Saturday, March 16, 2019

small business plan

small business plan

St. Petersburg mayor's downtown small business preservation plan delayed in city council vote - Creative Loafing Tampa

Posted: 16 Mar 2019 10:15 AM PDT

The next public hearing is set for April 4.

Kool WebDaddy Kool Records' Manny "Kool" Matalon.Heidi Kurpiela

City Council voted March 14 to delay Mayor Rick Kriseman's Storefront Conservation Corridor Plan, which aims to protect small businesses on Central Avenue.

Created two years ago, the plan creates limitations on storefront sizes on Beach Drive and Central Avenue from the waterfront to 31st Street. It also includes financial incentives to keep independent businesses in these areas.

The public hearing is rescheduled for the City Hall meeting April 4.

Although Kriseman created a Facebook event inviting the public to attend the City Hall meeting and support the plan, only three residents took to the podium at the March 14 City Hall meeting.

One of them was Jim Grinaker with the nonprofit Keep St. Pete Local. He urged the councilmembers not to delay the plan.

"We have businesses who are really in desperate need of this support," Grinaker said. "People... are being forced to move as we speak. These businesses are really giving back to our city to help put us on the map and I think we can do a little bit to help them in their time of need."

Emanuel "Manny Kool" Matalon, manager of Daddy Kool Records at 666 Central Ave., also took to the podium.

"What we're asking is that the character of St. Petersburg with the number of small storefronts stays the same," Matalon said. "Nobody is saying that the small storefront can't be a Starbucks. That's not what we're here for. ...This initiative is about keeping the footprint similar. And I hope that everybody here appreciates that. Why we like this city is one of those reasons and there's no reason to change that."

Matalon's iconic shop will close its doors March 31 due to rising rent prices on the 600 block. It will reopen on Record Store Day 2019 (April 13) in St. Petersburg's Warehouse Arts District outside of downtown, at 2430 Terminal Dr.

"This isn't 'save Daddy Kool' or anything like that, that's not what this is all about," Matalon told a CL reporter. "This is about preserving the mix of different sizes and has nothing to do with what kind of business… and how much they can charge or anything like that."

Would he be in favor of a stronger plan that protects small businesses or controls rent prices? Yes, but that's unlikely.

Kriseman himself is a customer of Daddy Kool, and so are his children. At the City Hall meeting, Kriseman whispered to Matalon, "you guys rock."

While small business owners have largely supported this plan for the past two years, developers and unknown interests have been urging City Council to delay the plan or propose changes.

Mack Feldman asked City Council to delay the plan March 14. He's the son of Larry Feldman, the CEO of Feldman Equities. According to its website, Feldman Equities and its joint venture partners own or manage over four million square feet of office space in Florida.

"My concern right now is unintended consequences of this proposal," Feldman said. "Things like the assumption that rates will go down. When we implement this, I don't know that that's true… I'm asking City Council, consider slowing down taking a look at this and working with the owners to find out what will happen is policy is implemented."

The next open forum on the Storefront Conservation Corridor Plan will take place at St. Petersburg City Hall on April 4. 

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Build Institute expands reach in Michigan, Midwest - Crain's Detroit Business

Posted: 16 Mar 2019 09:04 PM PDT

Detroit-based Build Institute has licensed its basic entrepreneurial education curriculum to a Fort Wayne, Ind., group working to develop an entrepreneurial system there.

At the same time, it's expanding its classes and select entrepreneur support programs to other cities in Southeast Michigan, starting with Pontiac and Hazel Park.

Build is in the pilot phase of scaling its programs through an effort dubbed "Build Cities." The three cities are enabling it to test different models for bringing its programs to other communities.

The three cities are the first to see Build classes outside of Detroit, but leaders in other places have also expressed interest, said Build Founder and Executive Director April Boyle.

Build has fielded queries from local communities including Ferndale, Harper Woods, Clarkston and Port Huron, and also from two other Indiana cities as well as Liverpool, England.

"We're getting on the map for equitable and inclusive entrepreneur support, reaching ... women and communities of color," who often face barriers to starting their own businesses, Boyle said.

Other communities are looking to replicate Build Institute's grass roots talent development and entrepreneurial ecosystem, Boyle said.Taking its programs to new areas of need aligns with Build's mission, she said.

It also presents an opportunity for new, earned revenue for a nonprofit that relies on foundation support for more than half of its budget.

Launched seven years ago as a program of D-Hive within the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Build looks at entrepreneurship as a path out of poverty, a way to help build wealth and ownership for people of color, said Boyle.

At the core of its offerings is an eight-week business and project-planning class taught by local small business owners and held in neighborhoods to ensure it's accessible. Classes are taught by local experts and cover all the basics of starting a business — from licensing to financial literacy, market research to cash flow and more. They bring in speakers including a lawyer, accountant or bookkeeper to talk about numbers, a marketing expert and a funder to tell them what funders look for and to talk about the funding available to them.

Participants leave the class with a completed business plan, a cohort of fellow entrepreneurs in Detroit, and the knowledge to take their idea to the next level. The classes — which cost $500 but are adjusted according to what each entrepreneur can pay — are aimed at small businesses with fewer than five employees and revenue of less than $100,000.

Beyond the classes, Build's offerings have grown to include a suite of programs supporting small businesses, including networking events, Detroit Soup events that build awareness and help raise funding, assistance in raising capital through Kiva Detroit, opportunities to test concepts through pop-up markets and continuing education programs.

Build Institute became an independent nonprofit in January 2018 and is preparing to move this summer to The Corner development at the former Tiger Stadium site in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood. Its new location will include pop-up retail space it didn't have to lease to entrepreneurs in the past.

Since its launch in 2012, 1,700 people have graduated from its Build Basics classes, with over 550 businesses and 1,200 jobs created, according to Build Institute.

Of those participating in its programs, 70 percent were women and 60 percent were people of color.

Build has helped 50 of those entrepreneurs raise a total of more than $350,000 through the Kiva Detroit platform. Its graduates have gone on to secure over $2 million in funding through Motor City Match, Hatch Detroit, NEIdeas, Detroit Demo days and other microgrant programs.

As it prepares to move into its new home this summer, Build is working to take its programs to the three pilot cities. Each is operating on a different model.

There's a very strong regional push for entrepreneurial and small business in Fort Wayne and the surrounding region, said Trois Hart, director of Seed Fort Wayne, a quasi-government, nonprofit entity that manages targeted revitalization efforts for a seven-square-mile area of neighborhood corridors and industrial areas in Fort Wayne.

"Northeast Indiana understands the strength and power of entrepreneurship, and for our program, in particular ... there's a natural tie there that we believe is a strategy to improve opportunities for everybody in the region."

Last August, the Greater Fort Wayne economic development corporation and JP Morgan Chase & Co. sponsored a trip for Fort Wayne leaders to Detroit to look at redevelopment happening here, with a focus on the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Its tour included stops to learn about Motor City Match, Ponyride and Build Institute, Hart said. Seed liked Build's curriculum and its focus on access for women and people of color.

"We think they've figured out every aspect of equitable entrepreneur development (to connect) underconnected individuals to business development opportunities," Hart said.

Seed licensed the Build Basics curriculum for a year and in late February hosted representatives from Build Institute to train 10 facilitators or teachers for the classes in Fort Wayne.

Build contracted with part-time consultant Rachele Downs, founder of economic and community development consultancy Downs Diversity Initiatives LLC, to assist in taking the Build Cities program to other cities.

Seed is initially planning 10 cohorts of the eight-week classes which are set to launch this spring but could add more if demand is there, Hart said.

Build Basics is a tool to help people organize their inspiration and get them on a path, Hart said. Seed plans to expand on the classes by plugging participants into a larger ecosystem after they graduate to further support creation of businesses, Hart said, with workshops providing a deeper dive into their business plans, networking opportunities, mentoring and other activities, she said.

Build is charging other cities outside of Detroit between $10,000 and $30,000 in annual fees to bring the eight-week training classes and any other programs selected to their communities, Boyle said. It's offering, for additional fees, access to its other programs like the Open Cities monthly networking events and Detroit Soup, along with additional consulting on best practices around launching the programs and building their ecosystems.

Build is operating on a budget of just under $1 million this year. About 55 percent of its revenue is foundation grants, 25 percent earned revenue and the remaining 20 percent is split between individual and corporate support, Boyle said.

The hope is that Fort Wayne and other cities that license the Build Basics program will renew the license after the first year, she said. "Being a nonprofit, (we're) looking for earned revenue models that would give us more sustainability."

Build plans to seek long-term funding as it rolls out the Build Cities initiative beyond the pilot, she said.

Closer to home, Build is providing facilitators for classes in other cities and developing models to fund the programs.

In Pontiac, Flagstar Bancorp Inc. (NYSE: FBC) made a $26,000 grant to pilot Build Basics and a Pontiac Soup program, as part of its $10 million commitment to economic development in the city.

Classes launched in mid-February with 16 entrepreneurs. Tameka Ramsey — a graduate of Build and owner of T. Ramsey and Associates, a Pontiac-based consulting firm specializing in training, branding and empowering nonprofits — is serving as facilitator.

Unlike Fort Wayne, there's no licensing agreement in Pontiac, Boyle said.

"We were asked to come through Flagstar Bank ... they are trying to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pontiac."

Build Basics classes and possibly a networking or fundraising event are expected to launch this summer in Hazel Park.

Under that agreement, the city will fund half the costs of the program for a year, and Build will secure a match from a local funder for the other half, Boyle said.

There's still work to be done here in Detroit to ensure under-served populations of entrepreneurs can access the microloans and other supports now available to them, as a recent report commissioned by NEI pointed out.

"But our ... neighborhood, place-based small business ecosystem is pretty far along compared to other places around the country," said Matthew Lewis, communications officer for NEI.

"Detroit is actually leading in the network behaviors, acting as an ecosystem ... they are collaborating not competing."

Build Institute's expansion out of state is a testament to its hard work and effectiveness at building communities of entrepreneurs, Lewis said. Build does "a great job of helping people with an idea ... take that idea somewhere."

It validates entrepreneurs and their ideas and helps them think critically about what they're trying to accomplish, not just through instructors but also through peers, Lewis said.

"That sets them up for success."

MEDC Offers Financial Assistance To Small Business In Michigan Main Street Communities -

Posted: 16 Mar 2019 08:11 AM PDT

LANSING – The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has announced a new pilot program aimed at supporting small businesses looking to expand or establish themselves in a Michigan Main Street community. The cities of Niles and Saline have been selected as the first two communities to pilot the program.

Match on Main will provide grants of between $5,000 and $25,000 to Select or Master level Michigan Main Street communities in conjunction with eligible businesses seeking support. Projects can include interior building renovations, furniture and fixtures, permanent equipment, point of sale systems, marketing expenses, and inventory. Participating businesses must also have worked with the Michigan Small Business Development Center on a business plan.

"Small businesses are the cornerstones of our communities," said Katharine Czarnecki, MEDC senior vice president of community development. "With the support of the MEDC's Match on Main program, we can positively impact many small businesses, further boosting the downtowns and commercial districts in these communities to make them a place where people want to live, work and play."

As one of the two communities chosen to participate in the pilot program, the city of Niles (its downtown pictured above) has identified Gabrizio Italian Café and Bakery, a new bakery located on 104 N. Third St. in downtown Niles, as the business it will support through the program.

"Match on Main is a great partnership program between Michigan Main Street and the Michigan Small Business Development Center and will allow new and expanding businesses to get the support they need," said Niles Main Street Executive Director Lisa Croteau. "Together we'll build strong Main Streets and downtown Niles is thrilled to be a Match on Main pilot community."

Added Gabrizio owner Desyree Alberganti: "We will be able to invest Match on Main funds to grow our business in downtown Niles. We otherwise would not have been able to."

The city of Saline has chosen the Cheese Shop of Saline at 98 N. Ann Arbor St. in downtown Saline as its participating Match on Main business.

"When Match on Main was introduced, the timing couldn't have been better," said Saline Main Street Director Holli Andrews. "Saline Main Street will continue to celebrate the Cheese Shop of Saline, a local favorite spot in the heart of our Main Street district – acknowledging the broad support it took to get John and Ruth on a path forward."

Added Cheese Shop co-owner John Loomis: "Through the assistance of Saline Main Street, CEED Lending and SBDC, we were able to create a plan for our vision. And now with the funding from the Match on Main program, we're excited about growing our business and being here in Downtown Saline for a long time to come."

The full Match on Main program is expected to launch in early summer 2019 and will be available to all 23 communities participating in the Michigan Main Street Program at the Select or Master levels.

The Michigan Main Street Center supports local communities across Michigan as they implement the Main Street Four-Point Approach, a community-driven, comprehensive strategy encouraging economic development through historic preservation in ways appropriate for the modern marketplace. The program aims to create communities distinguished by a "sense of place." The rationale is based on a range of studies that show investing in creating a sense of place is an integral part of developing vibrant city centers and downtowns, thereby making the state economically stronger and culturally diverse.

As part of the Select Level of Michigan Main Street, communities receive five years of intensive technical assistance from MEDC with a focus on revitalization strategies designed to attract new residents, business investments, economic growth and job creation to their central business districts.

After communities have completed the Select Level of the program, they can participate in the Master Level, a two-year commitment that includes additional training and networking and mentoring opportunities.

The 23 communities currently participating in the Michigan Main Street at the select and master levels are Blissfield, Boyne City, Charlevoix, Charlotte, Downtown Lansing, Evart, Grand Haven, Grayling, Hart, Howell, Lapeer, the Mexicantown Hubbard Communities in Detroit, Milan, Niles, the Old Town area of Lansing, Otsego, Owosso, Portland, Saline, Sault Ste. Marie, Three Rivers, Wayland, and Wayne.

Over the past year, Michigan Main Street communities generated more than $28 million in private investment, 116 new businesses and 92 façade improvements. Since its inception in 2003, the Michigan Main Street has been a catalyst for job growth, private investment and community engagement. From 2003 through 2018, 1,299 new businesses have been launched, with a total public investment of nearly $90 million and total private investment of $286 million. In addition, more than 56,566 volunteer hours were recorded in the task of revitalizing downtowns across the state.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit

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