February 4, 2023
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Grand Rapids business district awarded state grant

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Uptown Grand Rapids, an organization representing four business districts, has received an $8,000 state grant for a local incubator kitchen.

The grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation was awarded to Uptown Grand Rapids on behalf of Bee Side Kitchen at 425 Norwood Ave. SE.

Paula Reed, co-owner of Bee Side Kitchen, said she’s planning to use the funds to purchase large kitchen equipment such as ovens, stove tops and possibly a display refrigerator. The goal is to add updated and bigger equipment for the tenants that use her space to produce special orders for customers.

“It’s allowing us to get equipment not only to grow our personal bakery but provide better equipment, bigger equipment, just more useable space to help grow more businesses in the community,” she said. “It’s allowing us to grow into our space a little faster and help us change the scope a little more, reach our goals.”

Reed is also co-owner of Amethyst Bee Cakery, which operates out of the kitchen.

Bee Side Kitchen launched about a year ago, she said. The business is used by about 13 tenants who make pastries, bagels, vegan treats, charcuterie boards, Filipino food and more.

The grant awarded to the kitchen was from MEDC’s Match on Main program, said Ingrid Miller, executive director of Uptown Grand Rapids.

“Match on Main has proven to be an integral funding source for small businesses in our district,” she said. “The grant provides necessary business expansion support for endeavors that are seldom funded through existing programs.”

Uptown includes the following four business districts: Eastown, East Fulton, Wealthy Street and East Hills.

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