- News & Updates
The Collab-Exchange Now Ready for Entreprenuers in Connecticut!
The collab-exchange is a brick and mortar store (Retail). The purpose of the store is to allow entrepreneurs who have been doing business for a year or more to have a physically location, which enable them to get the foot traffic they would not obtain otherwise.
The Collab Exchange was an idea founded by Kelvin Ayala who has been in business for over 20 years and also the owner of Moe's Burger Downtown Bridgeport and PC flex. Mr. Ayala is the business advisor to the all the business in the space and assists with all the day to day activities.
Kelvin Ayala said: "The Collab Exchange will also serve as Bridgeport’s Tourism welcome center as part of the city’s tourism initiative spearheading by I LUV BPT. The Co-op will feature 15 business owners who will all contribute to the merchandising, marketing, and energy of the CoLLAB Exchange."
This is a great opportunity for small businesses in the community to grow with instant foot traffic. The opening night on Nov 9, 2018, was great. It was exciting to see all the people that came out to support each entreprenuer and their products.
Overall, the goal is cut cost by sharing space. This could be seen something like a virtual office space or Duty-free store which house many products in one place and all the owners shared the cost.
A great benefit is also that "Annually, the CoLLab Exchange will award a $5000.00 business grant to the most successful business member of the co-op based on meeting sales goals, business development objectives, and a vote amongst the co-op membership.
Watch videos below of what some of the owner has to say about the Collab-exchange.com
About the CoLLab Exchange (Collab-exchange.com)
The CoLLab Exchange is a retail cooperative hybrid concept poised to create opportunities for Bridgeport based entrepreneurs. As a community business development initiative, the CoLLab Exchange will set a blueprint locally for a sustainable retail model. For years downtown Bridgeport has been unable to attract or develop new retail stores that can endure the market. As with all business ventures, there are many risks to doing business and reaching profitability.
On the Micro level, Bridgeport is a legacy city with older retail spaces that in many instances cannot be subdivided or are simply too large for small retailers. Commercial spaces that are 1500 sq/ft or larger or not conducive to boutique retailing and most entrepreneurs do not possess the access to capital to take on these significant leases, place merchandise, staff, and market such sites. On the Macro level, the state of retail is changing and evolving. Big box retailers are closing or adjusting to the marketplace and shopping centers such as malls and plazas are going through significant changes as long time favored retail brands struggle to remain profitable. The internet and access to better pricing and convenience are part of the story, coupled with dwindling expendable income due to the economy.