WEST FARGO — An upscale salon and boutique that will feature women owned small businesses is moving into West Fargo's downtown.
On Monday, May 3, the City Commission unanimously approved a roughly $65,000 enterprise grant to Birchwood Salon and Boutique, which hopes to open in the Pioneer Place building.
Birchwood Salon and Boutique would be a 918 square foot space in Pioneer Place, just south of D.A. Davidson. Birchwood Salon would have space for three stylists who could earn an annual income between $80,000 and $100,000 as well as two front staff members.
Birchwood Salon and Boutique Founder Christina Holmes is expecting both stylists who would work at the salon and boutique to see about 25 clients each week. She said about $2,000 of income each week is generated by a single stylist.
"In addition, they would add a walk-in boutique, serving the city's need for additional retail in the downtown district," Economic Development Director Lauren Orchard said.
Holmes said the boutique would feature products and goods from women-owned small businesses from across the U.S.
"It will really provide a unique shopping experience to the community as well," Holmes said.
Orchard said the enterprise grant program uses economic development sales funds to reimburse business owners about 50 percent of fitting and new construction, up to $75,000 of eligible construction costs. According to construction estimates and subtraction of Epic Property's fit-up allowance, Holmes is eligible to receive $65,900 in grant funding.
"[Enterprise grants] brought Thunder Coffee and Ferguson downtown as well," Orchard said. "[Holmes] has stated that they would be unable to complete this investment at the proposed quality and scale without the partnership of Enterprise Grant dollars."
Holmes has been a cosmetologist for 20 years and opened her own salon about four years ago. She is also an educator who teaches advance training to other stylists around the region. She is the only hair stylist in North Dakota that offers a specific type of hair extension.
"This incentive program truly gives me the opportunity to build my dream into a reality," Holmes said.