MUSCATINE, Iowa – Three businesses located in the downtown district were selected to receive a $25,000 small business forgivable loan from the City of Muscatine. A fourth downtown business recipient will be announced in the next couple of weeks.
Community Development Director Jodi Royal-Goodwin made the announcement Friday (July 23) morning that Meg’s Vintage Collective, Red & Lee, and A&G were selected to receive the loans.
Meg’s Vintage Collective, 122 West 2nd Street, has been an area leader in the vintage vendor co-op business since 2014, offering vintage, retro, mid-century, up-cycled, and re-purposed items.
“I plan to use this money to bring my vision to life,” Megan Summit, the store owner, said. “I want people to see how I have always seen this store. I just changed the name so I am going to invest in new flooring, some lights, and a new sign.”
The funds provided through the City loan program will go a long way in helping Summit realize her vision for the store.
“I am very grateful to the City to invest in the people who want to invest in the community,” Summit said.
The store also carries a variety of antiques, collectibles, oddities, vintage clothing, incense, and sage. Be sure to visit the store or check in on their website by clicking the following link Meg’s Vintage Collective.
Red & Lee Vintage, 124 West 2nd Street, offers vintage and pre-loved clothing, accessories, and furniture at reasonable prices to those who want quality but cannot always afford it. Sustainability is also a priority with owner Jennifer Williams who comes from the quality fashion industry that offered high quality that was not always available to everyone.
“I have always been someone who has thrifted and mixed old with new, Williams said.
Williams noted that we have become a society of buying cheap things and then throwing them away instead of buying quality and using them over and over again.
“This loan means a great deal to me,” Williams said. “To have the city and the town invest in this business means more than I can say. I grew up here and recently moved back which is really exciting.”
Providing individuals an opportunity to look at fashion in a stylish, unique, and eco-conscious way is one of the main goals of the businesses as well as offering these items at an affordable price.
“The proceeds will help in the development of what I am going to be able to do inside the store,” Williams said. “The loan will help tis business grow and bring people to Muscatine to not only help my business but also the other businesses in Muscatine.”
Be sure to visit the store or check in on their website by clicking the following link Red & Lee Vintage.
A & G Products, 500 Mulberry Ave., is a liquidation store that offers a bin store concept for Amazon overstock and returns as well as other big box liquidation goods. Gavin Meerdink and Alejandro Vazquez have been refurbishing the building for the past two years and will be using the loan proceeds to continue bringing the building back to life.
“Still have a lot of work to do with the flooring and ceiling,” Meerdink said. “And we want to save as much of the brickwork as possible. We just want to bring the life back into the building that has been gone for too many years. It was close to being torn down at one point.”
The business sells overstock and returned merchandise selling by the pallet or individual items. An online auction that starts at $10 is also offered
“We do quality check everything we get before we sell it,’ Meerdink said. “We really want to give people the best discount for the quality and the item.”
Be sure to visit their Facebook page at A&G Products and watch for opening of the physical store as well as the launch of their website.
The City of Muscatine offers the Small Business Forgivable Loan Program for building improvements to existing businesses and startup costs associated with the creation of a new business that will significantly expand the business into a new market, product, or service.
Visit the Small Business Forgivable Loan Program page on the City of Muscatine website to learn more about the program.