3 Reasons Mom & Pop Businesses Are Still Cool

Mom + Pop’s are the bootstrapped businesses that have made it work for generations across all cities including Nashville. They are not closing their latest round of funding, launching a hot new app, or building a new AI device instead they are ensuring the buildings you walk in each day are safe, you have proper lights to see and a clean place to conduct your affairs. Just the little (big) stuff. They are the ones behind the scenes making the IT in Music City happen. They are the firms laying the bricks for those new condos and high rises, they are running the electric, ensuring we can communicate and protecting assets when the rest of us are sleeping. They are the backbone of Nashville economy and a mainstay in NBIC’s portfolio of businesses. They are why we do what we do.

When NBIC started in 1986, small business and entrepreneurship wasn’t a “cool” term or one that people were running out in droves to do.  When you look back for a while, big box retailers and Fortune 500 companies seemed to be the dominant players. However, mom and pop’s have always played a major role and are making a comeback according to Forbes, by generating over 50% of the US Gross National Product (GNP).  As Nashville continues to grow, we wanted to share a few reasons why mom and pop’s are still endearing and a critical part of the city’s make up.  

  1. A Personal Experience. When you think of your local small businesses, store front or restaurant, there is probably a favorite person you enjoy seeing when you visit or that one person that knows exactly what you need when you walk in the door. You can’t beat a personal relationship or business where everyone knows your name.
  2. Real-time Response. Online shopping is great and of course has it’s place, however there is nothing like being able to touch and feel the products, food, apparel, etc. you are looking to buy. Plus, the ability to ask questions directly to the people who are supplying the goods and services is priceless.
  3. Local Economy Driver. Small businesses are still the backbone of Nashville and other cities. They employ the youth to retired veteran and help cultivate community each day. According to News Channel 5 via Paychex, one of the nations largest payroll providers, Tennessee ranked number one in the nation in small business employment with a 1.2 percent growth last year.

We’re Official & A Big Thank You!

Last Tuesday, NBIC revealed it’s new home in Germantown. It was so great to see our partners, sponsors, graduates, clients and friends come together to celebrate our new center space. Thank you for always being the support NBIC continually needs to help fulfill our mission of growing businesses “from tiny acorns to might oaks”.

Our new center move will allow us to focus on helping “mom and pop” businesses grow by meeting them where they are. Through our new co-working space addition, dedicated desks, and workshop series we will be able to address barriers encountered by women, minority, and veteran firms.

Also, a special thanks to the Nashville Chamber for presenting the ribbon cutting. We are especially thankful for two of our Alumni, Brenda Odom of U-Kno Catering and Emanuel Roland of Roland’s Photography for their generous donations.  Ms. Odom provided all of the delectable appetizers and homemade tea (that should be bottled and sold, asap). While Mr. Roland brought out The Roland Experience and allowed guests to take a tour of his mobile headshot experience. Additionally, thanks to Kirbee Miller of Kinimi Kitchen for providing her famous Cajun Pop Popcorn.

See event gallery for a complete look back:



We Have A New Center Home In Germantown!

Over the last 31 years we have helped build sustainable businesses you have grown to love in Nashville and beyond. Now, we are excited to announce our own move forward with a new center space in Germantown. Check out a highlight of all the  great new additions we have in store for our program and entrepreneur offerings. Then, make sure to attend our Ribbon Cutting + Open House on Tuesday, March 13th.


We are now located in the BowTruss Building (aka the brick building with the redpepper sign at the corner of 3rd & Jefferson).

Our new home:

1009 3rd Ave. N., Suite 100

Nashville, TN 37201

Parking Map


With a fresh new space, of course comes new offerings and we are excited to announce we will now be offering co-working. Come by for a tour, check out our new digs and see if you want to call our space your business home, away from home.


Not ready to commit to The NBIC Incubator Program….no worries, you can now have a dedicated desk in our center to help grow your business while surrounding yourself with other like-minded entrepreneurs.


We will begin providing more series open to the public that allow you to learn how to grow your focused on specific industry niches. To kick-off this series, we will hold the Digital Studio Series presented by Happy Balance Digital. Purchase your tickets here.

Also, if you feel you would be an ideal partner to help craft our next workshop series, email nbic@nbiconline.com in order for us to connect and collaborate.


Each year a select group of entrepreneurs complete the NBIC’s long-standing incubator program by scaling their business to $1 million+ and/or employ 5 or more.  We celebrated and honored their accomplishments on Thursday, January 25, 2018, along with other community supporters and leaders who believe in our mission.


Crystal De Luna Bogan & Joseph Bogan – The Grilled Cheeserie

John Curry – John Curry Electric

Reggie Polk – Polk Construction

Michael Weiss – MedForward

Chairman’s Award – Bryce Adkins

Mighty Oaks Leadership Award – Charlotte Peacock

Collaborator of the Year – University of TN, Procurement Technical Assistance Center (UTPTAC)

Keynote Speaker – Derek Young, YMG Enterprises (NBIC Past Graduate)

Check out the highlights below:



NBIC alumni/CEO’S from, Slim & Husky, Grilled Cheeserie & Move-On, joined us at Redpepper to talk about how they maneuver the social media game in this new age of selfies, memes, and gifs. These entrepreneurs shared key gems you can implement today.


1.KEEP IT REAL says Slim & Husky’s

The fellas over at Slim & Husky’s focus on sharing posts that speak to them, their pizza loving community and “I love the 90’s” brand. They have a posting model that focuses on 3 categories: shots of their pizza and shop, their customers and their community including candids with the latest celebrities that have to make a pizza run when they are in town. By focusing on category visuals they naturally connect with on a daily basis, they never have a shortage of images or words to share. I guess that’s why they were able to grow an Instagram following alone over 13,000 in less than a year.

2. KEEP IT CONSISTENT says The Grilled Cheeserie

Chef and co-founder, Crystal is actually the woman behind The Grilled Cheeserie’s social media. She likes to connect with her customers and has a clear schedule on what, when and where she posts each week. She shared that being consistent really helped Nashville’s beloved food truck grow their following even before they officially launched. Prior to launching, they would always post on Twitter the upcoming location they would be for the day so customers would know how to find them. As Crystal stated, if we didn’t post or were not at the location referenced we knew that could deter people and we always wanted to ensure our customers could trust us. Well, 40,000 Twitter followers later, I would say mission accomplished.

3. KEEP IT MOVING says Move On

From wearing fur to fun memes, Bryce, the founder of Move On, is constantly trying to figure out how to make the pain of moving a little more fun. With a traditional, not so glam brand being able to test and try out new things is imperative to figuring out what works for your social media channels.