The City of Charlotte’s Economic Development Department is seeking an experienced and knowledgeable consulting firm to conduct a comprehensive assessment and develop an implementation plan for the small business ecosystem in Charlotte to help increase equitable opportunities and address challenges/gaps in resources. This assessment and implementation plan is to provide an in-depth understanding of the challenges, opportunities, and key factors affecting small businesses in Charlotte.
In April of 2023, Charlotte City Council approved funding from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund for small business and entrepreneurship support. The City of Charlotte’s Economic Development Department is seeking an experienced and knowledgeable consulting firm to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the small business ecosystem in Charlotte to help increase equitable opportunities and address challenges/gaps in resources. The City of Charlotte is committed to supporting the growth and success of local small, minority, and women-owned businesses and is eager to gain insights into the current landscape to inform our future initiatives. This assessment is to provide an in-depth understanding of the challenges, opportunities, and key factors affecting small businesses in Charlotte. The findings will help us develop targeted strategies, programs, and resources to empower and strengthen the local entrepreneurial community.
Scope of Work
The selected partner will design and implement an accelerator program with multiple cohorts each year during the two-year period. The accelerator will assist entrepreneurs through modalities such as coaching, mentor meetings, networking events, pitch practice, and others to support them through funding or other significant milestones. The scope of the project includes but is not limited to:
- Designing and launching a program of acceleration and/or pre-acceleration for startups
- Build key community partnerships to ensure buy-in and collaboration with the ecosystem
- Achieve engagement with underserved founder communities (ethnic minority and women)
- Conduct outreach in the community to recruit applicants and necessary partners
- Create connectivity between the Charlotte entrepreneurial community and capital sources
- Build measurements and metrics to show impact and success of the program over time
- Assist in messaging to build support for the program after the two-year project period
Prepare program participants for fundraising and achieving milestones post-graduation
Project Overview: The City of Charlotte has launched an initiative named HIRE Charlotte that seeks to 1) Align the city’s workforce ecosystem; 2) Create a navigable and streamlined process for jobseekers looking for job placement services; and 3) Develop a sustainable and highly-skilled talent pipeline for our employers.
The City is seeking a qualified consultant to execute a complementary phase of the HIRE Charlotte initiative that will develop “talent alignment strategy” plans for each target industry and sector including Finance and Insurance, Manufacturing, Transportation and Warehousing, Health and Life Sciences, Technology, Business, Management, and Administration, and Clean Energy. The goal for each plan is to define gaps in Charlotte’s workforce and education ecosystem and build a roadmap for talent development strategies within the respective target industry sector that the City and local workforce partners can implement to build a robust talent pipeline for new and existing employers.
Business Recruitment Project Manager
Senior Operations Manager
The City of Charlotte has prioritized investments in six key corridors known as the “Corridors of Opportunity”. The goal is to provide high-quality public services that build opportunity in these corridors, which are rich in history and pride. The City of Charlotte is creating fertile ground for prosperity by bolstering community programs and projects; building on the momentum of past investments; and filling in gaps in infrastructure and transportation, workforce and business development, housing and code enforcement, public safety, and urban design.
As part of this work, the City of Charlotte is issuing this RFP to solicit a qualified firm to complete a small business ecosystem assessment for the Central/Albemarle corridor. The project boundaries are from the intersection of Albemarle Road/Sharon Amity Road to Albemarle Road/Lawyers Road. This area consists of a diversity of small business types along three main commercial areas. There are over 11 languages spoken along this corridor and a high presence of immigrant-owned small businesses. There are also indications that artists are moving into the Central/Albemarle corridor in search of less expensive rents.
Specific elements of the assessment should include:
- Identify the main industries in the project area and any shifts or trends happening within the ecosystem.
- Identify challenges, strengths, and opportunities of small businesses and the various commercial locations along the designated corridor.
- Identify stakeholders and partners in the project area.
- Identify the stage of growth of small businesses in the project area, number of employees, business profitability, and presence of small business succession planning.
- Provide short-term (24 months), mid-term (2-5 years), and long-term (5+ years) recommendations of programs and services for the designated area that help existing businesses thrive and create environments for new business startup.
- Present findings to stakeholder groups identified by the City
- Provide a timeline for project completion.
If you are interested in bidding on this work please send a proposal for the work listed above, along with examples of similar work you have done, by April 5, 2021. If you have any questions contact Christi Floyd, email@example.com