Opening a Denver Small Business is a challenge in its own right. Gathering all the funds, support, and knowledge to take even the first step is a monumental task. Unfortunately, another step many entrepreneurs and small business owners will encounter is finding the right storefront or space to set up shop. Tenant finishes may seem to be a straightforward process of hiring a general contractor but building in the city and county of Denver can be a much lengthier task. Businesses are subjected to a large number of permitting and city reviews, and if you are a Small Business owner – you do not want to be navigating all of those hurdles alone.
Following an article published by Denverite, the small business owner of Melody Market Denver in Five Points, LaSheita Sayer, sheds some light on the obstacles she had to overcome to open her storefront. In the article, Sayer states, “I’m bummed that it took us as long as it did to open… but it’s a beautiful feeling to reach the highlight of actually being able to open,” Sayer said. “A lot of new people are moving into the neighborhood but what wasn’t being added was services like a food market. That’s the need we’re serving. We’re nine weeks in and we have over 1,400 items in the market… 1,400 different items.”
Melody Market Denver has been in the making for two years and is now open.
“As a business person, I understand there are barriers to entry, but even for me it was hard,” Sayer said. “I learned a lot of lessons. Businesses are subjected to an enormous amount of permitting and construction design reviews with the city. It’s a whole different language. I felt like my little store was under the same amount of scrutiny as a developer building 100 units of apartments…”
LaSheita’s experience remains true to many other Denver small businesses, as the city’s permitting and review processes can take an exceedingly long time at the moment. Plan review submittal times can rack up a whopping three months minimum that only accounts for best-case scenarios. The city of Denver acknowledges this obstacle for Denver small business owners and construction companies and is trying its best efforts to address it. But while that process is being refined owners are left to find only the most experienced and knowledgable companies who can navigate those nuances. Design-build companies in particular can help with small business tenant finishes and construction. The ability to have beat on the pulse of a project in all phases of construction from pre-construction, design, all the way to finish construction – makes fewer gaps in the timeline which can make or break a small business venture.
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