WAILUKU – Landa Ampong’s business plan for God’s Lanes LLC, an online retail start-up offering religious sportswear to Christian men and women, was deemed the best plan and received $ 25,000 as part of a Maui Economic Opportunity Business Development Center competition.
BDC Director David Daly made the video announcement on Oct. 5 to the 30 entrepreneurs who submitted business plans for the competition.
All participants participated in MEO’s Core Four Business Development Course, which is offered over six weeks several times throughout the year. The next series of courses are scheduled to start on November 2.
Funding for Ampong’s business and seven other grants was provided by County Councilor Tasha Kama, who used funds from her district.
“Small businesses are at the heart of our local economy, and I am delighted to see the results of these entrepreneurs turning their ideas into income and jobs.” said Kama, who also sits on MEO’s board of directors.
“By supporting this important business training program and covering a portion of the start-up costs of the winners, the county has helped start these businesses in the right direction – on the path to success.
Ampong, a resident of Lahaina, registered the LLC in August 2020 and had the business name God’s Lane approved by the State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in January 2021.
God’s Lanes mission is to “Encourages you to take the path God has for your life, equipping you with daily reminders of him as you comfortably wear our athletic clothes from task to task.”
The idea for God’s Lane was born during the pandemic when Ampong’s family began training to improve their physical, mental and spiritual health. They were looking for trendy, durable and versatile sportswear with biblical messages but couldn’t find any, Ampong said in his business plan.
Later, when Ampong was able to return to work as the pandemic subsided, she was still working from home. She wanted clothes that would allow her to spend virtual business meetings at the gym and other parenting activities.
Ampong decided to fill the sportswear void with biblical messages and named his company “The alleys of God” for the truth that God has a specific plan for the life of each person, noted his business plan.
Three business plans received grants of $ 10,000. The company, owner and description of the company are as follows:
Northshore Nice Cream, Naomi Rahm, startup food truck in Makawao serving healthy plant-based ice cream, snacks and juices made from local fruits.
Adaptive Hawaii LLC, Jennifer Gladwin, a startup focused on providing responsive amenities, accessible concierge services, and inclusive resources to visitors, residents, and businesses in Maui.
Malia Lauer LLC, Malia Lauer, a start-up physical therapy business serving the rural and underserved area of East Maui from Nahiku to Kipahulu. Licensed physiotherapists will provide individualized assessment and treatment for orthopedic, neurological, pelvic floor, pediatric and athletic injuries.
Four other business plans received grants of $ 5,000:
Salt Ice Hawaii LLC, Jessie Stone, a solution for cooling, preserving and maintaining the freshness of fish after catching. Not found on the islands, salt flake ice is used in New Zealand.
Maui Balloon Decor, Jasmine Dillon, a premium balloon decorating company for business, public events, and personal celebrations. The company can produce columns, arches, photo ops, personalized sculptures and balloon bouquets.
On The Move LLC, Mele Andrade, a company that offers summer sports camps for children in Kindergarten to Grade 5 that encourages healthy lifestyles by teaching basic athletic skills, healthy eating and skills social / emotional.
Lucky Cat Provisions, Eden and Teak McAfee, a local grocer reinvented by offering premium specialty foods and table produce sourced from local farms and neighborhood kitchens. Scheduled to launch in January 2022, the store will also feature plant-based snacks, gourmet confections, sunset groceries and dining accessories.
The grants will not go directly to start-ups. MEO’s BDC staff will ensure that recipients have met the requirements to become a legitimate business in Hawaii, such as filing tax records and forms. Next, BDC staff will work with the beneficiaries to develop a list of suppliers who will be paid by MEO.
“Judging was so difficult with so many wonderfully creative business ideas” said Daly. “There will be companies emerging from these grant applicants who have not been selected.
“We thank Council Member Tasha Kama for giving these eight entrepreneurs capital to turn their dreams on paper into reality, and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, Mayor Michael Victorino and Maui County Council for providing funded the MEO Business Development Center. “
The judges were Wayne Wong, director of the Small Business Development Center; Lalaine Manlapao, Assistant Vice President and Investment Banker of First Hawaiian Bank; Jacob Simons, Bank of Hawaii Private Bank; and Gerry Smith, budget and tax audit manager for the Maui High Performance Computing Center.
This was a one-time grant program for entrepreneurs taking the Core Four Business Planning Course.
The next round of Core Four runs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from November 2 to December 2. The cost of the course is $ 50. Financial assistance is available.
For more information, contact Daly at the MEO Business Development Center at (808) 249-2990 or visit the MEO website at meoinc.org.