Vernon Township business owner turning to crowdfunding to help stay afloat

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 4:06 PM EDT
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Vernon Township, Mich. (WJRT) - Melanie Pratt owns the HQ fun Bunker in Vernon Township. Inside, you’ll find a full service restaurant, a bowling alley, archery, ax throwing, an arcade and much more. Think of it as a 16,000 square foot adult playground. Like many businesses during the pandemic, Pratt is hurting. But she is in a rather unique predicament because of COVID-19.

“With some of the lifts for the café and food purposes, we’re able to operate 50 percent, but our fun is not able to participate right now. So it’s really hard for us to figure out how to balance and keep this place going,” she said.

Pratt is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Because the business is multi venue, Certain limitations apply to the restaurant versus other areas like the smash room or escape room. That means she's only able to accept groups of ten people or less and they must be from the same family if they want to just do entertainment.

“We’re dealing with a limited number of people, we have to do sanitation measures in between each person that walks in, we have to provide them with things that make them feel safe in our facilities,” she added.

And all of that costs money-- this, as she’s trying to bring in money to make a living. Throw in some utility bills that are costing her upwards of $7,000, she’s now turning to the community for help. She joined a matching crowdfunding campaign through Lake Trust Credit Union.

“Even if it only has $500 in it and Lake Trust donates another $500, that’s $1,000 toward an electric bill. That’s huge right now.”

But Pratt knows that whatever ends up happening, she knows she’ll be in good hands.

“I come here, I show up, I give 110 percent and God does the rest.”

The crowdfunding campaign runs until July 31.

To learn more or to donate, click here:

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