Photo Courtesy of Imani Murray/RWCNYC
Smooth Pops founderMovitzsa Simmons and son.
By Forum Staff
Three borough small business owners took home large cash prizes on Thursday after earning first-place nods at the Queens Economic Development Corporation’s annual StartUP! Business Plan Competition at Resorts World Casino New York City.
Impact Fashion, Smooth Pops, and Paragon Real Estate Technologies emerged victorious from a pool of nine contestants, with each receiving $10,000 checks to further pursue their winning business plans.
The competition, sponsored by the South Ozone Park casino in coordination with QEDC, equips borough-based small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with business education, mentoring and access to capital and skills development.
According to RWCNYC, Impact Fashion is a fashion line designed to provide outfits for special occasions for Orthodox Jewish women. The clothes adhere to the modesty requirements of the Orthodox Jewish faith, and 10 percent of profits go to charities that provide services to women in the Orthodox Jewish community. Impact Fashion was started in November 2016 by Rebecca Deutsch-Itzkowitz because she said she saw a real need for modest special-occasion wear in the Orthodox community.
Smooth Pops is an ice-pop business that was started by a mother who didn’t want to serve her toddler dye-laden ice treats, so she created an all-natural version blended with actual fruit pieces and packaged in old-school freezer pop tubes. Movitzsa Simmons, the company’s founder, indicated that she plans to launch in stores this summer.
And Paragon Real Estate Technologies, according to QEDC, allows building managers to post needed repairs, and receive bids from qualified contractors, online. Thus far, the company has been able to process $16.1M in bids and award more than $250,000 in contracts.