The Flagstaff City Council adopted a few new programs to help the businesses in Flagstaff during the summer of 2020. This is a celebration of two of the programs and the two Flagstaff businesses on their way to growing in Flagstaff, making the world a better place with a little encouragement from two new small business assistance programs from the City of Flagstaff.
The programs are the Innovate Waste/Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Challenge and the Business Retention and Expansion Incentive. The Innovate Waste/PPE Challenge 2020 is the second year of the challenge that invited entrepreneurs to examine the materials going into the City of Flagstaff landfill, and to then divert some material by converting that material into a product or service that would also launch a new company. When the world got to know COVID-19, the challenge was expanded to invite entrepreneurs to consider a PPE element as well.
A year ago, Bee Well did not exist. Alex Kaufman and Dan Dunn were friends working at a local coffee shop/restaurant. They both had been in Flagstaff for years. Kaufman has been a coach at Flag High, worked at OVRLND, and generally spent time helping people to be their best and to be outside. When Kaufman and Dunn were let go as the coffee shop, like so many other businesses in March and April of 2020, shut down or drastically reduced their employees, they wondered what to do next. As the tragic stories of death were heard every day and in growing numbers, particularly in the Navajo and Hopi populations, Kaufman and Dunn were driven to positively impact those who were without critical infrastructure like running water. As the world learned that washing hands should be done very regularly to stop the spread of COVID-19, what were those families without running water to do? With a background in biology and chemistry and having secured a barrel of isopropyl alcohol, the idea became clear: hand sanitizer.
The Bee Well handmade hand sanitizer kills viruses by using 70% isopropyl alcohol by volume, purified water, and organic vegetable glycerin, hydrogen peroxide, organic geranium and eucalyptus oils, without the strong aroma of alcohol. Their hand sanitizer is great for use where access to soap and water is limited. Bee Well connected with Moonshot@NACET and moved into the facility in July and has been growing ever since. In December, Kaufman and Dunn participated in Moonshot@NACET’s Makers & Shakers Week, which also included the competitive pitch event known as the Innovate Waste/PPE Challenge. Bee Well has been awarded $5,000 in business development funds, which will be used to purchase equipment such as a label machine to streamline the most time-consuming part of their operations: labeling bottles. A testament to its mission, Bee Well has donated more than 1,000 bottles of its products to schools, hospitals, frontlines workers and shelters, so people who don’t have running water can have hand sanitizer. Find Bee Well products around Flagstaff or go to the website https://beewell.care/ today.
The Business Retention and Expansion Incentive is a competitive grant that assists small businesses in staying and growing in Flagstaff. The first round accepted applications between July 1 and Aug. 31, 2020. CozyHome, operating in Flagstaff since 2012, is being awarded!
CozyHome is a licensed contractor in Flagstaff that does energy audits to help homeowners and businesses lower their energy costs. As the landing page of the website states, “CozyHome’s $99 energy audit will show you why your energy bills are so high.” Auditors come to your home or business and identify ways to bring energy costs down. Growing up in Southern Arizona with a dad who was a general contractor, Eli Chamberlain has been around construction more than most, and after coming to Northern Arizona University to study forestry, he found construction calling him once again as he was drawn to the science of building and to design that helps the environment. In 2012, Chamberlain founded CozyHome. Energy audits are a big part of the business but even more so is converting homes and buildings into more efficient spaces. Many people think to replace windows, but Chamberlain has found that often, replacing windows does not provide the greatest return on those investment dollars for the homeowner. Addressing leaks in a home or replacing insulation give a greater return on investment, as homeowners like to see. One element of the business that sets Chamberlain apart is the incorporation of phase change materials, which serve as an energy bank of sorts to minimize large temperature swings in homes, with less external energy required.
What is phase change material (PCM)? Any material that can go back and forth from a solid to a liquid and back may be used as a phase change material. Waxes, for instance, have different melting points. When the temperature is relatively low, the wax is solid. When the temperature is high, the wax melts and changes phases from solid to liquid. The changes release a tremendous amount of energy, which can be stored and released, depending upon the temperature. Then, imagine a material that could store energy (heat) during the day but then could release that energy at night, minimizing the temperature fluctuations in your home. This technology may be used in any structure and could be a valuable tool to fight climate change.
The Business Retention and Expansion Incentive will allow Chamberlain to roll out a pilot program to retrofit homes and businesses with Phase Change Materials. The roll-out will also mean hiring and training people to use these PCM. With people trained and installing PCMs, Chamberlain will be able to grow the use of PCMs throughout the region, fighting climate change one house at a time. Learn more at http://cozyhomeaz.com/.
Running a business is tough and not every business stands the test of time. Bee Well and CozyHome are the results of passion, opportunity and more work than most can imagine. Both businesses competed in small business assistance programs delivered by the Flagstaff City Council.
Both businesses are being awarded for their innovation and perseverance to make the world a better place.
Congratulations to Bee Well and to CozyHome! FBN
By John Saltonstall
John Saltonstall is the business retention and expansion manager for the City of Flagstaff.