After a week of online voting, Wheeling Heritage’s latest round of Show of Hands has come to a close. Despite the event being held virtually, nearly 400 online votes were received during the week-long voting period, with Making Magic, a new Warwood-based flower shop, taking home the $6,230 award.
Show of Hands is a community-supported crowdfunding event hosted by Wheeling Heritage. For this first-ever virtual Show of Hands, four presenters made their pitches with videos produced by Wheeling Heritage Media. Throughout the week, videos were shared using social media, and votes were collected through Wheeling Heritage’s website.
Terry Jill Bonar, owner of Making Magic, will use the funds to renovate her Warwood floral shop and open it to the public. The money from Show of Hands, she explained, would be used to finish her space, including ceiling repairs and the installation of a walk-in cooler and commercial sink.
“This is something we’ve been putting money towards as we could, but this will help me get it done,” Bonar said. “Now I’ll finally be able to open my doors.”
“I can’t say enough about our community and how we support each other,” Bonar said. “It’s just amazing. I’m so happy to see this renaissance – this resurgence of small business. And I’m so thankful to be a part of that resurgence and give it my all. My whole heart is in this. Not just for me, but for everyone in our community.”
Alex Weld, Wheeling Heritage executive director, echoed those sentiments.
“Small business owners have faced new challenges this year, and we’re thrilled to see such support from our community for these entrepreneurs,” Weld said. “Each Show of Hands presenter took the time to share with us why they need extra support right now, so if you can, please frequent their business and show them how important they are to our community.”
The event’s other presenters included:
One of Wheeling’s newest small businesses located in the Flatiron building in Downtown Wheeling. Owner Elizabeth Gramby creates one-of-a-kind grazing tables, boards and boxes for events of all sizes. Elizabeth would have used the funding for startup costs, allowing her to focus on growing her new business.
The new downtown coffee shop, owned by Grant Coleman, opened right before COVID hit the area, and was seeking funding for an outdoor space.
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This Centre Market nutrition club, owned by Kahlie Wilson, would have used the funding to restock the shop’s inventory and invest in extra cleaning supplies to keep their employees and customers safe.
Since its creation in 2014, Show of Hands has given over $80,000 to projects and businesses that make Wheeling a special place to live. Orrick, the program’s corporate sponsor, donates $1,000 for each event. The Friends of Show of Hands, which consists of community members and business owners, also contributes to each event.