GENESEO – The last act of the Geneseo Merchants Association (GMA) was to donate its entire bank account to the new organization at the heart of Main Street’s events and festivals, Geneseo Community Main Street.
Spring Morrow and Angel Berry, the heads of the now former GMA, gladly presented $10,976.18 and their well wishes to Geneseo Community Main Street’s treasurer, Lora Holmes, on Tuesday.
“Main Street is stronger than we’ve ever seen it,” said Berry, owner of Image Empire Salon at 109 Main Street. “We’ve got some great businesses here. We really want to thank all of the merchants for believing in us. It feels good to be giving Geneseo Community Main Street this money to start.”
GMA was founded in early spring 2010 without a dollar in the bank or one festival under its belt, but Morrow and Berry said that the business owners always pulled through when the going got tough.
“Starting with no money was hard,” said Morrow, a former Main Street business owner and current Remax Hometown Choice. “There were challenges. Like when the Village required vendors at Summerfest to purchase insurance. It almost killed the festival. But last year, Renee Livingston at Cricket’s Coffee Company worked a miracle and found us an insurer for cheap. That saved the festival.”
Josh Williams, co-owner of the GeneseeSun.com and Chairman of Geneseo Community Main Street, said that the transition represents a shift in the way downtown events and festivals are organized.
“This transition represents a new way of thinking about how Main Street Geneseo works together,” said Williams. “Instead of an organization of ‘merchants,’ we’re a collaboration of entrepreneurs in professional services, food and retail who cooperate for our mutual benefit and the enjoyment of our friends and neighbors.”
Geneseo Community Main Street is not missing a beat. Its next event is the May Day Wine Stroll on Friday. Tickets are available online here.
“Since switching over it’s been a true collaborative,” said Williams. “It’s amazing the effort and dedication people have for our community.”