The Downtown Dayton Partnership (DDP), along with its small business development partners, launched its first session of the Downtown Dayton Retail Lab this week with a group of 11 small business owners.
For this 12-week program, the group of entrepreneurs were chosen out of a pool of 36 applicants to participate in a series of weekly workshops to launch and strengthen their first-floor businesses. The cohort of chosen entrepreneurs and businesses include:
- Vanessa Lloyd – A+ Cleaners – www.drycleandayton.com
- Vaniti Byrd – Baba Love Organics – www.babaloveorganics.com
- Mary Baldino – Connect E-Sports – www.connectesports.com
- Deborah Samuels – D. Bra Boutique
- Katie Hall- Fox in Socks Soapery – www.FoxinSocksSoapery.com
- Jennifer Herrera – Napales Mexican Street Food – www.napales.com
- Paula Willis – Now and Zen DIY Studio – www.shopnowandzen.com
- Dana Calhoun – Picture Perfect Paint Parties – www.PicturePerfectPaintParties.com
- Lindsey Deck – Space Three – www.spacethreedayton.com
- Kelsey Calderone – Two Social – www.gemcitysocialsports.com
- Davia Allen – Vidia’s Closet – www.vidiascloset.com
“To launch and run a small business takes resiliency and determination and the goal of the Retail Lab is to give these business owners the support they need to take their ideas to a new level,” said Sandra K. Gudorf, president of the DDP. “The energy of the small business community is what makes our downtown shine and attracts shoppers, diners, adventurers and more to the heart of our city.”
The Retail Lab has two main goals: continue energizing downtown with vibrant storefronts and unique restaurants, and provide a supportive pathway into the downtown market for emerging first-floor entrepreneurs. In the selection process to choose the first cohort out of 36 applications, the committee was pleased with the number of woman- and minority-owned businesses who applied. Some of the chosen businesses already have brick-and-mortar storefronts in downtown Dayton, and others are just launching their enterprises. All wanted to be a part of this program to learn and grow from a network of other businesswomen and industry professionals.
Over the coming months, the Downtown Dayton Retail Lab will lead the cohort through a series of workshops, experiences, and pilot opportunities that connect the business owners to the people, ideas, capital, and resources that will help them thrive and grow in downtown Dayton. The Retail Lab leverages support from many business resource partners including The Entrepreneurs Center, the Miami Valley Small Business Development Center, Five Rivers MetroParks – 2nd Street Market, Launch Dayton, CityWide Development, and The Hub at the Dayton Arcade.
Questions about the Retail Lab should be directed to AJ Ferguson, [email protected], or call (937) 681-9793.