Source: Daily Breeze
Carson is gearing up for a new program aimed at revitalizing the local economy by providing an opportunity for small businesses to directly engage with the community.
The weeklong “Eat, Shop, Local” program is scheduled for May and will see local enterprises showcasing their offerings and interacting directly with the community through a curated series of events and promotions, city staffers said recently.
“This is the first time that we are going to do something like this for our small business community,” said LaToya Butler, Carson’s innovation and business liaison, “and hopefully it’s going to start a positive relationship with our small businesses.”
The program will also enable small businesses to connect with different resources in the city, such as the Carson One-Stop Career Center and its business incubator program, she added.
The incubator program, or the Small Business Growth Academy, stems from a partnership between the city and the Innovation Incubator at Cal State Dominguez Hills. It helps small businesses succeed by providing workshops for enterprises with 100 or fewer employees and/or revenues of $20 million per year or less.
“When I was elected,” Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes said about that program, “this was one of the nine initiatives in the Small Business Academy.”
The academy just graduated its third cohort, the mayor said. “Eat, Shop, Local,” meanwhile, is a spinoff of the workshop program, she said.
“Normally, we just hand out a certificate to a small business,” Davis-Holmes said. “But I think it’s incumbent upon us to do more than bring a business here, hand them a certificate and send them on their way.”
The “Eat, Shop, Local” program will cost the city $125,000 from its general fund reserve, which will be used for marketing, event organization and other related expenses, according to a staff report.
The program’s launch will coincide with Davis-Holmes’ intention to proclaim May 2024 as Small Business Month in Carson, city staffers said. It will help businesses prepare for the holiday season next year.
“Eat, Shop, Local Week” is scheduled to run from May 5 to May 11 at participating locations. A kickoff event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, May 6, at the Carson Event Center, 801 E. Carson St.