Greenport’s Little Creek Oysters has announced the formation of a new nonprofit, The Hold Fast Fund.

“The Hold Fast Fund will be a stabilizing force in the community through scholarship and mentorship opportunities, a support system for small and micro business startup projects and a single point of access for emergency community needs typically resolved through individual GoFundMe requests,” according to a press release. The fund will also pursue commercial building acquisition to aid in the growth of local small businesses through an incubator program, as well as pursue housing support for the community’s workers.

“The best of Greenport’s local businesses provide invaluable charitable and community giving throughout the year, and we hope we can help provide a valuable multiplier to that safety net,” fund co-founder Ian Wile said in a statement. 

“Giving has been a component of Little Creek’s mission since its founding. ”We estimate that we have given, in money, goods and services, approximately a half-million dollars since our founding,” added co-founder Rosalie Rung.

In 2022, Little Creek partnered with Relic Sustainability and Southold Town to add cleanup stations to local beaches, according to Little Creek partner Travis Zurawski.

Founded in 2014, Little Creek Oysters is one of the original members of the Suffolk County Aquaculture Lease Program. Housed in the iconic waterfront building that was once White’s Bait & Tackle, Little Creek offers a menu of local oysters and shellfish. The partners also run the Sunshine Shack snack bar at Orient Beach State Park and collaborate with other local businesses, including Common Ground Jewelry, whose owner, Alexa Suess, created the “Hold Fast, Stay True” slogan found on Little Creek’s branding. The slogan was created in 2020 during the pandemic as “a statement of resilience and determination, a call to remain true to our nature on behalf of the greater good,” according to a statement.

In 2022, Mr. Wile was named Northforker of the Year by Times Review Media Group for his contributions to the local community. “Wile remains a strong voice on the North Fork, acting as a mentor and friend to local business owners, his staff and anyone who walks through Little Creek’s doors,” Northforker wrote at the time.

The Hold Fast Fund will also be open to other select, like-minded businesses that wish to streamline and multiply their community support efforts.

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