If there is something we have learned collectively over the past 2 years is that uncertainty is somewhat inevitable. Business owners have faced unprecedented challenges, including health and wellness concerns, government compliance issues, labor challenges and a wildly unpredictable economy. From a good news perspective, there are signs that aspects of our lives are progressing to some semblance of pre-COVID normalcy. Unfortunately, news about global economic conditions remains ominous, and the future is shrouded in uncertainty.
When Matthew Cullipher opened the Hope Café and Tea House in 2017, he had two missions that he was trying to accomplish. The first mission was to provide a variety of delicious food and beverages that replicated the taste and feel of countries such as Peru, Columbia, Venezuela, and Italy. That mission has been easily accomplished with more to come on that.
But as a non-profit entity, the second mission of the Hope Café was to help children and adults living in extreme poverty. While that mission may never be fully realized, Cullipher and his organization have made a significant improvement in the lives of people less fortunate than many of us.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has awarded more than $7.5 billion dollars through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program to live venue operators, promoters, arts organizations, talent representatives, motion picture theater operators, museums, and theatrical producers.
Over 10,000 live entertainment venues, small businesses and not-for-profit agencies have received funding through this program out of nearly 15,500 SVOG applicants.
Travis Barr and Alex Altomonte stepped into Melissa Zomro Davis's small Cazenovia office with a wish, a dream, and a legacy. Little did they know that their journey would not only change their lives, but also the many lives of the residents and visitors of this quaint little community.
The idea of owning a business is not a new one for Travis and Alex. In 1946 Travis's Grandfather opened the Brae Loche Inn, which is still owned and operated by his uncle and his uncle's wife. Travis's cousin is the also owner and operator of 20East and Cazenovia CutBlock.
During the peak of the COVID pandemic last holiday season, Skaneateles Artisans owner Teresa Vitale found herself in a similar position to many other retail brick & mortar businesses – revenue waning due to a lack of customers who were appropriately social distancing at home and either reducing their purchasing or relying on e-commerce outlets.
At 6:30 in the morning, when most of us are asleep or enjoying our first cup of coffee, Drew D’Angelo arrives at Mazzye’s Meats to begin preparing the store.
He sanitizes the store, fills the cases and prepares the meat for the day. While there’s much work to be done, his favorite part of the day is just 90 minutes away when he’ll begin interacting with the customers. That’s when his passion for meat and food preparation becomes apparent. Not only does he enjoy talking with his customers about specific meats and various cuts of meat, he loves to help them understand the best way to prepare them.
Over the past year, what is it that we have all yearned for and ordered as take out so many times to bring comfort to us in times when we were too tired and too stressed?
What have we bought gift cards for, ordered or donated to give to those on the front lines taking care of us all? What industry has been one of the hardest hit, yet still are persevering in anyway possible due to the dedication of their repeat customers and their passion for what they do. Where is it that we can’t wait to go visit again and partake in their passion to bring comfort and joy to us all after such an unprecedented year?
In the small business community, we always talk about networking, connections, and working with trusted partners. That has never been truer than when it comes to working with a lender, especially during the current climate.
When you are starting or expanding a business, having a good relationship with your lender can make or break a deal. Those lenders that are local where you can put a name to a face, where he or she is a part of your community and you can see the person at the grocery store, really is an important piece to your puzzle.
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.
Read articles and advice written by our very own Onondaga SBDC Business Advisors!