May 7: The Mojave Coin wash is now open again, and the burglar has been identified by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. The Coin Wash has been closed since April 7th when a burglar destroyed several coin dispensers and washers and stole several hundred dollars of quarters. The Coin Wash is now under a new management, and open longer hours. The new manager, Michael Smoot, a long-time Mojave resident, is leading a new generation of young Entrepreneurs in Mojave. Mr. Smoot, 32, spent the last two weeks repairing the damaged equipment in the building and restoring previously broken dryers to accommodate more customers than ever before. Mr. Smoot will also be on site at all times to ensure that all customers have a safe and pleasant experience, and to guard against future vandals.
The community has universally rejoiced at the return of the coin wash. “I am so happy to have the Coin Wash back” said local resident, Ethel Brooks, “One man came in on Monday when they first reopened and did what looked like three weeks of laundry! We’re going to keep Mike on FULL TIME!” Other residents rejoiced in the restored sense of pride. “I had to have somebody else to wash my clothes, it was embarrassing” said long-time resident Mama-Bear, “I want to wash my own clothes, thank you very much!”
The Mojave Foundation applauds Mr. Smoot for being the first of a new generation of entrepreneurs in Mojave, and restoring a critical service to the community. We also commend the local shopkeepers and residents who identified the suspected burglar to the Kern County Sheriff’s.
Mojave Air & Space Port is in negotiations with Monster Fitnessin Lancaster to expand into the new community center on the Airport. Monster may provide amenities, such as state-of-the-art equipment, martial arts classes, Zumba classes, and personal trainers to provide the most modern, comprehensive fitness center in the Antelope Valley – right here in Mojave!
However, Monster needs to know how many people in the community are interested before negotiations continue. If we can get 200 people in Mojave and the surrounding areas to say they would be interested in joining, Monster could locate to Mojave as early as spring 2014! Memberships are expected to be around $35 per month, with a one-time $95 initiation fee. Just fill out this form below if you want Monster in Mojave. (This is for market research purposes only, and will not result in any sales calls.)
January 20: Mojave’s bi-weekly Entrepreneurship Workshop kicked off again with Raimone Roberts of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Los Angeles. With approximately two dozen in attendance from all over the Antelope Valley, Raimone challenged residents and small business owners to rethink their vision for 2014. “Where will you be on January 16, 2015?” he asked the audience, and gave them “homework” to rethink what they did last year and challenge themselves in 2014. Highlights of last Wednesday’s meeting were to Set Goals, Dream Big, and Imagine.
1) What is your business, product or service? 2) Get mission critical – what is your mission? Has to be simple, clear and practical. 3) Focus on a better business. Build and strengthen your skill set. 4) Daily Habits – Are they progressing you or hindering you. 5) Relationships – People do not get where they are alone 6) Network – Build relationships, build community
Roberts went into detail on each step of his challenge, and looks forward to seeing what entrepreneurs come back with next week – giving entrepreneurs a direction and goal to focus their energies. There were real estate owners in this week’s meeting, potential investors, Career Services representatives, and small business mentors – all willing and eager to provide financial and inspirational support to aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the Antelope Valley.
The Mojave Foundation is dedicated to proving aspiring entrepreneurs with the support and resources necessary to start their own business – right here in Mojave, and the Antelope Valley. Our classes are free and open to the public, and a great way to network and meet other people with possible resources to compliment your business idea. Our next workshop is Wednesday January 29th at 6pm at Anthony’s Grill in Mojave. If you have any questions, call Mike or Susan Fortuna at 661-824-2275, or email@example.com.
January 3: “I can’t believe it’s been five years” says store owner James Stokes, “things were really rough for those first two and a half years, but we never lost our ‘personal touch’, and building a relationship with the community, and we really built up a loyal customer base here in Mojave”. Stoken’s, a Mojave landmark, has been recently awarded “Business of the Year” by the Mojave Chamber of Commerce, and ranked number 1 on Yelp, and has seen business steadily expand since emerging from the ashes of the financial crisis in 2009. “It’s amazing what you can achieve with the right people, and passion, and we have a great staff that is passionate about quality and preserving that relationship with our customers. Stokens, located one block east of Sierra highway on Belshaw Street, has become the central meeting place in Mojave for community discussion and social gatherings. Stokes has built up an especially loyal relationship among workers from the airport and renewable energy companies, whom Stokes credits with keeping him afloat during the rough times. “We try to get to know each of our customers who come in the shop, and we ask what they need and what they want to see.”
Local residents held their breath in 2009 when Jame Stokes purchased the old library, an historic Mojave landmark. But Stoken’s was universally acclaimed when he preserved the classic ambiance of the building while serving quality food and paying homage to Mojave’s history. Stoken’s, generally known for its high quality sandwiches and natural ingredients, has become a mainstay of motorists throughout southern California. “We get a lot of the traffic between L.A. and Mammoth,” cites Stokes, “and we want people to learn a little about Mojave while they’re here.” Stokes, a local job creator with five full-time employees, sees opportunity in Mojave. “We want to keep growing, responsibly, with the community – and we think there’s a lot of potential in this town.”
The Mojave Foundation celebrates Stoken’s success, and their entrepreneurial zeal. We appreciate Stoke’s commitment to the community – demonstrating that there is a market for high-quality service and offering to share that success with other aspiring entrepreneurs. We wish James and Leigh and his staff even more success in 2014.
December 3: The Mojave Foundation is proud to announce that we have received our 501(c)3 status from the IRS. This means that the MF can now receive donations, which the donors can deduct from their taxes! This is critical to our mission to clean up Mojave, and allows us to put real resources behind our big ideas. We have accomplished a lot in 2013 with no money and a highly-motivated group of volunteers – starting a volunteer police squad (CSU), demolishing and cleaning up lots, and launching a series of entrepreneurship and educational workshops. But community-scale infrastructure projects will require substantial investments from both public and private donors. Some of our funding priorities in 2014 are (1) to demolish vacant hazardous structures that blight our downtown area, (2) to increase the public lighting for safety and security, (3) to build a railroad park on the west side of Sierra Highway, as well as community gardens. We believe that this community has the means and the motivation to change this town for the better, and we humbly encourage all residents to get involved – either by volunteering at the school, or the senior center, or with the Mojave Foundation! We intend to match this incredible outpouring of community support with tangible results in a relatively short period of time. We will execute all projects quickly and efficiently, with 100% transparency. Individuals can make general donations to support the Foundation’s operations, or can donate to a specific project; we will work with you to find a project that fits your priorities for the community. To make a tax-deductible donation to the Mojave Foundation, click here!
The Mojave Foundation is proud to continue offering these free informational sessions to the public, helping aspiring business owners to draft a business plan, secure financing, select a location, and hire local employees. These workshops have already inspired several businesses to start here in Mojave, and we expect many more in the next several months. This week’s workshop will be led by Raimone Roberts of the Small Business Development Center in Los Angenles. Raimone will cover the basics of writing a financial outline for your business plan, and help entrepreneurs develop their “elevator pitch”, which is designed to help business owners clearly articulate what they do in 30 seconds or less. The next class will be at Anthony’s Grill, right next to Stater Bros., and will start at 6pm on Thursday, November 21st.
Due to popular demand there will be a follow up Entrepreneurship Workshop on Wednesday, Nov 6th at 6pm at Anthony’s Grill in Mojave. This week’s event will be led by Jay Thompson of the Small Business Development Center at CSU Bakersfield. Jay is a longtime business leader, mentor and coach in Kern County, and will be explaining the basics of writing a business plan. Jay will also discuss how to apply for grants and loans to help your business get started, and will be an excellent primer for his Access to Capital event later this month. Last week’s event saw 61 aspiring entrepreneurs, of which two have already started a business in Mojave! We will also cover several business models that are in dire need in Mojave that didn’t get talked about last time, such as an events/catering/movie scouting business, storage facilities, and contractor services. Our objective is to identify the talent internally, and put the tools in their hands to start a successful business in Mojave. This event is open to all residents and businesses in Mojave and the Antelope Valley. If you have any questions, call Todd Quelet at 248-835-5239, or email at Todd@MojaveFoundation.org