UpStart Thrift Store in Farmington Seeks Business Grant Applications

FARMINGTON — UpStart Thrift Store in Farmington has opened the process for small businesses in Washington County to apply for an UpStart grant of up to $5,000.

The deadline to submit a nomination is Nov. 23, and the recipient will be announced the week of Dec. 5, according to Phyl Amerine, one of the nonprofit’s co-founders.

Here is the link to the UpStart app: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZMP6WGR.

The criteria for awarding a grant is that the applicant must be physically located in Washington County and must have been in operation for less than five years.

Applicants are asked to describe how they would use a grant and, if not awarded, how else might they achieve their business goals.

UpStart Thrift Store, located at 235 E. Main St., is an organization that reports to Startup Junkie, an area nonprofit. The thrift store has an advisory board made up of business people. Everyone who helps in the store volunteers their time.

Amerine said the co-founders, four women, along with Startup Junkie, came up with a new concept to raise money through a thrift store to help small business owners and help the community.

It has a triple mission:

• Provide good quality items at low prices to help everyone in the community.

• Provide grants to local businesses or start-up businesses in Washington County.

• Provide money for interest-free loans through the Kiva NWA Hub loan program administered by Startup Junkie. This is a program that has helped small business owners with much-needed financial support during the covid-19 pandemic and helps entrepreneurs start a new business.

The co-founders see the store as an organization that will lend a hand to a small business.

Amerine said UpStart was “excited to help grow a local family business.”

The thrift store is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The store offers clothing for all ages, home decor and housewares, shoes, jewelry and other items.

Donations are accepted during business hours or can be dropped off at a 24-hour donation box located outside the thrift store.

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