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updated: 10/31/2013 4:29 PM

Mt. Prospect reaches out to local entrepreneurs

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  • Mia's Cantina in Mount Prospect is an Entrepreneur's Cafe success story.

      Mia's Cantina in Mount Prospect is an Entrepreneur's Cafe success story.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer


Mount Prospect will relaunch its Entrepreneur's Cafe series next month, giving residents a chance to learn the ins and outs of opening their own businesses.

The series will begin Wednesday, Nov. 13, with a meeting that will provide a general overview of the program. At this and future sessions, participants will learn the basics of starting a business, what the village's permit and approval process is like and what resources are available to help local business owners succeed.

Mount Prospect first launched the Entrepreneur's Cafe program in 2012 as a way to get new locally owned businesses up and running in town.

"We knew that there were people in town interested in starting a business but who were either intimidated or confused by the process," said Dawn Fletcher Collins, executive director of the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce, which helps with the program. "What's nice about this is that the setting is very comfortable and encouraging."

Last year's sessions produced a notable success story. Resident Esteban Aguado attended the program and later opened Mia's Cantina, a Mexican restaurant at 143 W. Prospect Ave. in the downtown area.

Such examples are particularly important to the village, which is considering a new comprehensive plan for downtown redevelopment. The consulting firm that created the draft plan said locally-owned businesses, as opposed to national chains, will be key to the area's success.

After the Nov. 13 meeting, organizers plan to hold additional Entrepreneur's Cafe sessions in 2014, most likely on a quarterly basis, Collins said. The Mount Prospect Downtown Merchants Association, the Mount Prospect Public Library, and the Small Business Development Center at Harper College all assist the village and the chamber with the program.

For information, contact the chamber at (847) 398-6616, or village planner Nellie Beckner at (847) 818-5312.

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