By Jessica Mathews/

Businesses in the City of Brighton affected by COVID-19 are receiving some help as part of a new initiative and crowdfunding effort.

The City of Brighton may be a small town, but it’s supported by a broader community full of big hearts. That’s the mantra of the Small Town, Big Hearts Initiative, a program designed to allow individuals to have a direct and personal impact in helping their favorite downtown Brighton business survive the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Endorsed and supported with marketing funds by the Downtown Development Authority, the initiative utilizes the Patronicity crowdfunding platform to connect the patrons of local businesses directly with the businesses in need of assistance. The community-based economic relief focuses on asking patrons of local businesses to show their support even if they can’t visit in person.

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; and empowerment of the patrons of Brighton businesses to support those businesses.

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% 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; and DDA marketing the initiative with a banner over Main Street, advertising via social media, etc.

Those who would like to help support local Brighton businesses by contributing to the Small Town, Big Hearts Initiative can visit the link. More information is also included in the attached press release.