LACDC NEWS RELEASE
After a very successful first year that resulted in four new businesses opening in Los Alamos County, the Los Alamos Business Accelerator program is back to inspire and equip potential entrepreneurs with the confidence to take the plunge into starting a local business. This year, in addition to those interested in opening a retail storefront, Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation (LACDC) is expanding the program to encourage food and beverage entrepreneurs to apply. Applications for those interested in the program, found on the Los Alamos MainStreet website, are due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Organized by LACDC and run by Los Alamos MainStreet and the Chamber of Commerce, this community business development initiative encourages local entrepreneurs to start new businesses in the County with minimal upfront risk, while simultaneously filling vacant storefronts. The overall desired outcome of the Business Accelerator program is an increase in independent retail stores in Los Alamos’ downtown core to create a more dynamic and interesting place for residents and visitors to enjoy. It will also help diversify the greater Los Alamos economy, and build the entrepreneurial class and ecosystem of the area.
In 2021, LACDC ran a seven-week Phase I Business Accelerator program that had 14 participants, 11 of whom completed the coursework. Four were selected to move on to test drive their concepts for six weeks in a Phase II pop-up. Four new businesses successfully opened and filled empty retail spaces in town: Little Studio on the Mesa purchased their new space at 113 Longview in White Rock, Wheeed! leased space in 555 Oppenheimer and opened the first retail cannabis store in Los Alamos County, Samizdat Bookstore and Teahouse partnered with the STEAM Lab and opened in 174 Central Park Square, and Inspired Jewelers will be opening their new retail space they purchased in 555 Oppenheimer soon.
Last year, with support from LACDC and community partners including the New Mexico Economic Development Department LEADS program, LANL Community Partnerships Office (LANL CPO), and New Mexico MainStreet, the Los Alamos Business Accelerator program paid for the four entrepreneurs’ pop-up retail space and utilities, advertising, marketing and display/fixture costs, as well as insurance for each business for a year.
This year’s sponsors include the New Mexico Economic Development Department through a LEADS Grant, LANL Foundation, New Mexico Resiliency Alliance, LANL CPO, New Mexico MainStreet, Enterprise Bank & Trust, Del Norte Credit Union, as well as Cohort 1 Los Alamos Business Accelerator graduates, Wheeed, Samizdat Bookstore & Teahouse, Little Studio on the Mesa, and Inspired Jewelers. These sponsors have demonstrated a commitment to economic development in Los Alamos and in their support of our local budding entrepreneurs.
Phase I Accelerator workshops will run from Sept. 13 – Oct. 18, meeting once a week for 2 hours in the evening. Businesses selected for the Phase II pop-up store will be open Nov. 19 through December 31. Dates are subject to change. For more information and to apply visit https://www.losalamosmainstreet.com/business-accelerator