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City of La Mesa encourages businesses to apply for accelerator program

City of La Mesa seeking local businesses to apply for accelerator program
Posted at 12:01 PM, Feb 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-08 15:11:10-05

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) — The COVID-19 pandemic tested the survival rate of many businesses in San Diego County, including the city of La Mesa. Now the city is working to replace some of the businesses that it lost with its new accelerator program.

Applications are now being accepted for the La Mesa Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program (LEAP).

Peter Spiller is the owner of The Jackalope. All of his leather items are hand-crafted and created in a workshop in his garage. Spiller participated in the first cohort of LEAP.

“The LEAP program was an opportunity,” says Spiller.

A key requirement in the program is the participant's willingness to open a brick-and-mortar within the City of La Mesa.

Spiller says he is still working to secure his site. “The plan is to find that spot where we can have my workshop inside the business,” he said.

Fellow cohort graduate Tia Nix owns Identity Recon, a Human Resources consulting business.

“I focus on HR services such as employee relations and workload integrity,” says Nix.

Out of fourteen graduates in the first cohort, Nix was one of the first to get the keys to her business location.

“It was a blessing.”

The La Mesa Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program was started after many local businesses closed during the pandemic.

“La mesa, just like many cities in San Diego County, did see a lot of closures from the smaller business,” says James Sly, President and CEO of East County Economic Development Council. “This is our attempt to recover.”

The program will provide each entrepreneur with a robust start-up training plan.

“They learn everything from how to write a business plan, to get financing, choose a space, hire employees,” says Sly. “We walk them through every aspect of starting a business and starting one up successfully.”

Entrepreneurs have until Feb 28 to submit their applications.