Waterloo’s Philomena + Ruth Is In The Running For FedEx Small Business Grant

By Sarah Stallmann
In Culture

Elizabeth Hahn has been a leader of the Missouri makers scene for several years, and in 2015, launched her first solo retail shop, Philomena + Ruth, just across the river in Waterloo, Illinois. Now, her budding business is one of the finalists for funding that could elevate the shop’s future: the FedEx Small Business Grant. FedEx is awarding ten grants to small businesses all over the country who earn the most public votes—including one grand prize award of $25,000.

Photo courtesy of Philomena + Ruth

Photo courtesy of Philomena + Ruth

For emerging shops like Hahn’s, grants like these are a big help in the effort to sustain  supply and demand needs of the first few years a retailer is open for business. At Philomena + Ruth, the financial benefits of the grant would immediately pay it forward by allowing her to carry even more handmade merchandise in the shop, thus increasing the demand and support of artisans from across the country.

“I would love [to use the grant] to launch my online store,” says Hahn. “This would allow me to support even more makers; as well as gain a broader audience that could potentially bring additional tourism to our adorable little town, turning into profits for all the local businesses.”

Want to help? Voting can take place once every 24 hours until June 13, and a winner will be announced on July 11.

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