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 INTRODUCTory period)
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.
To encourage business participation, we will cover delivery fees for the first four months - enabling them to offer free, local delivery to their patrons.
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.
We have also developed a simple way for businesses to request delivery service - without integration! - for those who use uncommon systems or just do not want to be on the platform.
No matter their system or needs, our team will assist them throughout the entire process - helping them from start to finish.
after the INTRODUCTORY PERIOD
During the Introductory Period, there are no startup costs and no delivery fees. There are no risks to join - encouraging owners to participate.
After the completion of the first four months, we propose that businesses be charged a very competitive 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
Operations & Fulfillment Center (Optional): $600,000
Relocate Team to Prince George's County and run all operations from new headquarters. Software development, logistics, and the fulfillment of local orders will take place here.
Utilizing clean energy, electrical vehicles will charge at this location and be dispatched for pickup/drop off deliveries that are taken from local vendors to their customer as well as orders received and completed at the Fulfillment Center.
We employ full-time drivers that are paid $15 per hour. We also use company cars so the burden of having an operational vehicle is not on the employee.
At the onset of the effort, we will hire two drivers and continue to increase their number as orders increase. At Full Capacity (assuming all 106 businesses on "Buy Prince George's" sell $20,000 on the platform in a year), we have calculated the need for six to seven full time drivers.
Operations & Fulfillment (Optional)
We are currently a small team of four. With the acquisition of an Operations & Fulfillment center, those four jobs automatically transfer over to Prince George's County.
Because Prince George's County is so vast and consumers tend to order from more than one store at a time, it becomes imperative to group the local goods in one location for the sake of efficiency. As these orders increase, the need for local employees to prepare each order for delivery increases and we are committed to hiring Prince George's County residents for these jobs.
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