The 2017 Jump-Start Competition
Beginning today, entrepreneurs may apply to win up to $12,000 in incentive packages, by entering Jump-Start Downtown, an Elizabeth City business plan competition, sponsored by Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. (ECDI), the Elizabeth City Area Committee of 100 and the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Economic Development Commission.
“This is a great opportunity for start-ups to realize their dream of opening a business with the support from our Jump-Start partners and Elizabeth City’s downtown business community,” said ECDI Director Debbie Malenfant. “The Committee of 100 has sweetened the pot in 2017, contributing an extra $1,000 for a cash prize for the runner-up business.”
They have until Jan. 27, 2017 to submit their business plan, to include an executive summary, market analysis, marketing and financial plans and other documents. Any type of business is eligible to enter, so long as the proposed business location is within the boundaries of downtown Elizabeth City. Occupancy of a street-level, street-facing storefront is preferred. If a business is located in Pasquotank County, the proposed downtown location must be an expansion. In addition, the winners must have their businesses up and running by Nov. 17, 2017.
“With the excitement generated in downtown by the rehabilitation of the Southern Hotel and the planned conversion of the Fowler Building into Elizabeth City Brewing Company, we expect this year’s field of applicants to be the strongest yet,” said Wayne Harris, director of the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Economic Development Commission.
Judges with small business experience will rate the submissions, and two prizes will be awarded. A first-place winner will receive: a $5,000 cash prize to use for start-up capital, $3,500 worth of additional services including a free advertising package in the Daily Advance newspaper, a free one-year Chamber of Commerce membership, a free one-year Downtown Business & Professional Association membership and one set of business cards from MMT Printers.
A second-place winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize (new this year) to use for start-up capital, $2,500 worth of business services including a free advertising package in the Daily Advance, a discounted one year Chamber of Commerce membership, a free one-year Downtown Business & Professional Association membership and one free set of business cards.
The 2016 Jump-Start winners, Carrie Hays and Talia Krites, opened the Flour Girls Café and Bakery earlier this year. Featuring designer cakes, fresh-baked pastries and breads and deli sandwiches, the eatery occupies a prime downtown location at 102 Water Street. Nestlerode Orthopedic and The Photography Company, 2015 winner and runner up, occupy store-front locations along Main Street.
ECDI, the Elizabeth City Area Committee of 100 and the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Economic Development Commission are the presenting sponsors of the Jump-Start competition, with support from the Daily Advance, MMT Printers, Inc., College of The Albemarle’s Small Business Center, Small Business Technology Development Center and the Elizabeth City Downtown Business & Professional Association.