Spark Grant funds new, innovative ideas for downtown Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Time is running out for people who have ideas to make Greensboro a more interesting place to apply for a grant to receive up to $5,000.

The Spark Grant is a development method that Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro Incorporated hope spurs new community engagement and involvement in downtown.

Individuals, businesses and non-profits are encouraged to apply for the grant.

"We have a lot of entrepreneurs come in, so it may just be their way to have their dream out there and so if it's successful and it goes well then they could start their business here in Greensboro," said Candace Tucker, operations and communications manager for Action Greensboro.

That was the story for Paige Cox, co-founder and director of Reconsidered Goods. Cox had a vision of opening Greensboro's first creative reuse center, a place where things that normally end up in a landfill are reused by artists.

"Instead of going out and buying new, they can consider coming in here and find it here, it's better for the environment, it's better for their wallet," Cox said.

Cox got a Spark Grant in 2016 and opened a pop-up shop in downtown, which helped her introduce the concept to the public.

"It gave me a little bit of a budget to say, ‘hey, here's what I'm talking about’ and show them what make and take was like, how to work with this unusual materials," Cox said.

Now, a year later, Cox and her two co-founders have opened a successful location.

Artists, creative-types and just the everyday person looking for an interesting find, go into Reconsidered Goods and come out with unused fabrics, vintage pictures and all kinds of materials waiting to be turned into art.

"So we're doing great we've been open since October first. Honestly, the spark grant is the best thing we could have done,” she said. “We have people that still come into the store and say, ‘oh I went to your pop-up shop a year ago.’”

For more information on the Spark Grant, click here.

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