As part of LAMA’s mission to educate and connect local musicians to opportunities that can help build a sustainable music community here in Lexington, we would like to make sure everyone is aware of the following programs:
Back on Track is an asset for independence program provided through the United Way of the Bluegrass for low income people in and around Lexington. Its primary service is to provide an Individual Development Account or matched savings account where participants can save up to $1,000 of their own money and have that savings matched by a grant (NOT a loan) at a rate of 4 to 1. In other words, save $1,000 and get an additional $4,000 of FREE MONEY to use towards starting or expanding a small business. Here’s the part that we believe can be applicable to our local music community. Being an artist can and perhaps should be a business. Individual artists can be sole proprietors. Bands can be Limited Liability Corporations. There may be some of you that see business opportunities related to other aspects of the music business such as becoming a public relations company or a booking agency or an independent record label or a music video production company, etc. What could you do with $5,000? Would you record and manufacture an album? Buy new equipment and go out on the road touring? The entrepreneurial spirit in Lexington is boundless. What will you do with it?
Financial Fitness is a program where participants receive a comprehensive general financial education, which is one of the requirements for Back on Track. Participants utilize the FDIC’s Money Smart curriculum to learn about the importance of maintaining positive banking relationships, staying away from financial scams and other services like payday lenders, family budgeting and setting financial goals, maintaining good credit or fixing bad credit, etc. Financial Fitness is a program provided by Community Action Council to the public for FREE. Actually, participants receive a $70 incentive after they graduate.
Creating a Business Plan is an important step towards turning your music business idea into reality. The Kentucky Small Business Development Center provides FREE group classes and individual consultation (funded through the University of Kentucky) that can help you develop a financially sustainable business plan. Creating a business plan is also one of the requirements of completing the Back on Track program. Don’t just do it; do it right!