Small Business Encouragement Fund
In order to facilitate a fertile ground for small businesses to thrive in the Village of Mantua, the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corporation (DMRC) is raising funds for the Mantua Village Entrepreneurship Encouragement Fund (-known as “M E 2!”-) through specifically marked donations and through special events, such as the Frost Glass-hosted 'Annual Autumn Arts & Ales' event.
Each small business in the Downtown Mantua area is a valuable asset to the community. They bring in visitors, revenue, and tax dollars, and make Mantua Village a quality destination place. By supporting small businesses, we promote our community and help to build recognition and appeal to other businesses that are looking to get started or to relocate.
Eligible businesses can fill out the ‘M E 2!’ Grant Application Form. These forms will be collected throughout the year. For each quarter, its intent is to assure that awards will be made and chosen from the pool of eligible applicants, through a drawing during a regularly scheduled DMRC Meeting.
Entries that are not selected may be rolled over into the next quarter's drawing(s). The standard quarterly award will be $250.00. Additional awards may be given when there is a surplus in funding, or upon the approval of the DMRC Board of Directors. Businesses can only win an award one time in a 12 - month period.
In order to be deemed eligible to receive funding through the Mantua Village Entrepreneurship Encouragement Fund (‘M E 2 ‘), the following criteria must be met:
- A physical business address within Mantua Village
- Conducting business in Mantua
- Federal ‘EIN’ information
- Less than $1 million in annual gross receipts
Acceptable uses for ‘M E 2! ‘Funds:
- Permitted Signage
- Special Event(s) Funding
- Agreed Capital Improvements
- Agreed Upkeep
- Other Criteria based upon DMRC approval
Note: Award winners will be asked to present an overview of their project at a DMRC meeting after the ‘ME 2!’ project is complete. Receipts must be provided to establish that ‘M E 2! ’ funds have been ethically and properly assigned. Any selected applicant misappropriating funding will be ineligible for future funding.
This project is intended to support Downtown Mantua businesses, but also is a tool to spread the word about Mantua as a destination site, and should be strategically publicized and shared. It is also expected to draw consumers, customers, and new business owners to the area, to help Mantua flourish.
‘M E 2! ’ funds will continue to be awarded until the funding is exhausted. In that case, the funds will have to be grown until the minimum award amount of $250.00 is re-established. If this minimum cannot be met, and/or there is agreement between Frost Glass and the DMRC Board of Directors to request that the Mantua Village Entrepreneurship Encouragement Fund be dissolved, any remnant funds will be turned over to the DMRC, for its general use(s).
Download ME 2 Application
Download ME 2 Cover Sheet
ME 2 Committee
Flowers on the Bridge
When DMRC Board member Mary Cabot visited Europe, she fell in love with the European custom of placing cascading flower baskets on bridges over their rivers. She said it became her dream to do the same with the bridge over the Cuyahoga in Mantua Village. In 2015, following the construction of the new bridge on State Route 44, Mary initiated her Flowers on the Bridge project and collected donations to purchase the baskets and the flowers.
At the DMRC’s Annual Meeting in 2015 Mary Cabot presented her program to the membership, who immediately made personal donations to assure the placement of the baskets and flowers, but also suggested that DMRC manage the donations for the project. We have managed the funds for the program ever since.
Flowers on the Bridge added beauty to Mantua Village in 2015 and 2016 and will continue its success story.
Headwaters Trail Collaboration
In the summer of 2014 Downtown Mantua Revitalization initiated the organization of the Headwaters Trail Collaboration—Connecting Communities with the intention of creating a group of interested parties from the communities through which the trail passes to have a shared interest in promoting and upgrading the trail through their communities. Invited were political leaders and representatives from Aurora, Mantua, Mantua Township, Hiram and Garrettsville, representatives from interested service groups like Rotary, Mantua-Shalersville Chamber of Commerce, Garrettsville Rotary as well as Chris Craycroft from the Portage Parks Department and Todd Peetz from Portage County Regional Planning.
At that first meeting, the group agreed that a Headwaters Trail brand was needed, upgrades to the trail were needed, unified signage was needed and most of all, the trail ultimately needed to be extended into Aurora and in the future, possibly to Youngstown. All realized the economic and social importance of the Headwaters Trail in their respective Communities.
Hosted by Downtown Mantua Revitalization, The Headwaters Trail Collaboration has continued to meet quarterly to promote interest in the trail. Since the initial meeting the following accomplishments have been implemented or planned;
- A specific brand for the Headwaters Trail is being developed.
- Portage parks District has begun contacting property owners to obtain the right of way to connect the Headwaters Trail from Mantua to the Aurora Parks.
- Mantua Village received a grant to connect the trail within the village. Work is scheduled to be started in the spring of 2017.
- Portage Parks Department received a grant to resurface the Trail from Garrettsville to Mennonite Road.
- Garrettsville is building an entrance to the Trail from the Garrettsville Plaza.
- The Village of Hiram is building a walking trail from the Hiram College dining hall to Route 305.
- The Boy Scouts from Garrettsville installed new benches on the Headwaters Trail in Garrettsville.
- Directional Signage is planned for Garrettsville.
- Mantua Rotary has received grants to create informational signage regarding the historical railroad.
- Aurora has been in talks with Twinsburg about connecting the trail system with theirs.