$100 million "Revive Alabama" grant fund announced for small businesses - Bham Now

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$100 million "Revive Alabama" grant fund announced for small businesses - Bham Now$100 million "Revive Alabama" grant fund announced for small businesses - Bham NowFunds run out for federal business grant program, SBA says - NewsdayLIVE – APPLY NOW: Small Business Grant Program Accepting Applications - CW39Small businesses starting to see $10,000 grants through Orange County CARES Act - WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando$100 million "Revive Alabama" grant fund announced for small businesses - Bham NowPosted: 11 Jul 2020 07:34 AM PDTThe grant fund is controlled by the Alabama Dept. of Revenue. Photo via Governor Kay Ivey on FacebookThis week, Governor Kay Ivey announced a "Revive Alabama" grant program to support small businesses in Alabama that have been impacted by COVID-19. $100 million is up for grabs. Get all the details here.What's the goal?Graphic via Revive ALWe all know small businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19. A new statewide gra…

ONE YEAR LATER: Pendleton's Country Market back in business, but on smaller scale - KMBC Kansas City

ONE YEAR LATER: Pendleton's Country Market back in business, but on smaller scale - KMBC Kansas City


ONE YEAR LATER: Pendleton's Country Market back in business, but on smaller scale - KMBC Kansas City

Posted: 28 May 2020 06:42 AM PDT

JOY AND HEARTBREAK OF THE PAST YEAR. HALEY: FIVE OUT OF SEVEN GREENHOUSES WERE DESTROYED IN THAT TORNADO. THIS IS THE ONE THEY HAVE REBUILT. AND EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE REBUILDING HERE AT THE PENDLETON'S FAMILY FARM, SOME THINGS BIG AND SMALL MAY NEVER BE QUITE THE SAME. THE TORNADO LEFT VERY LITTLE STANDING. >> THIS WAS OUR MACHINE SHED. AND THIS IS THE HEART OF THE FARM. HALEY: BACK THEN, IT WAS ONE STEP AT A TIME THE PACE OF PROGRESS HAS BEEN SLOW IT'S MOST CLEAR AT THEIR CENTURY-OLD FARM HOUSE, STILL UNLIVABLE. >> I HAVEN'T HAD TIME TO THIN WE ARE STILL FIXING UP. HALEY: NOW IN THE MIDST OF A PANDEMIC, THE UNCERTAINT REMAINS. >> WE'VE BEEN IN LIMBO FOR THE LAST 11, 12 MONTHS. HALEY: JOHN PENDLETON SHOWS US THEY ARE MOVING FORWAR >> COUPLE YEARS AGO, WE HAD OVER 200 PERENNIALS WE WERE SELLING THIS YEAR, WE HAD FIVE. HALEY: BUSINESS IS BACK ON A SMALLER SCALE. THE PLANTS HAVE REGROWN. THE CUSTOMERS NEVER LEFT. >> THE FIRST FEW HOURS AFTER T TORNADO, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO SHOWED UP THEN AND FOR T NEXT TWO MONTHS WAS JUST INCREDIBLE. HALEY: CUSTOMERS LENT A HAND I THE CLEAN-UP AND RAISED $25,000 FOR THE GREENHOUSE AND PORCH OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FOR THE BUSINESS >> I KNO IT'S TOUGH. YEAH. I FEEL THE LOVE THAT PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN US HALEY: AND IT IS BECAUSE OF THEIR LOYAL CUSTOMERS TH PENDLETON'S HAVE KEPT GOING THROUGH ALL OF THIS BUT THEY , ALSO TELL ME RETIREMENT AND A POSSIBLE FUTURE SALE TO THE RIGHT BUYER ISN'T OUT OF THE QUESTION, EITHER. REPORTING OUTSIDE LAWR

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ONE YEAR LATER: Pendleton's Country Market back in business, but on smaller scale

EF-4 tornado last year destroyed five of seven greenhouses

Work continues for those in the aftermath of an EF4 tornado a year ago. Pendleton's County Market in Lawrence has seen joy and heartbreak in the past year.Five out of seven greenhouses were destroyed in the tornado. Although Pendleton's family farm is rebuilding, some things big and small may never be quite the same.The pace of progress over the last year has been slow. It's most clear at the Pendleton's century-old farmhouse. It is still unlivable. Now in the midst of a pandemic, the uncertainty remains."We've been in limbo for the last 11-12 months," said John Pendleton.Pendleton shows us they are moving forward. "A couple years ago, we had over 200 perennials we were selling. This year, we had five," he said.The business is back on a smaller scale. The plants have regrown. The customers never left. "The first few hours after the tornado, the number of people who showed up then and for the next two months was just incredible," Pendleton said. Customers helped in the cleanup and raised $25,000 for the greenhouse and porch. "I know. It's tough. I feel the love that people have given us," Pendleton said.It is because of their loyal customers the Pendletons have kept going through all of this, but they also said that retirement and a possible future sale to the right buyer aren't out of the question.

Work continues for those in the aftermath of an EF4 tornado a year ago. Pendleton's County Market in Lawrence has seen joy and heartbreak in the past year.

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Five out of seven greenhouses were destroyed in the tornado. Although Pendleton's family farm is rebuilding, some things big and small may never be quite the same.

The pace of progress over the last year has been slow. It's most clear at the Pendleton's century-old farmhouse. It is still unlivable.

Now in the midst of a pandemic, the uncertainty remains.

"We've been in limbo for the last 11-12 months," said John Pendleton.

Pendleton shows us they are moving forward.

"A couple years ago, we had over 200 perennials we were selling. This year, we had five," he said.

The business is back on a smaller scale. The plants have regrown. The customers never left.

"The first few hours after the tornado, the number of people who showed up then and for the next two months was just incredible," Pendleton said.

Customers helped in the cleanup and raised $25,000 for the greenhouse and porch.

"I know. It's tough. I feel the love that people have given us," Pendleton said.

It is because of their loyal customers the Pendletons have kept going through all of this, but they also said that retirement and a possible future sale to the right buyer aren't out of the question.

National Board for Small Scale Industries warns business owners against fraudsters - Myjoyonline.com

Posted: 28 May 2020 02:52 AM PDT

The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has warned the public against fraudsters parading as Business Advisory Service staff.

According to the Board, some unscrupulous persons are duping unsuspecting business owners by collecting money from them under the guise of registering to access the government's ¢600 million stimulus package.

Deputy Director for the National Board for Small Scale Industries, Anna Armo-Himbson, told Roland Walker on the AM Show on Joy News that, the security agencies have been informed about the operations of the miscreants and will be swiftly prosecuted once arrested.

She explained that the application process for government's Coronaravirus Alleviation Program (CAP) is free of charge.

According to the Board, applicants are not expected to pay any fee to anyone during the application process.

The caution comes on the back of reports that some applicants are being charged between ¢200 and ¢250 to access the one billion loan announced by the government to mitigate the plight of business owners whose operations have been affected by the pandemic.

Out of the ¢1.2 billion earmarked for this Programme, ¢600 million will be disbursed as soft loans to Micro Small Medium Scale Enterprises, with a one-year moratorium and a two-year repayment plan.

How To Start Marketing Your Startup Or Small Business - Forbes

Posted: 28 May 2020 04:52 AM PDT

Getty

Entrepreneurs spend a lot of time and effort building their products and services. They can start to attract a small customer base organically, but marketing can really help them scale.

Working with startups and small businesses, I often get asked, "What do I need to do to get started?" It's obvious you need the basics like a logo, a website where customers can learn more about your offerings and an email and phone number where customers can contact you. But where do you start your marketing plan and how do you start reaching new customers?

Having helped a number of companies start their marketing department, here are some tips I often share:

1. Develop a solid foundation with market research and select a target audience.

The first and most important foundational step is market research. Figuring out product/market fit is vital for startups, as 42% fail because they have "no market need," according to a study done by CBInsights.

In addition, a thorough review of the competition can help you determine points of difference and weaknesses you can address in advance. It's also necessary to take a deep dive on customers, including an examination of different segments and their relative value to you, identifying needs and pain points and mapping the customer buying process in depth. This will help inform a lot of decisions in your marketing plan.

2. Define a clear target market and focus on serving them well.

Based on your research, define who your offering will be directed toward to optimize limited resources. This doesn't mean other segments can't be customers but that you're selecting a core group to target your product, messaging and distribution channels to.

By concentrating your efforts on a niche of customers who will best benefit from your product and are of high value to your company, you can cater your marketing plan to them and not waste your time or budget on lower value or harder-to-convince customers.

3. Design a brand that represents what your company stands for.

A brand is more than just a name or logo. It is how your company is perceived by others.

"In a super-crowded world, with too many choices (more than twenty kinds of toner to choose from for my laser printer, and more than nineteen thousand combinations of beverages at Starbucks) … you're quite lucky if you have a brand at all," says author Seth Godin.

To stand out, develop a clear and distinct point of view that inspires feelings in your customers, encouraging them to engage with you over and over.

4. Decide on your goals and define your budget.

It can be hard to decide on how much to spend on marketing, especially in the early days of a business. Internet guru Neil Patel's startup marketing guide states that "57% of startup marketing managers are not basing their marketing budgets on any ROI analysis." Often, it comes down to how much you can afford, but how much is enough?

If you can, identify how many customers would support the revenue you need for your launch. Next, look at your margin and decide how much of it you would be willing to spend to get a new customer — this is your cost of acquisition. Your customer goal multiplied by your ideal cost of acquisition is a good starting point for an initial budget.

5. Map out points of influence in the buying process.

Find out where your customers get their information from and where they're influenced along their purchasing journey, beginning from the time they decide they need something to after the sale, when they're evaluating post-purchase satisfaction and repeat purchases or referrals. Look at people who influence customers' decisions, their media channels and sources of information or complementary products that must be compatible — these are good channels to focus on initially.

6. Create messaging and content that attracts your target customers.

Building on your research, develop a value proposition that inspires your target market to act and engage with your company. This can be done by focusing on how you solve a customer pain point, help them do a job better or make their lives easier. Using language and visuals that are relatable and easy to understand, emphasize your points of difference to grab your target market's attention.

7. Figure out how to implement your marketing plan.

In addition to your budget, another essential resource is assistance getting marketing up and running. This is often decided by budget availability. Smaller companies frequently hire interns or work with boutique agencies for help creating a launch campaign, with customer research and everything in between.

Marketing tools such as a customer relationship management tool (CRM), email automation program, social media management app and website tracking software, can also help you work smarter and more efficiently. Once your resources are set, a realistic work-back schedule will allow you to plan for all of the work needed to start marketing and coordinate the different activities that need to come together in time for your launch.

When marketing your company, it can feel overwhelming to figure out where to begin. Investing time in market research is crucial in the marketing planning process and can set you up for success or failure. Direction is equally important to identify and then connect with your target audience in an authentic way, as well as help you focus the limited resources SMBs and startups often have. Finally, find the right team to help you get going. It's important to find others who share your vision and excitement about your company and are invested in your future.

A New Wedding Planning Firm Brings a Big Dose of Style and Ease to Small-Scale Affairs - bostonmagazine.com

Posted: 28 May 2020 07:03 AM PDT

Weddings

Known as the Mainstay Collective, a group of top local vendors is joining forces to offer dreamy elopements and intimate celebrations.


Photo by Stephanie Vegliante

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to cause more and more local couples to abandon their plans for large weddings, elopements and intimate celebrations are becoming increasingly popular alternatives. And thankfully, there's a new firm in town with the know-how to pull them off.

Enter the Mainstay Collective, a recently formed, all-inclusive event group dedicated to elopements and small-scale weddings. Comprised of vendors from an array of specialties, the group first came together last fall, when tasked with creating a styled elopement shoot aboard a sailboat in Boston Harbor. When they later shared the resulting photos online, the response from couples who saw it was overwhelmingly positive. "Every time we'd upload them on Instagram, people would reach out to the vendors involved wondering, 'Can we do this in real life?'" planner Kate Murtaugh recalls. While she and the group—which also includes vendors such as Stephanie Vegliante Photography, Beach Plum Floral, and Lizzie's Bakery—kept the idea of banding together to offer similar celebrations in their back pockets, it wasn't until this year when COVID-19 began to upend local weddings that the group decided to officially offer the new service. "It pretty quickly dawned on us that the big weddings of 200 people may not be happening this year, and we needed to be creative and think about new ways to offer clients the ability to have a beautiful experience," Murtaugh explains. "So we [thought], 'Why don't we bring this to life?'"

Officially open for business since last week, the multidisciplinary firm offers three tiers of service, all of which include planning, photography, florals, stationery, wedding cake, and an officiant. Additionally, brides and grooms can opt for add-ons, such as hair and makeup services from Pretty Wife Beauty, videography from 1K Words & Media, and catering from Suddenly Simple Events. Couples also have their choice of venues including Classic Sail Boston's Captiva, the 45-foot charter boat featured in the group's styled shoot, and Cross Street Flower Farm—a seven-acre property with more than 50 varieties of colorful blooms. Based in Norwell, the farm has never before been offered as a wedding venue and can only be booked through the Collective. Lastly, for lovebirds with somewhere specific in mind for their nuptials, the vendors also offer a bespoke package, allowing couples to tie the knot in any location of their choice worldwide.  "It's a one-stop shop. We want people to be able to come to us and basically pick their location and date, and then everything else is essentially handled for them so they don't have to worry," Murtaugh says.

Photo by Stephanie Vegliante

Above all, Murtaugh says she and the other participating vendors hope the Mainstay Collective's festivities will serve as proof that tinier affairs can be just as magical as large-scale celebrations. "Just because it's smaller doesn't mean we're limited with what we can do," the planner says. "[Small events] actually allow us to use more creativity in a lot of ways." Plus, the team doesn't need a whole lot of lead time to make a smaller fete a reality. Unlike larger weddings, which require months of planning, this approach involves a "fairly fast turnover," Murtaugh explains. "From start to finish, a couple of weeks is what we are envisioning."

Since launching the Mainstay Collective, the planner says the group has already received interest from several couples who have decided to postpone their weddings in light of COVID-19, but still want to get married this summer in a smaller yet equally special fashion they'd expected of their larger affairs. "[Couples] are getting excited again, which is really important," Murtaugh says. "This has been a summer of a lot of disappointment. So if we can do this for them, I think it makes us all really happy."

mainstay collective

Photo by Alisha Norden Photography and Stephanie Vegliante

Photo by Alisha Norden Photography and Stephanie Vegliante

mainstaycollective.com.

Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Boston Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.

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