Kira Bolling sees her new enterprise location as an opportunity to unfold some “sunshine,” simply as she recollects her mom doing.
Katy Cole calls her new enterprise in the identical Graham Drive constructing a “religious factor” that she approaches prayerfully.
For Abraham Williams, government director of the Housing Authority of Bowling Inexperienced, Bolling and Cole are merely essentially the most concrete examples of how a year-old HABG program helps aspiring entrepreneurs flip their concepts into money-making enterprises.
Cole’s Katy’s Artistic Catering restaurant is already open at 305 Graham Drive, a constructing that was as soon as residence to a Warren County Public Library department however has now been reworked into the HABG Small Enterprise Growth Place.
Bolling’s A Style of Sunshine enterprise, specializing in cupcakes of all sizes, will observe swimsuit with a September opening, giving Housing Authority residents a few meals choices proper of their neighborhood.
“It’s essential that we’re in a position to put these companies in the midst of our group,” Williams stated. “It’s inside strolling distance for a few of our aged residents and offers them choices for meals.”
And the brand new companies present extra, serving as examples within the HABG group of how easy concepts can sprout into viable enterprises.
“Lots of people have good concepts and simply want some help,” Williams stated. “Different individuals have seen what we’re doing, and it’s producing curiosity amongst different younger entrepreneurs.”
A lot curiosity that Williams stated the POP-UP (Folks’s Alternative Program for Underserved Populations) program began final 12 months by the HABG in partnership with native banks has already made 14 loans to small companies.
The POP-UP program was initiated by native businessman Don Vitale, who approached Williams about using the HABG’s Reside the Dream Growth nonprofit arm to start out a mortgage pool that might assist minority and low-income residents with enterprise startups.
5 banks – US Financial institution, Independence Financial institution, BB&T, American Financial institution & Belief and Franklin Financial institution & Belief – and a few non-public donors stepped as much as give the POP-UP program a pool of about $100,000 to get began.
That pool has grown, as has curiosity within the POP-UP program, in keeping with HABG Small Enterprise Marketing consultant Daybreak Bolton.
“I’ve met with 52 purchasers, representing 45 companies, who’re in varied phases of enterprise growth,” Bolton stated finally week’s ribbon-cutting for the Small Enterprise Growth Place.
Bolton stated greater than $100,000 in low-interest loans (that are capped at $10,000 every) have been awarded since POP-UP’s inception.
And the POP-UP purchasers obtain greater than monetary help.
“I see myself within the function of instructing, guiding and inspiring,” Bolton stated. “My POP-UP purchasers know their day-to-day enterprise and understand it effectively. My job is to offer them the enterprise terminology and information to current their companies, within the type of a marketing strategy and monetary statements, to a board of acknowledged businesspeople to safe a mortgage.”
Such steerage and the work of the HABG to renovate the Graham Drive constructing have helped Bolling and Cole notice their goals.
“It (POP-UP) is a superb assist for individuals who have good concepts however not the funds,” Bolling stated. “They see the potential and the imaginative and prescient.”
Bolling, who has labored as a hair stylist for 25 years whereas dabbling in baking, sees A Style of Sunshine as a manner for her to emulate the group service her late mom Alice Whitlow offered by cooking for Meals on Wheels and different organizations through the years.
“My mother is the sunshine,” Bolling stated. “Our residence after I was rising up was about three minutes from right here. It’s essential for me to serve this group.”
Cole, who’s already serving meals by way of takeout and a few restricted seating, stated the POP-UP mortgage and the Small Enterprise Growth Place have helped her notice her dream of making ready and serving meals for a dwelling.
After years of working in retail or in housekeeping, Cole labored briefly as head cook dinner on the Village Manor senior dwelling group.
That job solely whetted Cole’s urge for food for meals service, however beginning her personal restaurant appeared like a monetary impossibility till the POP-UP program got here alongside.
“Every part I checked out was so astronomically costly,” she stated. “They (HABG) make it reasonably priced so that you don’t go broke.”
Cole, who describes the choices at Katy’s Artistic Catering as “old-time nation cooking,” stated she shares Bolling’s need to serve the HABG group.
“This can be a religious factor for me,” she stated. “I pray after I cook dinner, and I attempt to make a reference to each particular person I are available contact with on this enterprise.”
The success of Bolling and Cole has led Williams to think about increasing the POP-UP program’s enterprise incubator service to different properties, even exterior the HABG group.
“The most important problem for many individuals is discovering an inexpensive place to hire,” he stated. “We’re looking for moderate-priced locations they will afford. We’re different locations on the town.”
– Observe enterprise reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or go to bgdaily news.com.
– Observe enterprise reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or go to bgdailynews.com.