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Our Program

  • DE-RISK YOUR ENTRY INTO LOS ALAMOS RETAIL OR FOOD/BEVERAGE

  • RUN A RETAIL POP-UP STOREFRONT RENT/UTILITY-FREE 

  • FREE BUSINESS TRAINING PROGRAM  

Los Alamos MainStreet, in partnership with New Mexico MainStreet, the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, run the Los Alamos Business Accelerator Program thanks to generous sponsors. The program's goals are to increase in independent retail stores in Los Alamos’ downtown core, which will create a more dynamic and interesting place for residents and visitors to enjoy; help diversify the greater Los Alamos economy; build the entrepreneurial class and ecosystem of the area; and fill vacant storefronts.

 

Individuals accepted into the Los Alamos Business Accelerator program participate in a complimentary training program (Phase I), and then qualify to apply for a brick-and-mortar pop-up to test their concept (Phase II). The program also covers business merchandising display costs, insurance and marketing costs.

 

Please Note: In 2024, only Food & Beverage participants will be eligible for Phase II, but any business can apply for Phase I workshops. A Food & Beverage Residency Program is being established in consultation with Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op.

 

PHASE I - Combine skills-building curriculum, cohort style learning and networking structure, advisement and mentorship from the broader Los Alamos ecosystem. Example topics that will be covered in the 7-week program include Business Model & Customer Discovery; Branding, Marketing & Social Media; Business Process; Ordering, Inventory, Layout & Sales; Organization & Accounting; and Building Your Company (Culture & Workforce).

 

Participants will meet once a week on Wednesday evenings and should expect to reserve 5:30-7:30 p.m. on their calendars, which will include training, as well as time for Q&A and networking (and some sessions will not take up the entire time).

 

PHASE II - Real-world platform to test market viability and consumer adoption of business concepts. After conclusion of Phase I training, participants will be given the opportunity to meet with a review committee to present their retail or F&B concept and showcase the work they have completed. From this review process, candidates will be chosen to use a retail/restaurant space for a pop-up. While operating their pop-up, they will have access to specific advisers familiar with opening and running a retail business and connections to the broader entrepreneur and small business resource ecosystem.

BACKGROUND

The inaugural program launched in 2021 with financial support from the New Mexico Economic Development Department LEADS Grant, LANL Community Partnerships Office, New Mexico MainStreet, and Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation (LACDC - the umbrella organization for Los Alamos MainStreet and the Chamber of Commerce). It resulted in four new retail storefronts in Los Alamos County: Little Studio on the Mesa, Samizdat Bookstore & Teahouse, Inspired Jewelers, and Wheeed! In 2022, the program helped open locations for Wolf & Mermaid Enchanted Roasters and Los Alamos Golf & Games (now operating out of the SALA Event Center). 

Key Dates

 

September 2023 – Open House Info Sessions, Date TBD

October 1, 2023 - Applications due for Libraries as Launchpads, powered by Creative Startups. LACDC is  collaborating with the Los Alamos Public Library and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) this year for the Libraries as Launchpads program, with applications open now until Oct. 1. Los Alamos was selected as one of only a handful of communities nationwide for the 2023 cohort. An ideal program for creative entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of developing their business concept, the Launchpads program can help prepare entrepreneurs for potential engagement in the later-stage Los Alamos Business Accelerator. To apply, fill out this application. Note: participation in Libraries as Launchpads is not a required component to the Los Alamos Business Accelerator, but rather a complementary offering in certain circumstances. 

November 13, 2023 – Business Accelerator Applications Open

December 31, 2023 – Business Accelerator Applications Close

Week of January 8, 2024 – Phase I Applicants Notified 

Week of January 15, 2024 – Phase I, Cohort 3, Begins

Week of March 11, 2024 – Phase I Concludes, Applications for Phase II Are Due

Week of March 18, 2024 – Phase II Participants Selected and Notified

Late April, 2024 – Phase II Food & Beverage Residencies Being

Thank you to our

2023-2024

Sponsors & Partners:

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2022 Pop-up Shops Graduates

Visit Wolf & Mermaid Enchanted Roasters temporarily serving in the mornings from Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op until their renovations are complete at 181 Central Park Square!

Los Alamos Golf & Games can now be found at SALA Event Center, 2551 Central Avenue. Reserve your tee time in advance HERE.

What Participants Are Saying

"Ryn Herrmann, Director of the Chamber of Commerce, and Lauren McDaniel, Director of Los Alamos MainStreet, put in countless hours to help prospective business owners refine their ideas and business plans. In addition to LACDC’s investment, the Retail Accelerator program was also funded by a New Mexico Economic Development Department LEADS grant, as well as support from New Mexico MainStreet and LANL Community Partnerships Office. Their creative thinking, hard work, and willingness to try something different in Los Alamos, as well as the incredible support from our community, have led directly to the space-sharing partnership that Samizdat has been able to form with the Los Alamos STEAM Lab."

-Jill Lang, Samizdat Bookstore & Teahouse

"Thank you to the Los Alamos Chamber and MainStreet programs of Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation (LACDC), for the retail accelerator program. The best small business program we have ever seen in Los Alamos! This new program has allowed four new local businesses to test their retail concepts in town. Thanks to all of the presenters of the retail accelerator, we learned a lot every week. A super huge thank you to Ryn Herrmann (Chamber director) and Lauren McDaniel (LACDC interim director) for ALL of their efforts, hours, and hard work!! Thanks for selecting Wheeed LLC for Phase 2 of the retail accelerator, we are super excited to have a storefront."

-Jonathan LeDuc, Wheeed!

Retail Accelerator Survey (feedback was anonymous):

“Thanks! I think this is one of the most valuable entrepreneurial programs I have seen in Los Alamos. Three new Los Alamos businesses are operating in a retail space because of this program and that's great on so many levels.”

 

“Lots of positive feedback from the community that, finally, somebody tried something instead of just complaining.”

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