Heart on Main Street is a new non-profit dedicated to helping independent retailers and locally-owned businesses evolve and thrive within their local communities. According to founder Patrick Keiser, it will do this by providing tools, resources and education so that they can invest back into their businesses and maintain their presence in the community. 

The organization, which is based in Atlanta, was officially launched in the OneCoast sales agency showroom during the recent Dallas Market Center show. Patrick Keiser is the son of OneCoast CEO John Keiser, a long-time leader in the gift industry.  John serves on the Heart on Main Street board together with Jim Carlisle, Thom Petrouski, Mary Liz Curtain, Majda Renseberger, Stuart Teller, Bridget Brennan and Crystal Vilkaitis.

Social media speaker and trainer Vilkaitis shares this insight into her involvement: “I’m honored to be on the Heart on Main Street board of directors because it completely aligns with where my heart is, which is supporting indie retailers and growing local economies. Our Main Street retailers are the heartbeat of America and to be a part of something that’s focused on having a direct impact on growing their businesses through grants, mentorship, education and resources is exciting and incredibly meaningful. We have a driven, smart and well-rounded board that I believe is going to make Heart on Main Street a nationally known organization that helps thousands of retailers every year. I believe it’s going to be a game-changer to the indie retailer’s success.”

According to Gifts and Decorative Accessories magazine, Heart on Main Street will launch an educational webinar series for retailers in February of this year.  Beginning in March, independent retailers will be able to apply for financial grants of up to $25,000 to help them invest in their business.  In addition, retailers who have been in business less than three years will be able to apply for acceptance to the Heart on Main Street mentorship program, which will provide hands-on guidance from award-winning retailers and organizations wanting to help independent retailers.

Donations to support the work of Heart on Main Street can be made online, and are tax-deductible.  The organization is also looking for partners who can provide expertise through their Friends of Main Street Network. If you are interested in the services they will be offering, or want to volunteer to help support independent retailers, please look for more information on their website.

Happy retailing, 

Carol “Orange” Schroeder