We served clients in six states and over 30 different markets - 33% were minority-owned and 75% were women-owned small businesses.
We grew our team by 25%. We hired two additional employees and onboarded 24 new team members from across the tri-state area with broad experience in marketing, product management, strategic consulting, technology, communications and law.
We solidified partnerships with 3 top-tier organizations: JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and PNC.
We implemented 3 new technology platforms and markedly increased our efficiency: Salesforce, Teamwork and Zoom.
TAP was the recipient of the prestigious, national Daily Point of Light Award and was chosen as Nonprofit Westchester's Organizational Changemaker.
"TAP is a wonderful program. The TAP consultants took the initiative to network in the community on my behalf and compose valuable spreadsheets for my business operations"
"They are just lovely, down-to-earth, easy to talk to people. They were so encouraging throughout the process. They were patient and explained financial stuff over and over, and now when we talk about business structure and equity, we sound legit, even to each other, because we understand it."
"TAP certainly met our needs and I believe there are also many non-profits that are in a similar position to us that would ... greatly benefit from business consultancy since many struggle with even the most basic of business procedures."
"TAP has met all my needs as a small business. I'm very thankful to have had the opportunity to work with them."
This year TAP embarked on phase 2 of the Analyze & Advance Project at the request of our partner, Community Capital. Funded by a grant from JP Morgan Chase Bank, we created a rubric that identifies the core competencies necessary for growing and sustaining businesses and establishes a mechanism to assess entrepreneurial skills in a variety of functional areas. The diagnostic tool is now being used to provide a consistent, comprehensive and measurable approach to assess key skill levels of small business owners and to inform the subsequent delivery of technical assistance. Going forward, it will also be used to enable technical assistance providers like TAP to track progress over time.
Our Speed Consulting offering continues to appeal to Chambers of Commerce as a means to support their small businesses. This year, we partnered with the Armonk Chamber of Commerce to deliver high level strategic and tactical advice to 12 small businesses via our Speed Consulting events. During these workshops, TAP consultants facilitated discussions on branding and provided customized feedback and strategies for success for each participant. In addition to participating in the workshops, the small business owners appreciated the opportunity to meet, network and discuss opportunities with other entrepreneurs in their community.
"TAP consultants are very smart and provided fresh, helpful and insightful feedback."
"I received several very good ideas that I can immediately implement to help my business."
This year TAP launched a new product to meet the needs of our partner, JPMorgan Chase. We offered mini one-on-one consultations to their small business clients at their Chase for Business conferences in Atlanta, Austin and Detroit and in their Chase BizMobile in Philadelphia.
TAP continues to support the Buy Local effort in Scarsdale, an innovative and collaborative initiative set in motion in 2014 with the goal of driving more customers to Scarsdale businesses and educating stakeholders on their role in enhancing the vibrancy of Scarsdale’s retail hubs. Our team conducted research, worked with landlords, brokers and current and potential tenants to address vacancies, revived community events and aided in the marketing and promotion of new stores, events and initiatives. The change was seen and heard throughout our community and we are so proud.
In 2018, TAP was instrumental in filling several vacant storefronts with some fabulous new merchants including Rudy's Music, where you can purchase guitars for beginners, professionals and collectors; Bango Bowls, where you can savor delicious poke and Acai bowls; Nordic Edge, where you can experience the invigorating and rejuvenating effects of cryotherapy; independent bookstore Bronx River Books that is successfully creating a community space that TAP's research indicated residents were clamoring for and Via Forno, a restaurant and wine bar serving brick oven pizza in a warm and welcoming setting.
In addition, the newly formed Scarsdale Business Alliance (SBA) that TAP was actively involved in creating has been enthusiastically contributing to the village's revitalization. Its mission is to foster cooperation and innovation in the local business community in order to create a more vibrant shopping and dining experience for all. In only a few short months, they have put together some terrific events and have more planned for 2019.
In an effort to increase foot traffic and bring vitality to the Village, TAP helped organize and promote numerous community-building events including Rock the ‘Dale, Art the ‘Dale and Light the 'Dale. We're currently in the process of organizing our inaugural Wing the 'Dale, a Public Art and placemaking initiative that will place a "wings" public art mural, created by Scarsdale High School students, in the Village Center. With wing murals being a favorite of social media sharing, we're confident this effort will help provide a sense of community and increase foot traffic.
In 2018, we hired two additional paid employees. In addition, we recruited and trained 24 new team members with a wide range of skills and expertise. This growth improves our ability to offer advice and services to an increasingly diverse demographic.
Providing opportunities for our consultants to advance their skills is part of our mission. To that end, we offered training on Active Listening and Financial Statement Basics for Small Businesses. In addition to those skill-building opportunities, participation at various brainstorm sessions to share best-practices for client engagements, a focus group for one of our retail clients and networking and team-building events were available to our team. Three of our consultants made the transition back to paid employment this year, and while it may be bittersweet, it is a true measure of success for our model.
All photos are property of The Acceleration Project.