June 16, 2009
RDU’s Small Business Program Receives Innovation Award
RDU Airport, NC – The Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) has awarded the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority its Airport Innovation Award. The airport received the award for its small and emerging business (SEB) assistance program, which offers small businesses in the airport's concession program additional access to financial resources. The award was presented to the Airport Authority at AMAC's annual conference, which was held June 6 – 9 in Baltimore, Md.
The program is designed to help small businesses compete and succeed in an airport environment. It was launched last summer to coincide with the opening of Terminal 2.
“RDU is committed to providing opportunities to minority-owned and small businesses,” said Shelby Moorman, the Airport Authority's small business program officer. “One of the biggest hurdles these businesses face when they enter an airport environment is access to capital. Through the SEB program, RDU can provide the necessary guarantee up to 80% of the loan as part of the underwriting process these companies need to cover capital development costs.”
RDU has committed $1.5 million to underwrite the program. First Citizens Bank of Raleigh, N.C., services the loans.
RDU decided to launch the program in anticipation of the opening of Terminal 2. Since 2000, RDU has contracted directly with prime concessionaires who then sublease to minority-owned and small businesses to provide dining, retail and personal care services. With the opening of the new terminal, RDU chose to contract directly with small businesses, in addition to prime concessionaires, to bring more product and service variety to the program.
Currently, two companies operating in Terminal 2 are participating in the SEB program. JQ Enterprises operates JQ's Corner Café, which is home to A&W All American Hamburgers, Bruegger's Bagels and KFC Express. The company, owned by Sheldon Poole, has operated at RDU since 2002, when it signed a sublease agreement with Anton Airfood, the airport's prime concessionaire for food.
“JQ Enterprises is a great example of what the SEB program and a small business can bring to RDU,” said Ingrid Hairston, RDU's business development officer. “Through the SEB program, the company has had the opportunity to operate independently through an agreement with RDU, and, as a result, grow its business.”
Airport Wireless, which operates Tech Showcase, also participates in the program. The partnership with Airport Wireless allows the airport to meet its goal of offering tech gadgetry to its customers.
JQ Enterprises and Airport Wireless have borrowed $745,000 as part of the SEB program. The remaining funds will be used to support small businesses that will open when phase two of Terminal 2 is completed in Winter 2011.
To learn more about the Airport Minority Advisory Council, please visit www.amac-org.com. Learn more about RDU’s SEB program.
Back to Press Releases
Back to Home Page