Cathie Anderson

Success of downtown Sacramento’s ‘Calling All Dreamers’ inspires 2nd business contest

The leaders of Sacramento’s Power Inn Alliance announced Thursday that they will begin taking entries in their inaugural business plan competition on March 31, offering up a $50,000 prize package to help the winning applicant get started in the business district.

The business alliance is taking a cue from the Downtown Sacramento Foundation and its 5-year-old “Calling All Dreamers” contest. As the March 9 Inside Business column noted, “Calling All Dreamers” started out with the idea of capitalizing one entrepreneur to open a business downtown, but more than 15 contestants had decided to start their businesses after receiving the coaching and and encouragement of small-business mentors. That contest is open for entries until 5 p.m. April 10.

Tracy Schaal, executive director of the Power Inn Alliance, said her district’s contest, called “Make Your Mark,” is focusing on finding a micro-manufacturer who wants to locate a business within its boundaries. The Power Inn district is bordered on the north by Fair Oaks Boulevard, south by Florin Road, west by 65th Expressway and on the east by Hedge Avenue.

“The space we have here is very conducive to having a retail front, but then you have manufacturing or production space behind it,” Schaal told me. “It can be any type of manufacturer. It can be a jam manufacturer. It can be a coffee roaster. If you wanted to do soy candles, you could. Or, it could be a brewer.”

Schaal said she will announce details of the incentive package on March 31, and it could include free or reduced rent, advertising and marketing support, legal assistance and other stimulants. More than 10,000 businesses, many of them industrial in nature, have operations within Power Inn’s boundaries.

Cathie Anderson: 916-321-1193, @CathieA_SacBee

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