02/19/10 10:34 - 29ºF - ID#51044
I <3 home
Then I went to the office and Jill & I strategized about several of our projects, and then went to A's house, since even tho we are no longer involved, my doggie still lives there and I wanted to pick her up. I hung out with his bratty little brother and showed him how to properly hook his laptop to his tv without frying anything. Then Nisha and I went to Uncle Dudley's. Uncle Dudley, her bf Bernie and I went to the American Legion Post 572, a fav drinking hangout, which happens to have been my great-great grandfather's home. My great-great grandfather, William B. Wilson, was the first U.S. Secretary of Labor, and one of the very few (only?) Democrats elected to the House of Representatives in what is currently PA-5, a completely red area save the blue-ish dot of State College. Several years ago I wrote a biography about him for our website (even wikipedia references it ) and that got him re-noticed by the Dep't of Labor and we all went to DC one day to celebrate his induction into the Labor Hall of Fame where we met Elaine Chao, GWBush's sec'y of labor, and Roy Blunt, ew-Missouri, and the Anheiser-Busch heir Adolphus Busch IV or something because his granddad was being inducted into the labor hall of fame, too.
But in addition to being a total overachieving immigrant with only two years of formal education, GGGdad William B. Wilson was a teetotaler. And I drink in his living room. Life is good.
(Most of the time I really appreciate the google-friendliness of estrip, but I know tomorrow when I get a google alert about this post, I'm going to regret it.)
Location: Buffalo, NY
02/05/10 02:26 - 31ºF - ID#50973
West Side Bazaar
In collaboration with MicroBiz Buffalo, Councilmember Rivera's office, Grant-Ferry Association, and other West Side groups, WEDI is working on a bazaar, a kind of retail incubator. We're providing one-on-one mentoring and workshops to help wanna-be entrepreneurs do it right from the start. This includes a creating business plan and cash-flow projection, getting a sales tax certificate of authority, health dept licenses, other permits & licenses that the biz might need, working on customs/import issues, etc. The location is still up in the air, but is starting to get settled. We plan on opening in June. We hope to have about 20 vendors at opening - we're currently working with about 33 vendors but when June comes, 20 ready vendors would be great. Vendors are eligible for Individual Development Accounts through MicroBiz Buffalo & the Belmont Shelter - they put in $500 from earned income and get $2000 back after six months and use it for start up costs for their new business. (About IDAs ).
Vendors have a wide variety of backgrounds - refugees & immigrants from Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan, Burma, Arabic-speaking and Latin American countries; African Americans, Latinos and whites. They're interested in starting businesses with a wide range of products: food, electronics, imported crafts, locally produced crafts, books, gift items, other stuff.
This photo is of one bazaar vendor who will be selling baskets made in refugee camps in Darfur. How freakin' cool to help someone set up a business that not only helps her but also helps alleviate some of the most awful conditions in the world.
I'm posting this to ask if any of you would be interested in mentoring. Mentors don't have to actually know the business stuff in advance, they can learn business how-tos along with the vendor-to-be. Mentors are supportive and helpful and know how to ask questions/get answers - kind of like a link to the mainstream. I'm particularly asking (e:jason) & (e:joshua) to consider this - it's helping people become capitalists, right? ;-)
For more information, comment here or message me and I'll connect you & my colleague Bonnie Smith, economic development director at WEDI. Bonnie's the keeper of the mentors and has all the info you'd need to start as an effective mentor.
I gave a presentation on recordkeeping to the vendors & mentors last week that included the basics of sales tax, the point-of-sale process, banking process, and the concepts of a profit & loss statement and a balance sheet. I'm not going to directly mentor any of the vendors, but I'm available as a resource on many of the aspects of the business start up process.
To support the West Side Bazaar, WEDI is holding a fund raising event tonight at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Ave., $15 per person. Doors open at 6:30, music by the Sugar & Jazz Orchestra starts at 7. Hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, silent auction, raffle. Some of the bazaar vendors will be set up to sell things.
Location: Buffalo, NY
02/04/10 02:00 - 28ºF - ID#50966
Location: Buffalo, NY