Enid Regional Development Alliance Board of Directors has approved reimbursement funding for a new downtown thrift store. Community Thrift and Gift, a division of Community Enterprises Inc., submitted an application for funding from Start with Enid program.  ERDA Associate Director Lisa Powell said the Start with Enid program is a partnership between ERDA, Main Street Enid, Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce and Autry Technology Center.

Businesses with storefronts that have opened in Enid within the past 12 months are eligible. The ERDA portion of the program is to reimburse the business for up to $750 in utility costs occurring within the first three months of operation, she said. Powell said Autry Tech provides some training or membership through the Center for Business Development, Main Street Enid provides a membership discount and Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce provides membership at half price for the first year.

Community Enterprises Executive Director Robin Pokorny said Community Thrift and Gift opened in August at 130 E. Randolph, and the OG&E portion of the utility costs for the first month totaled nearly $1,000. The thrift store receives donated items, which qualify donors for tax deductions, she said. Community Enterprises, a nonprofit organization that came to Enid in June 2014, provides jobs to people with disabilities, Pokorny said. “Our sole purpose is to provide the jobs to the clients and put back into our program, providing those jobs.” she said.  Store employees are paid minimum wage but may be offered raises I the future, Pokorny said.

Article by: Jessica Miller with Enid News & Eagle