Lee: What’s the state of entrepreneurship in Pontiac? How has it impacted the small enterprise ecosystem?
Waterman: In Pontiac, our meals service companies are actually combating the state’s order to stay closed till Dec. 20. One instance in an effort to assist them and supply choices is the creation of a Social District. The town of Pontiac Metropolis Council permitted a Social District in downtown Pontiac, which permits for eating places/bars to use for licenses to serve alcoholic drinks in particular cups to be taken and consumed in designated frequent areas.
In the course of the pandemic, a few of our companies proceed to thrive. For example, Amazon and United Shore are two corporations with growth expansions. Amazon is creating over 4 million sq. ft on the previous Silverdome web site and United Shore Mortgage simply accomplished the longest pedestrian bridge within the nation proper right here in Pontiac.
The 130 growth tasks in our Constructing and Security Division are a testomony to enterprise range. We aren’t depending on one enterprise sector for jobs and financial growth.
Lee: What varieties of reduction assist applications are being provided to entrepreneurs?
Waterman: The town of Pontiac has collaborated with our companions to offer assist and help to our enterprise homeowners throughout all sectors. Some examples of applications and companies to companies impacted by COVID-19 are, for instance:
- Offering greater than 600 ReOpen Kits to Pontiac companies.
- A COVID-19 hotline for Pontiac companies and residents to contact Metropolis Corridor instantly for data and help with making use of for assets.
- Conducting a Small Enterprise City Corridor to current data on grants, loans and assets for COVID-19 reduction to Pontiac companies
- We proceed outreach efforts to share assets and COVID-19 reduction data on grants, loans and applications to Pontiac companies and residents.
- Facilitating a grant program administered by the county and awarded grants to 40 small companies in Pontiac.
- The chief order for outside seating allowed for meals service companies to develop onto public walkways.
Lee: Along with monetary assets, what different entrepreneurial-specific assist is offered?
Waterman: We provide a Assist Desk Scorching Line at (248) 758-3300, on-site help with grant functions, city corridor for enterprise homeowners to speak data, expedited permits for growth and growth applications via our Planning and Constructing and Security departments and dealing with downtown companies to decrease parking points via improved signage and enforcement of unlawful in a single day parking.
Lee: It has been reported that 25 % of small companies have been shuttered throughout Oakland County. How are Pontiac and the county leveraging the enterprise group to handle enterprise closure points? And what further assist have you ever garnered from throughout Oakland County?
Waterman: The CARES Act grants from Oakland County averaged $4,000 for small enterprise stabilization, the Saving Companies, Saving Lives grant incentivized manufacturing corporations and the county partnered with Automation Alley to deliver superior manufacturing applied sciences to small and medium-size companies to enhance the areas capacity to answer disruptions just like the pandemic.
Lee: It is my understanding a enterprise roundtable is being launched. Please expound on expectations and potential deliverables.
Waterman: The town of Pontiac is house to a artistic and rising enterprise group starting from superior expertise startups to distinctive meals and leisure clusters, all surrounded by vital multinational companies together with Amazon, United Shore, Williams Worldwide, Fanuc and extra. The Mayor’s Enterprise Roundtable seeks to attract from the manager management of that group and can launch within the first quarter of 2021. The roundtable will initially search to construct upon the speedy progress inside Pontiac and the greater than 40 energetic investments at present in growth within the metropolis.
The roundtable will embody monetary and philanthropic companions together with the MEDC, the county and Oakland College to element the assets and applications obtainable and wanted to maintain the momentum of the previous six years. The preliminary composition of the group will embody key executive-level leaders within the Pontiac group who will probably be charged with segmenting the skills inside Pontiac into working teams by dimension and business.
Some deliverables are telling the constructive story of Pontiac’s present multiyear run of success, monetary assets, coaching for expertise, social media know-how, data on small enterprise growth assist and incentives for present enterprise growth, retention and attraction, and considerably, how the management in Pontiac can higher align and collaboratively develop.
Lee: With the COVID-19 vaccine being rolled out, what are Pontiac’s plans to distribute to residents and different key stakeholders?
Waterman: The Oakland County Well being Division’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan has a Pontiac web site on the fireplace station on South Boulevard. Appointments for vaccinations are being made via the Oakland County Nurse-on-Name in accordance with a protocol outlined by the CDC with well being care staff and aged in extended-care amenities receiving the primary allotment of doses.
All through this pandemic, our government workplace has offered data and assets to encourage residents to observe security protocols and people safeguards are adhered to in all metropolis amenities. We’ve got provided PSAs and different broadcasts via our social media platforms to guarantee folks of correct, dependable medical data from trusted sources. The provision now of efficient vaccines is the “gentle on the finish of the tunnel” that we have all eagerly been ready for. It will likely be a mammoth job to finish distribution via all demographics.
Within the meantime, we’ll administratively nonetheless encourage folks to hold in there collectively and be affected person and nonetheless observe the security protocols.
Lee: What are your hopes and expectations for 2021 for small enterprise homeowners?
Waterman: We proceed and are dedicated to determine assets, applications and initiatives to help our enterprise group and assist them survive and develop.
Moreover, we’re working to reinforce our group in different methods reminiscent of rising the variety of minority technical/expertise companies, helping builders with growth tasks by offering incentives, ease in buying permits and licenses in a well timed method, offering help and assist to develop home-based companies and transferring the town to a “sensible metropolis” zone.
Lee: Different ideas?
Waterman: Please go to pontiac.mi.us for details about the town of Pontiac’s Grasp Plan, Pontiac Transferring Ahead, Parks and Recreation Grasp Plan, Congress of New Urbanism Legacy Charrette Plan and the recently-launched PontiaConnect! app.
Mark S. Lee is founder, president and CEO of The Lee Group and may be heard on “Within the Convention Room” at 11 a.m. Sundays on 910AM. He hosts the “Small Speak with Mark S. Lee” podcasts at leegroupinnovation.com.