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Latest Beltline Business Breakfast Energizes Audience

On the morning of May 30, 2024, local entrepreneurs gathered at Plywood Place on the Westside Trail for the Beltline Business Breakfast.

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JUNE 13, 2024

On the morning of May 30, 2024, local entrepreneurs gathered at Plywood Place on the Westside Trail for the Beltline Business Breakfast. This is a quarterly speaker series put on by the Beltline’s Business Solutions Office that addresses a variety of topics aiming to help small businesses.

After chatting with peers and enjoying coffee, orange juice, and biscuits from JenChan’s, attendees took their seats in the audience for the panel. The speakers first introduced themselves and gave some background on their experience as small business owners.

“Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming to navigate this space, so it’s important to prioritize and understand your audience to find what you really need” said Victoria Laverde of IPCOMM Agency.

Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt of Xocoatl, who are celebrating their 10th year since opening their original location at Krog street Market, discussed their decision to start a business on the Beltline as it was first starting out. They said other people saw it as a risky move, but it ended up being ideal because of both the foot traffic and the foodie community around it.

“We owe a lot of success to our original choice to be there,” Weyandt said.

The four panelists discussed the topics of strategic partnerships, community involvement, and digital platforms. They shared anecdotes from their own careers, lessons they learned, and tools for success.

Read highlighted how business owners can partner for complimentary or charitable purposes. She gave an example of Xocoatl’s partnership with Second Helpings Atlanta, a nonprofit organization supporting food insecure families in Atlanta, during Hunger Awareness month.

The panelists emphasized the importance of making sure that your core values and the way you do business align with partners, and suggested teaming up with other businesses on the Beltline. They also advised audience members to set measurable goals to know when to adjust their strategies, and to not be discouraged if something doesn’t go as planned.

“You have to experiment,” said Candace Harris of Myavana and CVM Worldwide who moderated the conversation. “We just want to help you put your best foot forward, because you’re going to learn along the way and know how to do it even better.”

The event ended with a Q&A, in which audience members expressed that they were energized by the conversation and expertise of the speakers.

The speakers talked about many resources including several AI tools, Shopify, and ATLinBusiness, which provides City of Atlanta businesses with free consulting and support services in marketing and other areas.

“This is the type of knowledge and inspiration that we want to bring to the Beltline community,” Harris concluded. She encouraged other opportunities for growth, including the Beltline Business Ventures accelerator program. Applications for the upcoming cohort will close on June 28. Click here to apply.

To learn more about the Beltline Business Solutions Office, visit their webpage and sign up for the Beltline Business Bulletin.


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