In late November 2020 Chelsea Lembo, a former public elementary school teacher and certified educator with a specialty in arts-integrated learning, was organized and ready to make an impact. She had already established an entity (LLC) for her start-up and had a space secured in Marcellus where she could provide students with creative workshops.
Before the 2020 pandemic, Chelsea had planned to start her business exclusively as a creative based learning experience. After COVID hit, she decided to pivot her business plan by assessing the immediate needs of her target customer base.
The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the adoption of e-commerce sites and online shopping portals for small enterprises; and Mixed Methods in Hanover Square, Syracuse, is no different.
In fact, owner Amy Wilson has demonstrated some of the best practices in moving her shop inventory online quickly and professionally.
“I could make the sun shine from pure desire” – Steve Winwood, 1986 in “Higher Love”
If there were ever two young entrepreneurs that could make the sun shine from pure desire, I think I may have met them. The lyric from the song “Higher Love” epitomizes Kaleigh Ligoci and Lauren Scarpelli.
Justin’s Canine Campus opened in 2014 as the self-funded project of owners Justin Bonn and Carrie Lindley. While the pet industry has been experiencing explosive growth, Justin and Carrie are specializing their services to meet all their client’s needs. Ten businesses in their marketing area may offer similar services, but they are one of only two that provide daycare, training, and grooming services.
Justin and Carrie knew they had what it would take to start-up and run successful business in the pet industry because they had extensive firsthand experience and knowledge.
The ABC’s of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is a labor of love for Karyn Burns-Gerling; a mother of three, incredibly hard working, and an inspiration to all who meet her. She began working on this business venture when she was expecting her children. Burns-Gerling would make posters called the ABC’s of wherever she imagined they would one day visit (the ABC’s of Cape Cod or the ABC’s of Nantucket).
Years later, when she went through her divorce, she decided it was time to sell these posters.
The story of the salt industry in Syracuse is the stuff of legend and a tale of the early development of the city. In the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s Syracuse produced more salt than any other place in the United States, rightfully earning the name: The Salt City.
Now in the 21st Century a father and daughter team is endeavoring to return that claim to fame to Syracuse. David Iannicello and Libby Croom are the owners of Syracuse Salt Co., a company that inherited its name from one of the last salt producers in Syracuse over 100 years ago.
The community of Clinton, NY has been the home of Tom’s Natural Foods (originally known as Whole Earth Natural Foods) at 16 College Street for almost 50 years.
Any business with such a long run of success is undoubtedly going to reach a time for succession, where the owner(s) are ready for retirement, undoubtedly wanting their life’s work and legacy to continue. In stepped Jason Townsend (Professor of environmental science at Hamilton College), Nancy Morelle (Co-owner of Old Path Farm and part-time employee at Tom’s) and Andrew Sblendorio, who contacted the Onondaga SBDC for assistance in navigating the purchase.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” –Charles Darwin
In mid-March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States and the Central New York community in a way that would unapologetically and thoroughly alter the lives of all its people. Meals on Wheels of Syracuse (MOWS) had just successfully completed its 60th year providing meal service to its clients throughout the Syracuse area. Its Executive Director, Mason Kaufman, who has been at the helm of the agency for over 25 years (and has worked for the agency for over 35 years) knew that his life, the lives of his employees, and the lives of those that the agency serves were about to be adversely affected if he didn’t construct a plan and implement that plan immediately.
Employee to Owner During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The corona-virus pandemic has severely crippled the hospitality and food industries. While struggling to stay afloat financially, many small businesses have relied on their various loyal customer bases.
Offering take-out options has been an essential tool for these industries to maintain their cash-flows, until the public can gather once again and enjoy all the culinary options Syracuse has to offer. Hope seems nearly here as New York slowly re-opens in a strategically phased approach.
New Norms, New Possibilities: During these unprecedented times, small businesses need to pivot and adapt more than ever. Many gyms are doing virtual workouts, many restaurants and retail shops are offering curbside pickups. Online has been the new normal for meetings, buying products, and providing services. However, what about entertainment businesses? What are they doing to stay ahead of the game to be able to offer their product to the public? Wunderbar, a new LGBTQ bar and theatre near Armory Square, was forced to close on the one-year anniversary of their soft opening.
We are currently offering clients the option to have appointments virtually, by phone, or in person BY APPOINTMENT ONLY (following CDC Guidelines).
Read articles and advice written by our very own Onondaga SBDC Business Advisors!