In a celebration of local entrepreneurship and community support, Town & Country Credit Union is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2023 Small Business Grants. Four member-owned small businesses making a significant impact in our communities each received a $2,500 grant to help create positive change. This marks the first year of the credit union's small business grants.

To apply, businesses who are Town & Country members were asked to submit an essay answering the question, "How would your small business use $2,500 to create a positive impact on your staff, customers or the community?”  All submissions were reviewed and scored by a panel of Town & Country Credit Union employees.

This year's winners included:

1. Active Minds Academy - Fargo, ND: Active Minds Academy is a local childcare center dedicated to nurturing young minds through innovative education. Their focus on early education and quality learning experiences is shaping the future leaders of our community. This funding will enable them to invest in much-needed equipment for all 10 of their classrooms, supporting their dedicated teachers who work tirelessly to provide an environment for children to thrive, prosper and grow.

Town & Country Credit Union presenting a ceremonial check to Active Minds staff

2. Chaos Games - Minot, ND: Chaos Games, a beloved local game store, has fostered a sense of togetherness and creativity in Minot. Their wide range of tabletop games, events, and passionate staff have made them a cornerstone of the gaming community. With this grant, Chaos Games plans to continue its efforts to improve its business space. They will soon be moving to a new location in downtown Minot that will elevate them to a new level of customer engagement. 

Chaos Games accepts a small business grant check

3. Hilltop Farm - Des Lacs, ND: Hilltop Farm is a 4th generation family farm growing local produce and baking fresh homemade items. Their commitment to providing the community with locally sourced food is truly commendable. This grant will help them with the costs associated with completing their Producer License from First District Health Unit, allowing them to sell or donate produce to Minot area schools. In addition, the grant will help offset the cost of building their own wash-and-pack structure with produce storage. Hilltop hopes to be a location where other producers can visit or call for advice when going through the produce licensing process themselves.

Hilltop Farm accepting a donation check.

4. Sonder Bakehouse - West Fargo, ND: Sonder Bakehouse in West Fargo has quickly become a go-to destination for artisanal baked goods and heartwarming coffee. Their dedication to culinary excellence and cozy ambiance enriches the lives of their patrons. With this grant money, they will invest in employee training, enhancing skills and boosting job satisfaction. A portion of the funds will go towards their open bakery concept, allowing them to add a lunch meeting space. The remaining amount will be used to support local charities and community initiatives, emphasizing their commitment to social responsibility and building a positive community reputation.

Town & Country staff presenting a large ceremonial check to Sonder Bakehouse

Over the next four months, we will shine a spotlight on each of these businesses, delving into their stories, missions, and contributions to our community. From September to December, keep an eye out for our features as we explore how these businesses are making a positive difference in our community and discover ways in which you can support them.