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Small Town, Big Hearts Initiative Now Helping Local Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Small Town Big Hearts-people walking around business tents

 City of Brighton DDA organizes crowdfunding effort 

 The City of Brighton may be a small town, but it is supported by a broader community full of big hearts. 

That is exactly the mantra of the Small Town, Big Hearts Initiative, a program designed to allow individuals to have a direct and very personal impact in helping their favorite downtown Brighton business survive the economic impacts of this pandemic. Endorsed and supported with marketing funds by the DDA, this initiative utilizes the Patronicity crowdfunding platform to connect the patrons of local businesses directly with the businesses in need of assistance. 

Key accomplishments of the Small Town, Big Hearts Initiative so far include: 

  • 20+ participating eligible businesses.
  • More than $25,000 in donations raised.
  • More than 400 individual donations.
  • An additional $20,000 in matching funds from Lake Trust Credit Union, plus $5,000 in awards for campaigns who embody Lake Trust’s organizational culture or espouse a strong sense of community.
  • Empowerment of the patrons of Brighton businesses to support those businesses. 

This community-based based economic relief focuses on asking patrons of local businesses to show their support even if they can’t visit in person. Participating businesses receive: 

  • Access to the new DDA crowdfunding page hosted by Patronicity, which will be available to for-profit businesses within the DDA.
  • Access to one-on-one coaching support from the staff at Patronicity as well as local volunteers.
  • Lake Trust Credit Union’s 50 percent matching contributions up to $750 for a total of $20,000 across all campaigns through May 15, 2020, or until funds are depleted.
  • Lake Trust Credit Union’s five $1,000 contributions to the campaigns that best embody the fundamentals of Lake Trust’s organizational culture and espouse a strong sense of community. 
  • DDA marketing the initiative with a banner over Main Street, advertising via social media, etc.

“The Small Town, Big Hearts program is a brilliant way during this pandemic to support one’s favorite ‘downtown’ Brighton businesses without the health risks,” said Downtown Development Authority member Cal Stone, who urges businesses in need of assistance: “If you haven’t signed up, do it now!” 

Community Impact Manager DeAndre Lipscomb and Business Development Manager Nicole Dietrich from Lake Trust Credit Union agree. “Lake Trust is proud to support our communities during this difficult time. It’s important for all of us to support each other right now and we’re grateful to be a part of the Small Town, Big Hearts initiative.” 

If you would like to help support local Brighton businesses by contributing to the Small Town, Big Hearts Initiative please visit

Ann Arbor SPARK partners with the Economic Development Council of Livingston County (EDCLC) to expand economic opportunity throughout the region. The EDCLC established an ongoing partnership Ann Arbor SPARK in 2011 to provide services to help businesses in the area grow and attract new businesses and investment to the county.