As you know, I am applying for a Grant through Chase Bank's MainStreet Grants. It's a grant designed for Small Businesses who want to expand and it requires 250 Community Votes to show that the business is serious about their intention and that they have a loyal fan base.
So for the past Month I have been Campaigning for your Vote. Yours, Mine, ANYONE with a Facebook Account. I started with nice little reminders like this:
Because of your voting, sharing and supporting we've reached 25% of the 250 Votes we need!!! Thank You! Your Vote shows the Judges that you love what we do and that you want to see North Country Rustics Continue and to Grow! Haven't Voted Yet? Please Vote Here:https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/6949
And then a bit more urgently when I realized the deadline was only 8 days away and I wasn't even half way to the 250 I needed!
HALFWAY THERE!!! To be eligible for the Chase Small Business Grant we NEED 250 votes ~ and we're nearly half way there! I know many of you have already voted and I am so grateful! Please continue to help us make our goal by Liking, Commenting, and Sharing!https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/6949
And then that deadline clock started haunting my dreams... As it is I have "Captain Hook" Syndrome (an unreasonable dislike for loud clicking clocks) so my posts became even more intense!
4 Days 15 Hours and 8 Voting Minutes Left! Voting is Quick, Easy and Secure ~ Please Vote and Share! Our dream is to expand our workshop, add retail and shipping space so that I can concentrate on carving more and more custom screen doors!https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/6949Then my Rustic Friends, Long Lost Childhood Friends, Community Groups and my Family started Demanding Votes on my behalf too! Which was incredibly moving and made me remember that I'm not all alone in this world. There are people who love me and want to see my dreams come true. Maybe that explains the mushy turn of my next post!
7̶5̶ ̶V̶o̶t̶e̶s̶!̶!̶!̶ NOW ONLY 55 VOTES!!! That's all we need for a chance at a Small Business Grant from Chase for $150,000! We're getting SO close but so is that deadline! Please Vote and Share! Tell Your Friends WHY you Care! Voting is Quick, Easy and Secure! Thank you https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/6949
And today, I threw my pride out the window and begged for votes! I asked my friends, family, aunts, uncles, cousins all to vote! To make their spouses and children vote! If they had voted I asked them to share AGAIN! Yes, I became completely obnoxious! If it weren't strictly against the rules I would've started offering Free Cookies for Every Vote!
ⓦ̲̲̅ⓞ̲̲̅ⓦ̲̲̅!̲̲̅!̲̲̅!̲̲̅ We've made it to 200!!! Thank You!!! I simply cannot believe the support and encouragement! We still need 50 more votes before the deadline in 3 days 15 hours and 4 minutes ~ Can we make it, Rustic Friends???https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/6949
So what other life truths did I learn ~
- First Friends are Lifelong Friends! I've been awed by how many of my childhood friends not only voted but shamelessly and incessantly shared my posts. Friends that I was inseparable from once in my life but haven't seen in 10, 15, even 20+ years. And out of the blue they are there for me like we're still passing notes behind the teacher's back. I'm amazed and so profoundly grateful.
- Family Ties Bind! My family has always supported my dream, my uncle let's me invade his workshop on a regular basis, my cousin listens to my constant highs and lows from this wacky business but... They are often SILENT in their support. They vote but they don't make a big show of it by Liking the Post too! It's a giant guessing game where I'll never know which cousin voted and which didn't. Until the next family reunion! LOL
- Online Voting Contests are not designed for small towns. Our Facebook page has over 1100 Likes but I've struggled to get 250 Votes for my Application. Why? Because Rural Areas don't have access to "just passing by" foot traffic. Our community is tight knit but widespread. News travels quickly if a married couple has a fight in the grocery store but it's a bit slower paced for "internet" news!
Still, at the end of the day I have learned so much! And I am grateful for every vote and every single word of encouragement. I hope that I can make it to the next round of the Grant. I dream of the expansions to the workshop and the addition of a retail space. It would be amazing to have all those dreams come true in one fell swoop but if not... I won't give up. I'll keep working hard, taking tiny steps towards those dreams and Either Way ~ I hope that you'll stay with me through this journey!