Small Business

Calvin Payne, 44, stands in his newly leased space for CQ Custom Designs in the Grove neighborhood.  11/18/16
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Weaving between an ensemble of printers and T-shirt presses kept in the back of a tattoo parlor, Calvin Payne fills custom orders from all over the country.

“These shirts are going to Tupelo, Mississippi. And those other shirts are going to Millington, Tennessee,” Payne said, pointing to packages sitting on the counter. “I do a lot of breast cancer awareness shirts… and these are my favorite, because I know that they go for a good cause.”

Payne started his printing business while working as a server at Sweetie Pie’s restaurant in the Grove neighborhood, buying equipment with his savings and learning how to use it with tutorials on YouTube. This month, the 44-year-old entrepreneur is moving CQ Custom Designs into his own storefront for the first time.

Alderman Scott Ogilvie, D-24th Ward, is also on board with the business licensing streamline effort.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Small business owners in St. Louis who work exclusively out of their homes will get some relief from regulations under a measure expected to pass the Board of Aldermen on Friday.

The Fashions R Boutique was one of 13 businesses in Dellwood that burned down during Monday's riots following the announcement of the Darren Wilson grand jury decision.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

 

Echoing the mayor of neighboring city Ferguson, the mayor of Dellwood is adding his voice to the criticism of Gov. Jay Nixon and demanding answers in the aftermath of Monday's riots.

Mayor Reggie Jones said Dellwood was promised its business district would be protected by National Guard troopers, but he said "they failed to arrive."

While Ferguson has "gotten more attention," Jones said, his city saw the most damage and he wants to make sure his city also gets the resources it needs to recover. 

(Courtesy Square Inc.)

One of the hurdles small businesses face is the potential loss of a sale if they don't have the infrastructure in place to accept credit card and debit card payments.

St. Louis native Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square Inc., a mobile payments device company, makes that hurdle easier to jump but he says the company has more to offer than concrete tools of the trade.

(via Flickr/pasa47)

The owner of Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis was one of 15 small business owners who met with President Obama today.

Lew Prince is a member of Business for Shared Prosperity, an organization that is pushing Congress to end the Bush-era tax cuts for the top two percent.

Prince says the meeting at the White House this afternoon was unusual because no one was asking for anything for themselves.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

The Third Degree Glass Factory is loaded this weekend with everything from quirky t-shirts to handmade jewelry.

Jessi Cerutti is an organizer for the Rock n’ Roll Craft Show and stands in the back of the room while a band tunes up before serenading shoppers. 

She says they felt the impact of the sluggish economy for a couple of years, but attendance for the annual event, now in its ninth year, has steadily grown.   

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 1:10 p.m.  March 22, 2011 with comment from Nixon.

Missouri is receiving $27 million in federal money to boost small business growth and job creation.

The State Small Business Credit Initiative supports state-level, small business lending programs and is part of the Small Business Jobs Act signed by President Obama last fall.