By MATT HOPFHerald-Whig Staff Writer
Golden Bridges, a startup company that was one of the recipients of a $10,000 prize through the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce's inaugural Business Plan Competition, is ready to accept clients.
Suzanne Ellerbrock, Susan Scholz and Nancy Waters will specialize in relocating seniors to other housing options, downsizing their households or helping them through other major life changes. They also can offer seniors counseling on housing options and physical labor, or help them move to a new location or dispose of unneeded personal belongings. The company will operate within a 100-mile radius of Quincy.
The chamber welcomed the business to its ranks during a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning.
Waters described the company as a "wedding planner for senior moving."
"We have been building relationships in the community so that we're ready to provide the services our clients need," she said. "We may not have an exact road map, because everyone has a different beginning point and a different end in mind, but we'll try to plot out the smoothest transition between those points."
Ellerbrook said more people are looking for senior moving services because people are increasingly busy and might not be able to devote all the time necessary to coordinate a senior move.
"We're here to alleviate some of that stress," she said.
To contact Golden Bridges, visit goldenbridges4you.com.
Two business plans were awarded prizes in the chamber's first Business Plan competition last year. An anonymous donor contributed an additional $10,000 to the chamber to award a second prize, which went to Gem City Coffee for its developing plan.
Ellerbrook said Golden Bridges used its prize money to help set up the business, including incorporating costs, marketing expenses and insurance fees, and to attend a professional conference held by the National Association of Senior Move Managers.
"We took that opportunity to go and learn more about senior move managers," she said. "We took classes on hoarding; we took classes on packing and classes on how to work with the family members."
The second Business Plan Competition, with a single $10,000 prize, is currently under way.
Chamber Executive Director Amy Looten said the contest is a way to provide the nudge needed to have someone work on a business plan.
"I think a lot of people are out there with really wonderful ideas rolling around in their heads," Looten said.
Participants who submit business plans to the chamber for the first round receive feedback from competition judges.
"So we hope that even though the people didn't win last year, maybe they took some of the judges' comments and made their business plan better," Looten said.
The chamber expects the winner of the year's competition to be announced in August.