POP SHOPS IN YOUR COMMUNITY BY HEADING TO THE CROWDFUNDING SITE PATRONICITY. COM