Local Woman Wins $1 Million to Start a Business

Updated: 09/11/2013 6:24 AM KSTP.com By: Todd Wilson

One innovative idea, one dream, one goal leads to a million dollar pay day.

Tracy sides won the Saint Paul Foundation's "Forever Saint Paul Challenge." She answered the question:  "what would you do with one million dollars to make Saint Paul great?"

On Tuesday, she showed KSTP around the run down building that will be the home to her new business, Urban Oasis.

"It's 36,000 square feet total. Four floors of about 9,000 square feet on each floor. And there's an elevator shaft that goes all the way to the roof," Sides said.

Urban Oasis is all about promoting and handling locally produced food. Sides is looking to put a food hub and nature themed event center in the building.

Now it's time to set up her business.

"In the short term some needed planning for figuring out how the food hub is going to work and what our business plan is," she said.

Financial expert  Nicole Middendorf says, looking at the big picture, $1 million is not a lot of money. She says spending wisely is most important.

"Of my million dollars let me get some estimates from different vendors of what I'm going to need allocate towards marketing costs and start up costs, If you need computers," Middendorf said. 

And any business owner should have 6 to 12 months income set aside for emergencies. plus having a good team of people working with her especially a banker. Sides says, that is exactly what she plans to do, work with a team. but for now she wants to relish a dream come true.