The "Buy Prince George's" online shopping portal is a tremendous resource for customers seeking to support small, local businesses. It makes finding local goods and services incredibly easy. And we hope to make it even easier.
New Era Ventures proposes to enhance the "Buy Prince George's" online shopping portal by converting it into a searchable, user-friendly marketplace that not only lists all of PG County's participating businesses but enables customers to purchase goods right from the site and have it delivered inside the County the same-day. These added features are intended to help drive sales and improve the local economy.
With $300,000 in funding, we will enhance the portal with said features, provide free onboarding assistance to owners, and deliver their intra-County orders to consumers. Funding would also be used to cover delivery fees for participating businesses and consumers in an effort to encourage their participation and patronage by offering free delivery for both sides of the transaction for the first four months.
easier online shopping experience
We will transform the existing site into an Amazon-style marketplace that allows customers to not only see what businesses are in Prince George's but search the entire catalog of products within the County and then make purchases - all within the same site.
FREE same day delivery DURING INTRODUCTION
Unlike other online marketplaces, we propose to give businesses the strategic advantage of same-day delivery to be even more competitive against online rivals.
Because businesses and customers are both local, we are able to pick up the order when it's ready and deliver it the same day.
free onboarding assistance & tech support
Joining a new platform can be intimidating. That's why a platform already integrated with major Point of Sale systems (eg Square and Shopify) is key. With a few clicks, products are onboarded and inventory automatically updated.
Our team would also assist business owners throughout the entire process - helping them onboard from start to finish.
after the INTRODUCTORY PERIOD
With no startup costs and no delivery fees, there is no risk to join - encouraging owners to participate.
After the completion of the first four months, we propose that businesses be charged a 10% transaction fee and customers pay a $5 delivery fee for the sake of the effort's continued financial viability. Businesses may cancel anytime.
WHY WE BELIEVE IT WILL WORK
New Era Assistance & Revenue (NEAR) is the precursor to the enhanced "Buy Prince George's." It is an online delivery platform that was developed and designed to help small, DC-based businesses offer eCommerce and same-day delivery with no carbon footprint. Launched in 2018, it began to onboard DC's makers, creatives and small retailers to help them remain competitive in a rapidly changing retail landscape.
The Washington DC government then awarded a contract to NEAR.delivery in 2020 to supplement its "Shop in the District Initiative" with local delivery. The partnership is ongoing and New Era Ventures now seeks to bring all of its hard-fought knowledge and unique skillset to Prince George's County.
OUR TEAM & BUDGET BREAKDOWN
FOUNDER & CEO
Byers is a serial entrepreneur and academic with degrees from the University of Missouri and Harvard University. As a professor at Howard University, he taught economic development and now owns businesses in skincare, real estate, and technology.
He manages all facets of New Era Ventures.
Moreau graduated from Harvard University with a degree in applied mathematics and has over 9 years of experience in software development.
He manages the iterative development of the NEAR.delivery platform.
OUTREACH | ONBOARDING
Jeffries graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Howard University with degrees in Political Science and Economics. His interests are in urban planning, sustainability, real estate, and social equity.
He manages the development of the onboarding process and outreach for the company.
DRIVER | LOGISTICS
Fizer-Wright is from New Orleans with a passion for serving underprivileged communities. He graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science, minoring in African Studies.
He is a NEAR driver and logistics-coordinator, handling fleet operations and product delivery.
Full construction and design of web application. To include but not limited to front-end development, back-end development, design, mobile application integration, and database management.
Develop the backend, including server side and database schema for Point of Sale APIs (eg Square, Shopify, etc) and Courier/Delivery API (eg Onfleet).
Delivery Subsidy: $100,000
To encourage business participation and increase consumer sales, this initiative would include free deliveries - free to participating businesses and consumers. $100,000 would be set aside and drawn down upon to cover participating businesses' commission fee for each transaction (10%) and the consumers' delivery fee ($5). The cost associated with delivering participating businesses' goods will continue to be free until the $100,000 subsidy is depleted. It is anticipated that the subsidy will take four (4) months to be depleted - depending on various factors, including number of deliveries, distance of deliveries, number of businesses in need of onboarding assistance, and the amount of needed outreach and marketing.
Equipment & Software: $50,000
To properly build and maintain the new online shopping portal, the following equipment and software is needed:
Google Maps API
(Secure) Data Storage - and backup solutions
Software Development Kit (SDK)
Credit Card Processing Service - Stripe Subscription
Marvel Prototyping Subscription
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