Ghouls just wanted to have fun this past Saturday! The It’s Time team paired up with West Side Grows for their annual Tilton Trick or Treat event on Halloween. We had socially distanced stations for pumpkin decorating, mask design, pre-packaged treat bags, and a photo booth. Seeing members of the West Side come out to connect (safely) and give their little “boos” a chance to show off their costumes reminded us why IT’S TIME for all Wilmingtonians to get back out.
Give Em Pumpkin to Talk About
CJ Bland, the Youth and Event Coordinator for West Side Grows was so excited with the turn out! “When we started planning we asked ourselves ‘How can we do our normal trick or treat and make it COVID friendly?’ Activities are spaced out and everyone has a mask and everyone is doing a great job right now respecting socially distanced guidelines.”
Originally when WSG began to plan the event, they decided to check in with the community surrounding Tilton Park to get their feedback. “We had way more input (than previous years). The community had a lot more input, they donated the candy and supplies because after we talked to them they still wanted an event at this park where we’ve had it in the past.”
West Side Grows Together
West Side Grows Together is an organization woven together by businesses, residents, churches, and local leadership. The goal is to work together to “transform & strengthen” the West Side community. Their goals are (quoted from their website):
- Our Community In Our Hands – Improving quality of life.
- Our Youth, Our Future – Providing educational opportunities for youth.
- A Place to Call Home – Rehabilitating and developing affordable housing.
- Open For Business – Supporting a thriving, vibrant business community that provides services and jobs.
- Moving Forward– Making our streets safe and accessible for everyone.
- West Side Outside – Improving parks and gardens for neighbors to come together.
They are also helping to connect the community with COVID-19 resources on their website, including testing sites, food distribution sites, housing assistance, and resources for small businesses, which you can find here.
Wilmington Strong Fund
The City of Wilmington has an estimated 1,500 small businesses, all of which have been affected by the pandemic. In order to support these businesses and their owners, West Side Grows has partnered with Wilmington Alliance to develop The Wilmington Strong Small Business Fund. This offers grants to small businesses located in the City of Wilmington in order to cover specific expenses such as rent payments, mortgage payments, and utilities.
In order to be eligible to receive a grant, applicants and their businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Business is located within the administrative boundaries of the City of Wilmington.
- No Air BnBs, corporate or franchised businesses, insurance companies, property management companies, nonprofits or check cashing businesses are permitted to apply.
- One business owner can not apply for funding for more than 2 separate business locations.
- Must complete an application including providing your current business license, W9 form, and documentation regarding your proposed bill payment.
- Cannot make more than 1 million in annual revenue.
For more information on how to apply visit WilmingtonStrongFund.com.
Want to get involved with West Side Grows and all of the amazing community outreach? Learn more from their website, Instagram and Facebook. As always, follow my journey through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube! We will see you at the next location!