Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Government

Co-Chairs Announced for 2nd Annual United Diversity Business Summit, Cameron Robb, Jackie Johnson and Art Hamilton

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Building on the impact and success of 2021 "United Diversity Business Summit," bringing together a trifecta of leadership and insight, the 2nd annual Summit has announced its distinguished co-chairs: Cameron Robb, Senior Development Consultant at APS; Jackie Johnson, City of Scottsdale Diversity Director; and former Arizona State Representative Art Hamilton. Presented by Thinkzilla Consulting Group and the City of Scottsdale, the Sept. 14 summit will convene diverse business leaders and entrepreneurs from across Arizona to share ideas and innovations.

With this expanded leadership team, the United Diversity Business Summit will spearhead break-out sessions and training workshops covering various topics and industries. With the aim of moving 100 or more companies forward and expanding fast-growing diverse small businesses across the valley.

Cameron Robb's role at APS, helps bring clean, reliable and affordable energy to more than 2.7 million Arizonans. Further diversity throughout the City of Scottsdale, Jackie Johnson sets the strategic direction for DEI initiatives, integrating diversity with the city's core mission and values. A 26-year-public servant, Art Hamilton became a state legislator at age 21 and served as minority leader of the Arizona House of Representatives for nearly two decades; he was also the first Black and only Arizonan to be elected to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The 2022 United Diversity Business Summit will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Center with a theme of "Enhancing the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem through Diversity, Community and Innovation." It is free for attendees.

"Creating a sustainable future for everyone in Arizona means that we must offer a path to reliable and affordable energy for everyone," Robb said. "We believe in leading the way with innovation and supporting everyone in the diverse communities we serve. I am honored to serve as co-chair for the United Diversity Business Summit and help to bring more voices and perspectives to the leader's table."

Attendees will learn from more than 25 speakers on innovative approaches and best practices to improve economic diversity outcomes for organizations and entrepreneurs. This year's summit will host two tracks: Track 1 is designed for public and private companies seeking to increase diversity outcomes and Track 2 incorporates business development programs to attract and grow the minority small business community. Workshop topics will include using disruption to advance business strategy, entrepreneurship 101, supplier diversity, inclusive decision-making, recognizing and overcoming financial challenges, and more.

"As a steady voice for the underrepresented, I appreciate the opportunity to engage greater diversity, equity and inclusion throughout Scottsdale with this summit and all of the incredible initiatives it sparks," Johnson added. "This year's event has an extraordinary wealth of talent, insight, and diverse perspectives and expertise."

Speakers for the 2022 summit include: David Ortega, Mayor of Scottsdale; Dr. Velma Trayham, CEO of Thinkzilla; Jackie Johnson, Diversity Director for the City of Scottsdale; Rob Millar, Economic Development Director for the City of Scottsdale; Art Hamilton, founder of the Art Hamilton Group; Danny Seiden, President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Cloves Campbell, co-publisher of the Arizona Informant; Eric Standifer, President and CEO of Blaylock Van and more to be announced.

Registration is now available at https://uniteddiversitybusinesssummit.com/

About Thinkzilla Consulting Group:

ThinkZILLA is one of the country's fastest-growing DE&I Consulting, digital engagement, and program management firms. Making brands more relevant, ThinkZILLA builds meaningful connections between brands and consumers. For more information on ThinkZILLA or to schedule a consultation, please visit https://thinkzillaconsulting.com/.

About the City of Scottsdale:

Scottsdale is one of the state's leading job centers, with a diverse economy built on medical research, high-tech innovation, tourism, and corporate headquarters. Scottsdale is home to nearly 18,000 businesses supplying over 150,000 jobs. The high-tech innovation center SkySong, located just a few miles from Downtown, is designed to help companies grow through a unique partnership with nearby Arizona State University. For more information, visit https://www.choosescottsdale.com/.

Related link: https://thinkzillaconsulting.com/

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Business, Construction and Building, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Restaurant, Hotel and Hospitality

Pompano Beach CRA Seeks Restaurant Developer/Operator for Prime Site: Restaurant to Anchor Old Town Arts and Entertainment District

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- The Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is seeking sealed proposals from qualified respondents for the development and operations of a restaurant located in the "Old Town Arts and Entertainment District" in the City of Pompano Beach. The purpose of this Request For Proposal (RFP) process is to select a qualified respondent with proven experience, financial resources, and professional expertise to design, renovate and construct a new restaurant on this pivotal site. The City will receive sealed proposals until 2:00 p.m. (local), Monday, July 11, 2022.

The solicitation documents can be downloaded for free from the eBid System as a pdf (Bid #T-16-22) at: https://pompanobeachfl.ionwave.net.

"The Old Town Arts and Entertainment District has already attracted several leading restaurateurs, and now with this new opportunity, we look forward to partnering with an outstanding developer/operator who shares our vision for the area," said Nguyen Tran, CRA Director.

Locals have dubbed the location the "Wash House," as the historic building was once a former laundromat. Conceptual ideas for the 6,089 square foot building include a high-quality, unique, diverse style restaurant or a craft brewery/wine bar with a food component of light bites or full kitchen. Roof top seating must be incorporated as an active use.

Currently, two restaurants are under construction in the district including South Bar & Kitchen by Mike Linder and Papamigos by Brian Faeth.

An Optional Pre-Proposal Conference will be held on Thursday, June 9, 2022 at 9 a.m. (local) at 11 N.E. 1st Street, Pompano Beach, Florida 33060 to provide Proposers with a site tour of the Old Town Arts and Entertainment District.

Proposers must be registered on the City's eBid System in order to view the solicitation documents and respond to this solicitation. The solicitation documents can be downloaded for free from the eBid System as a pdf at: https://pompanobeachfl.ionwave.net.

The City is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of any documentation the Proposer receives from any source other than from the eBid System. Proposer is solely responsible for downloading all required documents. A list of Proposers will be read aloud in a public forum. To attend the virtual opening, go to https://pompanobeachfl.gov/pages/meetings to find the zoom link.

About the Pompano Beach CRA:

The CRA was created in 1989. It has two independent districts: Northwest CRA and East CRA established by City government for the purpose of carrying out redevelopment activities that include reducing or eliminating blight, improving the economic health of an area, and encouraging public and private investments in a CRA district.

The CRA is funded through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The funds are collected as property values increase and a portion of that increase is captured by the Agency. TIF raises revenue for redevelopment efforts without raising taxes. For more information https://www.pompanobeachfl.gov/government/cra

Related link: http://pompanobeachfl.gov/index.php/pages/cra/cra

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Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Government

City of Pompano Beach and its CRA Issue Invitation to Negotiate to Master Developers Globally

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- The City of Pompano Beach (City) and the Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) have issued an Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) for a Master Developer to help the City and CRA create a new Downtown and realize the vision of an exciting destination for businesses, residents, tourists, and other investment stakeholders.

In preparation for this ITN, the CRA hired globally acclaimed real estate firm CBRE as the exclusive agent to broadly market the opportunity and analyze responses for a Master Real Estate Developer for the +/-75.38-acres of publicly-owned land assemblages along the I-95 corridor. The City and CRA hope to secure a development partner by September 2022 and begin implementation of the new Downtown in 2023.

Responses are due on August 31, 2022 by 2 p.m. ET; details at https://pompanobeachfl.ionwave.net/

"Pompano Beach has become a red-hot real estate market for quality developers looking for sites for new projects. The investment the City and CRA has made in the public realm is attracting good growth partners and shining a light on this gem of a city in South Florida," said Nguyen Tran, CRA Director.

Located in Broward County between Palm Beach and Miami Dade Counties, Pompano Beach is looking to capture the influx of new development interest flocking to the State of Florida. With land assemblies ranging in size from +/- .2 - 8.35 acres, the large amount of acreage is a unique opportunity to build on the foundation the City and CRA have laid for development of the new Downtown. A commuter rail stop is planned in the middle of the Downtown area and will connect the four intersections of Downtown where redevelopment is already occurring. Two new luxury apartment projects, restaurants and cultural buildings were all drawn to the area based on aggressive public investment by the City and its CRA. The public investments included a new $50 million beachfront, garage and pier, a $180 million bond for citywide public improvements, land use and zoning upgrades, infrastructure and streetscape improvements, and entitlements and availability of land for residential, hotel and commercial development.

"In Pompano Beach, we have a historic opportunity to create a thriving downtown from the ground up," said Nguyen Tran, CRA Director. "There are very few cities nationwide with the ability to develop a new vision and trajectory for their city. With this project, Pompano Beach will be creating an economic driver for decades to come, one that will brand our city as a hub for technology, arts & culture, shopping, and nightlife."

Downtown Pompano Beach includes four quadrants: The Old Town District, also known as Old Pompano; The Civic Commons District, which includes City Hall, the library, and Cultural Center; the Innovation District, with MLK Boulevard as the "main street" between Dixie Highway and I-95; and a residential area.

About the Pompano Beach CRA:

The CRA was created in 1989. It has two independent districts: Northwest CRA and East CRA established by City government for the purpose of carrying out redevelopment activities that include reducing or eliminating blight, improving the economic health of an area, and encouraging public and private investments in a CRA district.

The CRA is funded through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The funds are collected as property values increase and a portion of that increase is captured by the Agency. TIF raises revenue for redevelopment efforts without raising taxes. For more information https://www.pompanobeachfl.gov/government/cra

Related link: http://pompanobeachfl.gov/index.php/pages/cra/cra

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Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Government

RMA Hired by City of St. Cloud for CRA Professional Consulting Services

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- The award-winning economic development firm, RMA (rma.us.com) is proud to announce they have been hired by the City of St. Cloud, Florida for professional consulting services to help execute the CRA 5-Year Strategic Implementation and Financing Plan. Drafted by RMA and approved in February 2022, this plan provides a structured and proactive approach to guide redevelopment in the 706-acre CRA district, with the goal of attracting private investment.

"We are very proud to work with the City of St. Cloud," said Adriane Esteban, Senior Project Manager. "RMA developed a comprehensive and transparent plan that will support smart growth, while maintaining the character of this charming Osceola County community."

The goal of the plan is to increase the tax base by implementing projects that will offer the most positive impact. By defining the investment plan, the CRA is better positioned to market and promote the area, leading to business attraction and redevelopment. The Financing Plan provides the associated funding sources while creating a transparent financial document that clearly demonstrates the investments the CRA intends to make year after year.

Several key projects RMA will be focused on include the development of a new parking garage in the downtown, the creation of civic commons with an enhanced social environment, and CRA land asset analysis, along with the potential for further land acquisitions.

"We are delighted to be working with RMA as we implement the plan that will guide the growth and development of our City," said Bill Sturgeon, St. Cloud City Manager. "We are excited about both the near and long-term vision for St. Cloud, and we will continue to actively work with our stakeholders as we create a vibrant future for our residents and business owners."

About RMA:

Founded in 2009 by Kim Briesemeister and Chris Brown, RMA is comprised of a phenomenal team of leading experts in economic development, real estate for governments, marketing, urban design, and financial analysis. RMA, headquartered in Pompano Beach, Florida is a highly experienced, full-service economic redevelopment consulting and management firm, specializing in revitalizing core areas and corridors for cities, counties, and special districts nationwide. The co-founders are also the authors of one of the definitive books about city redevelopment, Reinventing Your City: 8 Steps to Turn Your City Around.

Learn more: https://rma.us.com/

Related link: https://rma.us.com/

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Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Government, Restaurant, Hotel and Hospitality

Pompano Beach CRA announces RFP: Seeks Restaurant Operator for New Florida Destination

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- The Pompano Beach CRA has announced a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a Master Operator to renovate the historic McNab House and garage, construct a new kitchen, improve the surrounding area for outdoor dining, and design the dining program. The nationwide search invites commercial real estate professionals, with their restaurateur partners, and professional restaurant operators to submit proposals.

The solicitation documents can be downloaded for free from the eBid System as a PDF at: https://pompanobeachfl.ionwave.net. The proposal deadline is June 9, 2022 by 2 p.m.

"We are creating a world-class botanical garden which will attract visitors who support the restaurants with traditional dining, in addition to a variety of special events including weddings and educational tours," said Nguyen Tran, CRA Director. "This is a tremendous opportunity for the right operator to work with us in developing a key element of this forthcoming Florida destination."

The McNab House is an iconic 1926 structure that was moved and restored to become the centerpiece of the botanical garden. The CRA will consider proposers that respond to the initial phase ("Phase 1") of the project: the McNab House and garage operations, which include the outdoor patio dining, kitchen annex building, and loading area. Proposers are encouraged to define their vision for all aspects of the project including "Phase 2", which includes the tea house, event facilities, and other amenities. The CRA has divided the project into phases so operations may begin at the restaurant while the remainder of the botanical garden is designed, funded, and built.

The CRA's consultants, Bermello Ajamil, and Partners ("B & A"), produced a Conceptual Master Plan for the entire Botanical Gardens; however, specific uses and locations remain flexible pending involvement of the Master Operator.

About the Pompano Beach CRA:

The City of Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) was created in 1989, with two independent districts. The Northwest CRA and East CRA were established by City government for the purpose of carrying out redevelopment activities that include reducing or eliminating blight, improving the economic health of an area, and encouraging public and private investments in a CRA district. The Pompano Beach CRA is funded through Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

For more information http://www.pompanobeachfl.gov/pages/cra

Related link: http://pompanobeachfl.gov/index.php/pages/cra/cra

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Advertising and Marketing, Business, e-Commerce, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Government

115 Sponsors Step Up to Engage Communities in Shop Local Campaigns

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- In pandemic years 2020 and 2021, more than 100 of Yiftee's almost 400 communities who use its Community eGift Card platform ran dedicated gift card grant or bonus programs to benefit their small businesses, helping them stay afloat. Who were the "hometown heroes" that sponsored these programs during tough times, and continue to do so?

Yiftee surveyed its communities and found some expected and some surprising results when they asked, "What was the source of funding for your community gift card bonus and grant programs?"

1 -- City governments were the first to step up: 26.3%

2 -- Individuals in the community chipped in: 23.7%

3 -- Local banks and other employers contributed: 15.8%

4 -- ARPA and CARES federal programs were used: 13.2%

5 -- Other sources included tourist and hotel tax reserves, Chamber of Commerce/Downtown Association/Main Street budgets, and other county and state funding.

Over the two years, Sponsors contributed $2.7 million for bonus cards, incentivizing additional Community eGift card purchases by town residents of $4.1 million. Grant and employee reward programs added up to an additional $5.4 million. Gift cards and bonus cards can only be spent at local merchants in the Sponsors' communities. These purchases often replaced national brand gift card purchases as Sponsors redirected their budgets to "shop local."

Local financial institutions and employers support their communities

"Both Prudential Financial, Inc. and Audible are strong supporters of the community in which their employees live and work," said Tamara Remedios, Owner of Xplore Communications, who organized the Newark, NJ Community Card program. "When I approached Prudential with the idea of sponsoring a bonus program, they were all in, contributing $25k. They especially appreciated that their contributions incentivized additional purchases by Newark residents of 2.5x more. Plus, the bonus cards get residents into the 100+ shops and restaurants who are participating in the program before they expire - so it's a quick boost to our local economy when our businesses needed it the most. Audible also jumped on board to give $10k to support marketing and special programs for the Newark Gift Card. Both institutions are the benchmark of being true community partners."

Towns multiply their federal grant monies by engaging residents in shopping local

Last month, Yiftee hosted a webinar featuring two live community case studies where CARES and ARPA funds were used as sponsorships. Like Newark NJ, Concord CA hosted 3 bonus program campaigns at the holiday seasons of both 2020 and 2021, and a mid-year summer 2021 program as well. The $40,000 in federal grants were complemented by $80,000 in resident purchases for a total benefit of $120,000 going to 65 local businesses.

Cutler Bay, FL took a different approach with their CARES funding. They distributed $500 Community eGift cards to 300 residents in need, and the cards could only be spent at qualified small businesses in Cutler Bay. They saw 97.3% of the value redeemed within 3 months - a double win for the residents and businesses with the same funding.

The Yiftee survey documented some great advice for other communities considering similar programs, such as "Give them [Sponsors] as many perks as possible! Put their logo on all marketing materials, spotlight them on social media and encourage them to buy gift cards for their employees or raffle them off as prizes throughout the year" and "Have a sign at their [merchants'] cash registers to remind purchasers to use their e-gift card at that establishment."

The Bemidji, MN Chamber of Commerce promotes a locally owned bank, grocery store and telephone cooperative as Sponsors, celebrating their community spirit with logos on the website, and recognition in local press and marketing materials. This way, the community knows and can appreciate that these Sponsors are covering program costs for people who purchase their Community eGift Cards. Their card works at 49 different shops and restaurants in the area, and the program is free for the merchants to participate.

About Yiftee, Keep Local Dollars Local

Yiftee serves almost 400 communities and 13,000 local businesses with simple, secure, PoS-independent eGift Cards that keep local dollars local - more than $27M in pandemic years 2020 and 2021. The company works with Chambers of Commerce, Downtowns, Main Streets, Business Improvement Districts, city governments and other local organizations to create "Community Cards," branded for the community and redeemable at 10s to 100s of local businesses. Organizations and individuals purchase them online and send them via email, text or print to friends, family and co-workers to support their local businesses. There is no cost to the organizers or merchants for the program and it can be set up in just a few days. Yiftee also provides custom-branded cards for individual merchants, franchises, and chains.

More info at https://www.yiftee.com/ and/or email: sales@yiftee.com

Twitter: @Yiftee, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yiftee/

MULTIMEDIA:

VIDEO (YouTube): https://youtu.be/9qhm8D2NPaI

Related link: https://yiftee.com/

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Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Government

Scottsdale Mayor Ortega Welcomes Minority Business Accelerator participants during Spring kickoff event

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With a welcome from Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega and President of the Black Chamber of Commerce Arizona Robin Reed, the Minority Business Accelerator Program, in collaboration with the Millionaire Mastermind Academy, kicked off on March 8, welcoming more than 40 women-owned small businesses, Thinkzilla Consulting Group announced today.

The 2022 program is sponsored by American Landmark; one of the fastest-growing multifamily owner-operators in the United States and Blaylock Van, LLC, the oldest and continuously operating African American-owned banking firm in the United States.

With a focus on minority business growth, the Millionaire Mastermind Academy has already helped more than 7,000 women across the country conquer poverty through entrepreneurship. With a forward-focused mission of developing economic growth initiatives for minority- and women-owned businesses to encourage job creation and business expansion, the organization focuses its work in the Arizona, Florida, and Georgia markets. A $500,000 scholarship fund for the program was launched by Dr. Velma Trayham in February to help small businesses owned by African American women.

"While Arizona continues to grow its commitment to diverse business ownership, institutional barriers to success such as lack of access to capital and access to quality business training are still a reality. That's what we're here to change," said Thinkzilla Consulting Group founder Dr. Velma Trayham. "This unique program invites more voices to the table and more support in developing and realizing entrepreneurial goals."

While Arizona is home to more than 600,000 small businesses, only about 11 percent are helmed by racial minorities, according to the Arizona Small Business Economic Profile.

The 15-week Minority Business Accelerator engages entrepreneurs with a proprietary curriculum, including startup tools, access to a diverse local and national mentor network, funding opportunities to rapidly grow and scale operations, and support in learning how to do business with the government and corporations. The economic goals of the program include supporting the launch of more than 500 new companies while empowering a minimum of 50,000 entrepreneurs.

Program participants represent industries including counseling and mental health, consulting, spa/beauty, IT, restaurants, and education, among others.

2022 Spring Cohort Participating businesses are:

Black HMU, UnitedABowens Drug and Alcohol Counseling, Southern Roots Vegan, Nursing Apparel & ThangZ, Waters Cover Senior Living Community, Simply Celeste's, Shaping Minds Therapeutic Services, Divine Vision Enterprises, Permananet Management MakeUP, Maxim Wellness Centers, New Phoenix, Powerfuel Bites, Her Sisu, Kream's Kreations, Riley-Jones, Walking in Wellness, Ms. Martha's Caribbean Kitchen, Holistic Pathwayz, Nikki L. Sims, Healthier New You, Limitless Scholars, Purpose-Driven Therapeutic Services, Aylee Consulting, Positive Vibes, Foxy Holdings, The Martin Walsh Realty Group, Above the Curve Design Co. and Vuvoi.

The Entrepreneur Accelerator program is offered twice a year, will begin accepting applicants for its upcoming fall program in July. Past alumni's boast acceleration of business growth, click here for past testimonials - https://millionairemastermindacademy.org/success-stories/

About Thinkzilla Consulting Group

Thinkzilla offers DEI Programming that focuses on economic, strategic growth initiatives for minority and women-owned small businesses. Our Award-Winning team helps our clients increase supplier diversity across their supply chains and assist in launching programs to engage communities across the globe. For more information, please visit https://thinkzillaconsulting.com/

About Millionaire Mastermind Academy

Millionaire Mastermind Academy is a 501(c)(3) organization that addresses the barriers to economic mobility for women who have been systemically and historically underserved and excluded. The mission is to educate and support the growth of women-owned businesses, thereby strengthening their impact on the economy and mitigating the problems presented by poverty.

RELATED LINKS:
https://thinkzillaconsulting.com/minoritybusiness/

https://millionairemastermindacademy.org/

https://cdn.advocacy.sba.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/30141144/Small-Business-Economic-Profile-AZ.pdf

Related link: https://thinkzillaconsulting.com/

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Advertising and Marketing, Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Government, Real Estate

RMA Hired by Wilton Manors for Real Estate / Market Analysis and Branding Strategy

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- The award-winning economic development firm, RMA (rma.us.com) is proud to announce they have been hired by the City of Wilton Manors for the WiltonNext project, a real estate / market analysis and branding strategy for the commercial corridors in the city. The purpose of the study is to analyze real estate and market conditions, support market positioning, develop marketing and branding strategy, and engage community stakeholders to enhance economic development along its major commercial corridors.

"RMA is honored to be working with this vibrant and nationally acclaimed city," said Sharon McCormick, Director of Business Attraction and Marketing. "The municipal leaders of Wilton Manors understand the tremendous potential of their community, and RMA is looking forward to crafting the best strategies for maximizing opportunities while maintaining the character of this special 'island city'."

RMA's study will focus on Wilton Manor's five main commercial corridors including Oakland Park Boulevard, Andrews Avenue, Wilton Drive, 26th Street, and Dixie Highway. Key items RMA will be analyzing include community retail needs, optimal retail mix, consumer spending, industry sectors, market positioning and development opportunities. In addition, the firm will create a marketing strategy, brand positioning and messaging for the major corridors and develop a strong, reliable identity for each commercial district, including all supporting materials. Once completed, RMA will develop an action plan with a tentative implementation timeline.

"We are excited to be partnering with the RMA team as we build upon Wilton Manors' vast achievements and usher in the next wave of economic progress in our city," said Leigh Ann Henderson, City Manager.

The City and RMA recently held the official public kick-off meeting, which was attended by over 80 residents, business and property owners. After the presentation, there was an engaging discussion about the future opportunities for the Wilton Manor's commercial corridors.

About RMA:

Founded in 2009 by Kim Briesemeister and Chris Brown, RMA is comprised of a phenomenal team of leading experts in economic development, real estate for governments, marketing, urban design, and financial analysis. RMA, headquartered in Pompano Beach, Florida is a highly experienced, full-service economic redevelopment consulting and management firm, specializing in revitalizing core areas and corridors for cities, counties, and special districts nationwide. The co-founders are also the authors of one of the definitive books about city redevelopment, Reinventing Your City: 8 Steps to Turn Your City Around.

Learn more: https://rma.us.com/

Related link: https://rma.us.com/

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Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles

United Diversity Business Summit Connects Top Valley Leaders with Minority Entrepreneurs

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Thinkzilla Consulting today announced that As Scottsdale Mayor David D. Ortega proclaimed Sept. 15 "United Diversity Business Summit Day," diverse business leaders and entrepreneurs from across Arizona came together to share ideas and innovations at the first United Diversity Business Summit, which was livestreamed by the City of Scottsdale. The proclamation was presented to Dr. Velma Trayham, organizer of the summit and founder of Thinkzilla Consulting Group. The 2022 summit will be held on Sept. 14, with registration forthcoming.

Highlighting the importance of "opportunity for everyone," Mayor Ortega shared his initial foray into business at age 14, when his dad announced that "I spent your college fund today" on a local business. Mayor Ortega also proudly shared two key accomplishments: establishing an anti-discrimination ordinance within his first two months in office and formalizing an agreement with the local school district and Scottsdale Community College to support educational health and attainment.

The programming for the summit was presented by Thinkzilla Consulting Group fulfilling its mission to help organizations create positive economic impact through cultural diversity. The only firm in the state of Arizona that combines program management resources with deep DE&I expertise, a network of thousands of minority-led business suppliers, and full service marketing capabilities. The theme of the all-day summit was "Enhancing the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem," and it was designed as a recovery mechanism to grow small and medium businesses and provide opportunities to support diversification and inclusion initiatives.

"The first annual United Diversity Business Summit was a transformative day filled with innovative and dynamic programming, purpose-driven and vision-oriented entrepreneurs and business owners and illuminating and inspiring keynote speakers. We couldn't have asked for more," said Dr. Velma Trayham, CEO of Thinkzilla Consulting Group. "We look forward to introducing even more programs that enhance the ecosystem for small businesses and diverse entrepreneurs."

At the United Diversity Business Summit, Thinkzilla launched a new diversity, equity and inclusion assessment for businesses: https://thinkzillaconsulting.com/dei-assessment/. The assessment was developed to help more organizations evaluate their efforts to create a sustainable diverse, equitable and inclusive culture, gathering data-driven insights and then identifying new opportunities and strategic planning around DE&I. Trayham invited companies of all sizes interested in making diversity, equity and inclusion "the core of your business values" to move forward with the assessment.

The event programming addressed critical topics that directly impact minority business owners and entrepreneurs. Chris Camacho, president and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, led a conversation on "The Road to Economic Recovery" that shared innovative business practices and pivot techniques that empower innovation in entrepreneurship. Marcy Tibbs, financial specialist with Country Financial, hosted, "Taking Control: Financial Challenges Women Face," addressing the importance of credit and maximizing social security benefits to help women strengthen their financial futures. Robin Reed, president, and CEO of the Black Chamber of Arizona delivered a powerful keynote presentation on scaling a successful business venture. Through these workshops, speakers highlighted innovative approaches and best practices that corporations and entrepreneurs could employ to enhance economic diversity.

The esteemed speakers included: David Ortega, Mayor of Scottsdale; Art Hamilton, founder of Art Hamilton Group, Kaley O"Kelley, News Anchor for ABC 15 Arizona, Eric Standifer, president and CEO of Blaylock Van; Dr. Velma Trayham, CEO of Thinkzilla; Robin Reed, president and CEO of the Black Chamber of Arizona; Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council; Monica Villalabos, president & CEO of Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Tye Hayes, former Chief Information Officer for the City of Atlanta; Gia Rutledge, DE&I expert with Thinkzilla and more.

Sponsors for the event were: Blaylock Van, Arizona State University, Scottdale Art Center, Country Financial, Millionaire Mastermind Academy, SRP, and the City of Scottsdale. Additional community supporters were: GPEC, Black Chamber of Arizona, Arizona Informant, Herozona Foundation, and Maricopa Corporate College.

The United Diversity Business Summit can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBOUmrz4HrM.

Related link: https://thinkzillaconsulting.com/

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Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Regional Events

Chelsea Groton Bank, in Partnership with NCDC and GNACC, Offers Free Business Seminars for Local Entrepreneurs

GROTON, Conn. -- Chelsea Groton Bank kicks off their 5-week "Cultivating Great Business: Small Business Bootcamp" on October 5, 2021. The FREE small business series, designed for aspiring and established entrepreneurs, is offered through the Bank's financial education program, Chelsea University, in partnership with the Norwich Community Development Corporation (NCDC) and the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce (GNACC). Participants will walk away with a wealth of knowledge and a strong foundation for starting or growing a business.

"Chelsea Groton Bank is passionate about helping turn dreams into realities for businesses of all types. In addition to providing custom financial solutions, we proudly offer informational programs throughout the year to arm business owners with the tools they need to be successful," shared Miria Gray, AS, Community Education Officer at Chelsea Groton Bank. "As so many business owners learned in 2020, it is critical for businesses to have their financial house in order and to be able to market their services. We'll discuss these topics and more throughout the series."

The instructor-led curriculum was developed jointly by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Each class will be delivered by Chelsea Groton Bank team members and local professionals to provide aspiring or current small business owners a practical introduction to aspects of starting and managing a business.

All classes will be offered in person and via Zoom on Tuesdays from 12-1 PM at Chelsea Groton's Westside Branch, 444 West Main Street, Norwich, and Thursdays from 6-8 PM at Foundry 66, 66 Franklin Street, Norwich, from October 5 - November 4.

Class topics are: Is Owning a Business Right for You?, Banking Services, Business Plans, Time Management, Organizational Types, Tax Planning and Reporting, Record Keeping, Small Business Insurance, Risk Management, Social Media Marketing, Financial Management and Cash Flow, and an opportunity to Chat with the Experts.

Community members are invited to register for individual classes or the entire series. Registration is required in order to have accurate in-person headcounts and to receive log-in credentials if attending via Zoom.

To learn more and to register, visit http://www.chelseagroton.com/ChelseaUniversity.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.5 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank's products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial and investment planning and financial education programming. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, video banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses.

To learn more, please visit http://www.chelseagroton.com/. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS Institution ID 402928.

Related link: https://www.chelseagroton.com/

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