2 Longmont businesses score startup grants

LONGMONT — The Longmont Economic Development Partnership and the city of Longmont have awarded two small businesses startup grants of $2,000 each.

Lost Marbles Toy Store at 435 Main St., and Long Mont Velo at 1111 Francis St., Unit B, received the grants that are part of the Advance Longmont Small Business Grant program.

Husband-and-wife team Darren and Lilianna Moon opened Lost Marbles Toy Store Aug. 26, and husband-and-wife team Paul and Trudee Andersen opened Long Mont Velo July 1.

Lost Marbles sells toys, games, gifts and activities for kids three years and up.  They also will be focusing on bringing science, technology, engineering, art and math, or STEAM, toys into the store to coordinate with the STEAM and STEM focus of the St. Vrain Valley School District.

The Moons moved their family to Longmont in 2015. The first-time entrepreneurs took advantage of the city of Longmont and Longmont Economic Development Partnership scholarship for the Leading Edge 10 Week Entrepreneurship Series to help them develop and hone their business plan for the store.  They also took advantage on one-on-one business consulting through the Small Business Development Center.

“Lost Marbles Toy Store is a tremendous addition to the Downtown District,” Kimberlee McKee, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, said in a prepared statement. “Starting with the creative colorful balloons they used in the window to announce their pending opening, they are adding to the creative energy and fun environment for families of the Downtown District.”

The Andersens’ bicycle store sells women’s bike wear, many different types of bicycles and bicycle accessories, hand-crafted, bicycle-themed art and gifts. They service bicycles of all types. They also teach Yoga for Athletes Monday evenings, lead Friday night art/brewery cruiser rides, have movie nights and game nights, and host other group rides.

The Andersens moved to Longmont in 2015. They took advantage of one-on-one business consulting through the Small Business Development Center and free workshops put on in Longmont that are funded by the city of Longmont and LEDP, including business-planning and a social-media marketing classes.

Janine Ledingham, director of the local business with the LEDP, said in a prepared statement that “the store is a tremendous addition to the Longmont biking community. Trudee and Paul not only bring bike-servicing and riding expertise to Longmont, they have opened a great store and are working hard to build the Boulder County biking community for riders of all levels.”

The Advance Longmont Small Business Grant program is a reimbursement grant program targeted at brick-and-mortar businesses in Longmont for either starting a business or for converting or making permanent upgrades and improvements to their properties that are within a targeted investment area in the city.

The grants are awarded to startup businesses projecting more than 50 percent of their revenue to come from taxable sales transactions or who are service businesses that will create three or more jobs at or above Boulder County Living wages in the first year of operations.

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