Nurturing fledgling businesses: LAUNCH program aids startups

March 1, 2014  |  Times Free Press  |  Shelly Bradbury  |  News

Jacobo Salazar Jr.'s birthday gift just keeps on giving. The recent Chattanooga transplant was given tuition for a 10-week course offered by Chattanooga nonprofit LAUNCH last fall to learn how to start a business, and he's still reaping the benefits four months later.

"Kickstand Bicycles has made over $300," he said. "And every now and then I'll take a little pinch out of that, we'll go out to eat or I'll buy a bike accessory for me."

Salazar used the course to transform his fledgling business, Kickstand Bicycles, from a hobby into a money-making venture. The St. Elmo resident repairs, sells, refurbishes and trades bicycles from the garage in his home. He's aiming to reach a demographic often ignored by high-end bike shops.

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