The city is repeating its Small Business Plan Contest in 2014 and will hold an information meeting Jan. 13 for entrepreneurs interested in participating. The meeting will be held at 6 pm in Room 530 of the Stuart Municipal Building, 100 E. First St., Winston-Salem.
The Community and Business Development Department is sponsoring the contest to promote job creation and small businesses by helping entrepreneurs develop sound business plans. The winning business plan will receive a $5,000 grant for start-up costs, up to $5,000 in a potential matching micro-loan, and technical assistance.
Eligible submissions must be for micro-businesses (five employees or less) located within the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area. This area includes downtown and portions of the northern, southern and eastern quadrants of the city. Business plans must also create low- to moderate-income jobs or benefit low- to moderate-income residents. Staff from the department’s Business Development Division will be available to provide assistance throughout the competition.
The winner of the contest will win:
- $5,000 grant for startup costs
- $5,000 potential matching micro-loan
- Free Change of Use Review (valued at $250) by the Inspections Division to evaluate what changes are needed to bring a proposed business location into building code compliance
Following the information session on Jan. 13, business proposals must be submitted by Feb. 3 to enter the contest. All submittals will be reviewed and the top finalists will have the opportunity to submit completed business plans in April. The finalists will be judged by the Small Business Loan Committee and the winner announced in June.
During the inaugural contest last year, 45 people entered. A proposal by Elizabeth Coyne* for a mobile art-supply business ultimately was selected as the winner by the city’s Small Business Loan Committee. However, everyone who submitted a business plan received guidance on how to improve their business plan and was eligible to apply for a small business loan through the city’s regular Small Business Loan Program.
The timeline for the competition is:
Monday, January 13– informational meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the 5th floor meeting room of the Bryce Stuart Municipal Building.
February 3 – brief business proposals are due. The Development Division /will review the submittals and select the top finalists that will go to the final round
April 14 – complete business plans are due from finalists for evaluation by the Small Business Loan Review Committee
June – a winner of the competition will be announced
*Please check back to CCD later in the week for an article about Ms. Coyne’s start-up.
You can find more information HERE.