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Each week, Rhode Island Avenue Radio hosts Michelle Yancey and Kyle Todd sit down to visit with area business owners, city leaders, small business training experts, and the visionaries that help our local commercial corridors grow and thrive. Tune in to learn about Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street’s new businesses; learn about some of the not-so-secret business gems of the community; and get behind-the-scenes stories about innovative business ideas happening right here in our neighborhood.
146 Episodes
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147 - DC To-GoGo

147 - DC To-GoGo

2021-03-0230:15

When Covid-19 led to the shut down of businesses around the world, one of the most severely impacted industries was restaurants. Food delivery quickly became the norm here in DC, but just as quickly, we realized that the traditional food delivery service via a 3rd party app, such as Uber Eats or GrubHub, was no the only game in town to access food from our favorite dining spots. Enter DC To-GoGo, offering affordable delivery rates to restaurants, and paying their drivers a living wage. Adam Fry, co-founder of DC To-GoGo joins us to talk about the newest food delivery app in town. Listen now!
In honor of Black History Month, we are excited to visit with Corey Griffin, President and CEO of Global Government and Industry Partners, LLC, and the Board Chair of the Greater Washington Black Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has a mission to "...promote black business growth in the District of Columbia through the facilitation of business opportunities and education," and they bring together an impressive network to make it happen. Tune in to hear Corey's take on the biggest challenges facing the Black business community in DC right now, as well as the opportunities the GWBCC is pulling together to educate, inspire, and promote entrepreneurship among Black business owners. 
As the COVID 19 pandemic continues to impact the economy, small businesses are among the hardest hit. The District of Columbia has implemented many programs to assist small businesses in DC, and the latest rounds of grants to help keep them afloat are out now. We're joined by Department of Small and Local Business Development Director Kristi Whitfield, and the Great Streets program director at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development, Stephanie Thomas. We'll be discussing the Robust Retail Grant and the Bridge Fund Grants. Listen know to learn how your business can take advantage of some much-needed funding.
Coronavirus, or COVID 19, is here and already creating economic challenges. We're facing some uncharted territory in the small business world, but some strategic planning and some "outside the box" thinking may make all the difference for your business. Kyle visits with Sara Gibson of 20 Degrees about how to create some basic resiliency for your customers, employees, and cash flow. We'll also talk about some of the resources available to you at this moment in time, and some ways that you can maximize any slow times your business might be currently experiencing. Listen now, and subscribe for more updates.
Spring is just around the corner, and it couldn't be a better time to introduce one of the newest businesses on RIA Main Street! Olde City Garden is gearing up for their spring opening on Saturday, March 14th, at 9 a.m., and we visit with owner Pat Patterson, general manager Jeremy Gabriel, and business operations manager Tom Henry about their plans. If you ever visited their old location in Shaw, you know what a wonderful resource this will be for our community. In addition to meeting just about any gardening need you might have, they will have classes, special events, and fun activities for gardeners of all ages. We also chat with Stephanie Liotta-Atkinson of MidCity Development about some exciting art programming and more, all at the shared location of Olde City Garden. Listen now!
Sure, DC is full of beer breweries and distilleries, but we're also becoming known for cider! We visit with Will from Supreme Core Cider, and wow does it sound delicious. The cidery and tasting room is located just off Bladensburg Road on T St NE. Tune in now for details on their special recipes and more!
We're joined by Dionne Baux, Director of Urban Programs for the National Main Street program. Dionne talks about some of the challenges facing urban Main Street programs, from the unique challenges of doing business in a large city, to the ways our Main Street programs can help our businesses navigate a more complex regulatory environment while still growing and thriving. Tune in for this and more from Dionne!
140 - DC Census 202

140 - DC Census 202

2020-02-0427:01

The 2020 Census is just around the corner, and the DC Office of Planning has rolled out a robust program to help everyone prepare to participate in this federally required program. Many people have questions about the nature of the census, and there is a substantial amount of incorrect information floating around. To counter that misinformation, we visit with Office of Planning's Director Andrew Trueblood, and Melissa Bird, the program manager of DC Census 2020. Listen now to have your questions answered, and to learn why now more than ever your participation in the census is critical for the future.
Like any major metropolitan area, DC faces challenges in housing access for some of its most vulnerable citizens. Organizations like Pathways to Housing DC not only work to assist in placement, but also to deliver a variety of significant services before, during, and after placement. Executive Director Christy Respress and Donor Relations Officer Lina Permut stop by to talk about the programs they offer, including Housing First Teams, Urgent Care Clinics, Behavioral Healthcare, and Supported Employment. Visit www.pathwaystohousingdc.org to learn more, and tune in now to listen to the full interview!
138 - Wired Cycling

138 - Wired Cycling

2019-11-1921:49

Leticia Long, MSA, the creator of the Wired Cycling™ and Senior Fitizens™ Programs has been a leader in the fitness industry for almost two decades. The approach she brings to her Wired Cycling studio provides the community with the latest technology in fitness, including spin, TRX, and yoga classes. Ready to burn off some holiday calories and keep fit during the winter months? Listen now! 
Jennie Lightfoot and Janet Walkoe, both of Bluebird Sky Yoga, stops by the studio to talk about some of the new programming available at their studio. As they embark on their 3rd year in the neighborhood, it is clear that Bluebird Sky Yoga is here to stay! Their class offerings as well as their special events and workshops have made their studio a centerpiece of the community. New to the idea of Yoga? They've got you covered with Mysore style Ashtanga (http://www.bluebirdskyyoga.com/mysore-ashtanga). Want an inspiring art experience to go with your yoga practice? Check out their rotating gallery show. Listen now for all of the yoga opportunities waiting for you at Bluebird Sky.
134 - The Inner Loop

134 - The Inner Loop

2019-10-0821:19

The Inner Loop (www.theinnerlooplit.org) is a literary reading series and network for creative writers in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Founders Rachel Coonce and Courtney Saxton talk about their goal to create a space for both emerging and established writers to connect with their community, through events and workshops featuring readings from writers of all genres here in the DC area. 
In this Bonus Episode, we are joined by Lauren Adkins, Interim Program Manager of the DMPED Great Streets Program (www.greatstreets.dc.gov). Interested in applying for a Great Streets grant for your business? Be sure to listen to this episode for all the info you need to to know to successfully apply for up to $50,000 in small business assistance!
There are so many fantastic economic development organizations in DC, and two of our favorites are the Latino Economic Development Corporation (www.ledcmetro.org), and the DC Bar Pro Bono (www.dcbar.org) program. We're joined in the studio by Marla Bilonick, Executive Director of LEDC, and Darryl Maxwell, of DC Bar Pro Bono for Nonprofit and Small Business. They each have great resources for the small businesses in the DC Metro area, and they are each continually growing their programming. Tune in now to learn about some of their upcoming events.
133 - Foodhini

133 - Foodhini

2019-09-2426:44

There are so many food delivery and subscription systems available out there! But how about one that delivers individual meals, made that day, from chefs from all over the world? Foodhini is based here on RIA Main Street, and is an amazing new concept from Founder and CEO Noobtsaa Philip Vang. He joins us to talk about how Foodhini came to be (hint: Noobtsaa was hungry for some home-cooked food like his mom used to make), and he was keenly interested in helping to support opportunities for immigrant/refugee chefs. The result? Amazing international food delivered to your doorstep. 
DC is fast becoming the destination of choice for entrepreneurs, and with programs like #ObviouslyDC and Great Streets to attract and support businesses, it's no wonder. Karima Woods, Director of Business Development and Strategy at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, joins us to talk about all things economic development in DC. Between in-depth business recruitment resources and a host of grants available to new and existing businesses, Karima and her team are in place to keep the DC economy growing. Listen now!
131 - Behnke's Nursery

131 - Behnke's Nursery

2019-08-2736:01

DC-area gardeners were devastated when they heard that venerable Behnke's Nursery was closing. After 89 years in business, Behnke's leadership knew it was time for a change. During the months between the announcement and the actual closing, the leadership of Behnke's put on a Master Class about how to take care of your staff as you close your business. Stephanie Fleming, Vice President of Behnke's, chats with us about their decision-making process, and how to do right by your staff - the people that are an invaluable part of a business success story.
We aren't the only Main Street in town! In fact, we're one of 18 Main Street programs in DC, as of this broadcast. Today, we visit with Edwin Washington, the director of one of the newest programs, The Parks Main Street. Their program is just down the road from ours, and the geographic similarities don't stop there. Tune in to learn more about The Parks Main Street and the fantastic DC businesses that call it home. 
Neighbor Kelly Bell is one of the go-to photographers for portraits and more here DC. She's just launched "The Neighborhood Project" to capture portraits and stories from residents of the Greater BrooklandWoodridge area, We talk with her goals for The Neighborhood Project, and how neighbors like you can participate. Next, we chat with Devin Zitelman of the Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) about WeDC and their upcoming Futures Forum. The goal? To create educational opportunities for the DC business community, as well as opportunities to work collaboratively across sectors. Listen now!
As an organization that specializes in Economic Development, we spend a lot of time assisting small businesss entrepreneurs that are just starting out, or that are ready to expand their business to the next level. But what happens when an entrepreneur is ready to retire or move on to the next big thing? Hint: If you just close down and move on, you might be leaving money on the table! This week, we visit with Melissa Patel of Transworld Business Advisors of DC Metro. Melissa talks about how to go about selling your business, no matter where you are in your business life cycle. Listen now and plan your next steps!
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