Grant funds help farmer weather COVID-19 storm
Monday, September 14, 2020
In June 2020, Hayton Farms Berries was awarded a $5,000 grant during the first phase of the Skagit County Small Business Grant Program. The grant was funded through the CARES Act and administered by EDASC. We are profiling some of the businesses who have received local COVID-19 relief grants to demonstrate the importance of continuing to strengthen and support Skagit County’s incredible business ecosystem.
About Hayton Farms Berries
Hayton Farms Berries, located on Fir Island, grows many different varieties of certified organic berries and raises cows, pigs and chickens. They also opened a roadside stand on their blueberry farm.
Farm owner Angelica Hayton said running a business in Skagit County has many advantages.
“We have a community that wants to support local businesses, and they shop at the farmers market,” Hayton said. “Many local restaurants also source their produce locally and it is fun to collaborate with them. We live in a beautiful area that people want to visit. These tourists will often drive by our farm and shop at our roadside stand.”
Grant funds enabled Hayton Farms Berries to save their produce
Hayton applied for grant funding to help her business get through the pandemic. Farmers markets were shut down for two months and some never reopened. When they did reopen, many of them have had strict shopper count rules that have negatively affected shopper turnout and sales.
“I haven’t been able to sell as much fresh fruit this summer, so I decided to start freezing some of it so it wouldn't go bad,” Hayton said. “I will be able to sell the frozen berries in the off season when I normally don’t have a product to sell. Receiving the funds meant a lot to my business because it helped me cover the costs of buying the plastic freezer bags and boxes.”
We need local businesses
The community can continue supporting Hayton Farms by attending the local farmers market and looking for their booth.
“Since many farmers markets did not reopen that we used to attend, I decided to open up a new roadside stand on Fir Island down in my blueberry field,” Hayton said. “We also raise beef and pork and if you would like to reserve some for this fall you can visit our website for details.
In the meantime, Hayton encourages Skagit County residents to stop by their roadside stand and get some fresh organic berries.