Hannah Kirby opened Ember + Forge back in December. She said her coffee shop brings a new vibe to the downtown area.
“We specialize in single origin and single brew methods for different types of coffees and then we do traditional espresso-based drinks and our auto-drip coffee for those that like to grab and go,” said Hannah Kirby, the owner Ember + Forge.
Kirby said this building on State Street dates back to the 1850’s and getting the property up to par for customers took a lot of renovations.
John Buchna with the Downtown Partnership is looking out for businesses just like this one.
For the last five years his organization received grants through ECGRA’s Mission Main Street Program.
He said the money adds up with a match requirement for recipients.
“What takes 15-thousand dollars turns into 30-thousand dollars. Ultimately, we’re now over 200-thousand dollars have been invested in downtown simply because of this ECGRA program,” said Buchna.
Something as simple as a new windows can be a fortune for a small business owner, but thanks to ECGRA that’s one less thing to worry about.
“Traditionally these facade grants go ahead and look at the front doors. They look at the windows. They look at the signage. They look at they awnings,” said Buchna.
Buchna said they’re using the grants to refurbish the city one block at time.
“Just having beautiful buildings and attractive and well maintained exteriors really goes a long way in getting people to enjoy the downtown,” said Kirby.