Five Fraser businesses have been awarded grants

Fraser MP Dr Daniel Mulino visited Stacey Earsman at Migrant Coffee to deliver news about the grant. (Supplied)

Jennifer Pittorino

Migrant Coffee, is one of five businesses in Fraser to be awarded a grant under the Energy Efficiency Grants for SMEs program.

Migrant Coffee is a Footscray café, co-founded in 2019 by Stacey Earsman and Melodee Malazarte.

The café sells coffee and New York-style bagels, infused with Filipino, Thai and Island flavours.

Ms Earsman said the pair met in their 20’s at a break dancing competition in New York where the idea of selling bagels was born.

The pair said bagels were a convenient way to eat, and nothing in the west offered anything similar.

Ms Earsman said she was ecstatic when she was told of the $24,682 grant.

“Currently we are renting a temporary cool room, which is not only very expensive, but also means high energy costs, which is another burden on the business,” she said.

“We will now be able to take ownership of a cool room.”

In announcing the grant, Fraser MP Dr Daniel Mulino said small businesses are the backbone of the economy, employing about 45 per cent of all Australians.

“The importance of this grant program is obvious. It helps companies reduce energy costs, which also helps cut greenhouse gas emissions, and also helps companies grow and employ more staff,” he said.

Ms Earsman said the pair did not want to take out a business loan because of all the uncertainty around interest rates so the timing of the grant was fantastic.

While Migrant Coffee currently employs eight staff, Ms Earsman said that thanks to the grant, the permanent refrigeration solution would enable the business to expand significantly.

The café fit out was designed by Ms Malazarte and hand built from top to bottom.

The other companies awarded grants under the program were Tri-Tech Chemical Co, Pack-tainers Pty Ltd, Flicker’s Australia Pty Ltd, and R.E Graham and S Hastings-Blayn.