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 scuffling with 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 accredited 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 widespread areas.
Throughout the pandemic, a few of our companies proceed to thrive. As an illustration, Amazon and United Shore are two corporations with improvement expansions. Amazon is growing over 4 million sq. toes on the outdated Silverdome website and United Shore Mortgage simply accomplished the longest pedestrian bridge within the nation proper right here in Pontiac.
The 130 improvement initiatives in our Constructing and Security Division are a testomony to enterprise range. We’re not depending on one enterprise sector for jobs and financial improvement.
Lee: What forms of aid assist packages are being provided to entrepreneurs?
Waterman: The town of Pontiac has collaborated with our companions to supply assist and help to our enterprise homeowners throughout all sectors. Some examples of packages and providers 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 straight 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 aid to Pontiac companies
- We proceed outreach efforts to share assets and COVID-19 aid data on grants, loans and packages to Pontiac companies and residents.
- Facilitating a grant program administered by the county and awarded grants to 40 small companies in Pontiac.
- The manager order for out of doors 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 improvement and growth packages by means of our Planning and Constructing and Security departments and dealing with downtown companies to decrease parking points by means of improved signage and enforcement of unlawful in a single day parking.
Lee: It has been reported that 25 p.c of small companies have been shuttered throughout Oakland County. How are Pontiac and the county leveraging the enterprise group to deal with enterprise closure points? And what extra 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 carry 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 firms together with Amazon, United Shore, Williams Worldwide, Fanuc and extra. The Mayor’s Enterprise Roundtable seeks to attract from the chief management of that group and can launch within the first quarter of 2021. The roundtable will initially search to construct upon the fast progress inside Pontiac and the greater than 40 energetic investments at present in improvement within the metropolis.
The roundtable will embrace monetary and philanthropic companions together with the MEDC, the county and Oakland College to element the assets and packages out there and wanted to maintain the momentum of the previous six years. The preliminary composition of the group will embrace key executive-level leaders within the Pontiac group who will likely be charged with segmenting the skills inside Pontiac into working teams by dimension and trade.
Some deliverables are telling the optimistic story of Pontiac’s present multiyear run of success, monetary assets, coaching for expertise, social media know-how, data on small enterprise improvement 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 website on the hearth station on South Boulevard. Appointments for vaccinations are being made by means of the Oakland County Nurse-on-Name in keeping with a protocol outlined by the CDC with well being care staff and aged in extended-care services receiving the primary allotment of doses.
All through this pandemic, our government workplace has offered data and assets to encourage residents to comply with security protocols and people safeguards are adhered to in all metropolis services. Now we have provided PSAs and different broadcasts by means of our social media platforms to guarantee folks of correct, dependable medical data from trusted sources. The provision now of efficient vaccines is the “mild on the finish of the tunnel” that we have all eagerly been ready for. Will probably be a mammoth job to finish distribution by means of 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, packages and initiatives to help our enterprise group and assist them survive and develop.
Moreover, we’re working to boost our group in different methods reminiscent of rising the variety of minority technical/expertise companies, aiding builders with improvement initiatives 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 “good 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 could 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.