Hi everyone! I opened the Green Hand Bookshop at 661 Congress Street here in Portland, Maine, all the way back in 2009. We've been slinging books and working in the bookmines at the corner of Avon and Congress Streets ever since, on the first floor of the Trelawny Building. The neighborhood has grown and changed, and the summers have too.
Over the past several years, I have been going home at the end of summer days with heat exhaustion, more often than not, as the space experiences a hotbox effect from the old building above and around it. It is no longer feasible to rely on fans moving air around to cool the space in the summer. It is not good for my health, or the health of my few wonderful employees. And I'm sure browsers will be happier in a cooler setting, too!
I have lined up an excellent local contractor to install an efficient system, which will require commercial equipment, and mostly electrical work (for labor) to put the two cooling heads in place, as well as the pump. I have also secured permission from my landlord to install the equipment.
The $14,000 is split down the middle between equipment costs and labor costs for the install, almost exactly. There is interest-free financing available for the project, so that is good news. But the payoff period is short, and installments during the slow period of the year (mostly Jan-May) will be especially brutal.
I already put most of the money generated by the business back into the business (including payroll, rent, utilities, etc), and live on very little myself (I mention this because those of you who know me already know all about this, but general customers may not). The past few years have been rough because of... well everyone knows about that already -- and although things are mostly back to normal, we're still filling in the financial hole from that ordeal.
So in hopes of successfully putting all this in place, for the sake of my health and the health of my employees, and for the comfort of our customers (you!), I am reaching out for some help in achieving this goal.
I have started a GoFundMe here: https://gofund.me/eca1c03a
Any little bit helps! It all adds up. Even if it's only five or ten dollars - you can help to make the Green Hand Bookshop a comfortable haven for those of us who love spending time there.
Thank you for 13+ years of great conversations about books and all the other fun stuff! We hope with this investment to improve the space, and to keep this little bookish haven going for many years more with all your help.
Thank you everyone!!! :)