When Nadia and Shatawn Brigham decided to open a wine and jazz bar near downtown Grand Rapids, they knew they would need help getting their business started. The Michigan SBDC was among the resources they reached out to for help, and they began working with West Michigan SBDC consultant Jamaal Ewing.
Nadia and Shatawn had several consulting sessions with Jamaal and attended workshops at the West Michigan Small Business Summit held in April. They needed advice on creating a budget for start-ups, financing their startup and writing a business plan. Jamaal was able to guide them through the startup process and connect them with tools and resources that would help them develop a solid plan for their business.
“Jamaal was a great resource for us,” says Nadia. “He was patient in helping us translate our existing leadership experiences to business language and concepts, and was a safe source to raise nuanced questions and concerns. He provided sound advice that helped us ground ourselves in the start-up experience.”
GR Noir now has a fully developed business plan, financial projections, and renderings for what Nadia and Shatawn envision GR Noir Wine & Jazz to look and feel like. The company was approved for a loan through Northern Initiatives and received a $20,000 grant from Start Garden as a winner of the 100 Ideas pitch competition. While there is no definitive opening date, Nadia and Shatawn are in lease negotiations and are busy preparing their business for success.