Martin Busch Jewelers Awarded $10,000 Digital Innovation Grant from Downtown Alliance

Martin Busch Jewelers Awarded  $10,000 Digital Innovation Grant from Downtown Alliance

The Alliance for Downtown New York has awarded its inaugural Downtown Digital Innovation Grant to Martin Busch Jewelers, giving them $10,000 worth of services to improve their online presence.

A Lower Manhattan mainstay, Martin Busch Jewelers has been in the neighborhood for more than 50 years and this grant will allow the small, family-run jewelry store at 85 John Street to display and sell all of their one-of-a-kind pieces online for the first time in the store's history. Namesake Martin Busch originally opened the shop in Lower Manhattan as a small booth on William Street in 1954 before opening the shop's current location in 1972.  Today, the store is owned and run by Busch's great niece Eva Busch and her mother Maria Pitrez.  The mom-and-pop shop caters to customers who have been coming to the store for decades to celebrate and commemorate their most special moments but as consumer behaviors are shifting, the jewelers wanted to grow their online presence to remain competitive.

"This grant is a gamechanger for the store.  It's exactly what we need and it's coming at just the right time," said Martin Busch Jewelers Owner Eva Busch.  "We had already started the process of getting our inventory online piece by piece but we didn't know if we were going to have the money to finish the project.  We thank the Alliance for this grant, it's going to make our online growth possible."

"Martin Busch Jewelers is one of the longest-running businesses in Lower Manhattan and we are thrilled to be able to help them build their online presence," said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York.   "They submitted such a compelling proposal that we just had to 'put a ring on it' and name them our 2018 winner."

As online retailers are expanding their reach, brick-and-mortar stores nationwide are facing challenges.  The Downtown Digital Innovation Grant was created by the Alliance as a way to  intervene and empower a Lower Manhattan business, within the BID boundaries, to compete in the changing marketplace.  The grant awarded money earmarked specifically for services that will grow the business's digital capability and in this particular case the winner Martin Busch Jewelers will be building their online inventory and e-commerce capabilities. When evaluating the applications, judges focused on the store's need, capacity to execute, creativity and clarity on how the efforts would attract more customers and increase profits.  The Alliance has previously created several grant initiatives to support local businesses in the neighborhood.