Our Program




Los Alamos MainStreet, in partnership with New Mexico MainStreet, the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, and sponsors including the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Community Partnerships Office, New Mexico Resiliency Alliance, and the LANL Foundation, is spearheading the 2022 Los Alamos Retail Accelerator Program. 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. 

The overall desired outcome of this program is an 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; create import substitution options for consumers; build the entrepreneurial class and ecosystem of the area; and fill vacant storefronts.


Individuals accepted into the Los Alamos Retail Accelerator program participate in a complimentary training program (Phase I) as well as around seven weeks in a retail storefront, rent & utility free (Phase II). The program also covers retail merchandising display costs, insurance and marketing costs. 


PHASE ICombine skills-building curriculum, cohort style learning and networking structure, advisement and mentorship from the broader Los Alamos ecosystem. Topics that will be covered in the 5-7 week program include Brand Identity, Marketing, Promotion for Brick & Mortar Retail, Ordering & Inventory, Cash Handling & Accounting (POS, Margins, Overhead), Store Layout & Sales, Employees & Company Culture, and Local Permitting, Licensing and Mentorship. 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 retail concepts. After conclusion of Phase I training, participants will be given the opportunity to meet with a review committee to present their retail concept and showcase the work they have completed. From this review process, candidates will be chosen to use a retail space for a set period of time (between 4 and 6 weeks). Once selected, participants will be given an opportunity to test their retail concept in this real world brick & mortar environment in downtown Los Alamos (filling a vacant building). While operating their store 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.

Key Dates

These dates are tentative and subject to change.

Summer 2022 – Applications open

Late Summer/Fall 2022 – Phase I program begins (workshops)
November/December 2022 – Phase II program (pop-ups)

Thank you to our 2022

Sponsors & Partners:

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Congrats to Cohort 1 Pop-up Graduates (2021)

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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.”