BEACHWOOD, Ohio (WJW) – The person who first said “easy as pie” probably never ran a bakery.
The day starts before sunrise because cakes and other goodies are done by hand and take a lot of time to do right.
If you have the iconic Cleveland name “Hough Bakeries” on the wall, it’s also has to be excellent.
Archie’s Hough Bakeries was open for barely a year when COVID-19 hit, but loyal customers got them through and so will a grant from Cuyahoga County.
“We’ll be able to purchase some equipment that’s badly needed. Another mixer, a cake depositor, another oven. Those are the things we really need,” bakery owner Archie Garner said.
The Significant Transformative Impactful Minority-focused grants, or STIMulus grants for short, are for small businesses like Archie’s that made it through the pandemic and are now looking to grow.
Archie’s Hough Bakeries were surprised to hear they got the max.
“We’re able to to do business grants from $10,000 to $50,000. I think Archie’s, you got $50,000,” County Executive Armond Budish said.
The money comes from close to $2 million from the American Rescue Plan Act funds, which will go to 55 different small, mostly minority and women-owned businesses of many types — from retail and restaurants to tech and fitness.
Nu-Life Fitness in Collinwood survived the pandemic even though they were forced to close for months.
Things have been going very well since. So much so that they opened up a small vegan carryout and juice spot in the gym.
Owner Miesha Wilson says their $50,000 grant will not only allow them to give the carryout room to grow, but will allow them to help other entrepreneurs
“So when we create the incubator spaces, we’re going to divide. It’s going to allow other business that have boutiques, nail salons, just things that are small that they’re trying to get off the ground. This will become a hub for that in the middle of the Waterloo Arts District, which is thriving by the way,” Wilson said.
That’s all anyone wants — to give small businesses a chance to thrive. Many minority and women-owned businesses had to close for good because of the pandemic. Those that survived hope to continue to bounce back.
“This award will give us a huge shot in the arm,” Garner said.
If you are a small business owner and would like more information about programs in Cuyahoga County geared to help, go here.