News & Press
478 Bibb Fund Awards Micro-Grant to Macon Beer Company
MACON – Local entrepreneurs Jeremy Knowles and Cory Smith were awarded the first micro-grant by the 478 Bibb Fund. Knowles and Smith own the Macon Beer Company, LLC, a craft beer company located in downtown Macon currently in its final stages of state approval to begin production.
The 478 Bibb Fund, established by a group of local entrepreneurs and business leaders, was designed to spur innovation and entrepreneurship in the Central Georgia. Knowles and Smith were funded $2,000 after they presented their business plan and company’s progress to the group. They are the first entrepreneurs to receive funding from the 478 Bibb Fund.
“We are thrilled as a group to see young, hungry entrepreneurs ready to put their dollars and talents to work in Macon,” said 478 Bibb Fund Founder Stewart Vernon, founder and CEO of America’s Swimming Pool (ASP) Company.
According to Knowles, “It's a significant donation because it allows us to move forward with our plan to renovate the tap room and beer garden. Finishing those projects will manifest in additional interest in Macon, as well as more people visiting the downtown area.”
“Part of our business plan from the start was to reinvest in Macon and the community, so the 478 Bibb Fund correlates well with our business philosophy,” added Smith. “We hope to one day be in a position to sit on that same panel and offer opportunity to future businesses.”
The 478 Bibb Fund launched in April and received 47 applications from local residents. It remains open to all individuals and organizations in the Central Georgia region and is currently accepting applications on its website 478bibbfund.com. The group takes no equity and doesn’t expect repayment, a stake in the idea or any other compensation post-award. According to the site, the leaders who established the grants simply “want to help great ideas become reality.” Stewart said the group decides on the next recipients when the group reconvenes in July.
In an effort to work regionally and develop a plan to foster entrepreneurs, the College Hill Alliance is promoting the 478 Bibb Fund and other micro-grant organizations in the Central Georgia region. The Alliance can also help individuals and organizations establish their own micro-granting program to foster local entrepreneurship.
Initially established with a grant to Mercer University from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in 2009, the College Hill Alliance assists the community in creating positive change to the physical, social and economic fabric of the College Hill Corridor, a two-square mile area between Mercer’s campus and Macon’s downtown business district.
For more information, contact Jessica Walden at the College Hill Alliance: 478.301.2014 / firstname.lastname@example.org.