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Entrepreneurial spirit flourishes at Loomis Grammar

By: Staff Report
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Success or failure was the question at the forefront of Loomis Grammar School seventh-graders’ minds as they opened for business on Enterprise Day. The students were recent graduates of Loomis Grammar teachers Melissa McCormick’s and Kristine Sohrakoff’s school of business. Their students had spent many long hours mastering accounting methodology that included how to calculate simple and compound interest, profit, retail prices, wholesale costs, mark-ups and discounts. The children explored the buying behaviors of 5- to 14-year-olds, who were their targeted clientele. The young executives then went on to research, design, and manufacture a product that they hoped would produce a 100 percent return on their initial investment. They secured personal loans for their opening capital investment. Psychological analysis, applied to their targeted group, was used to outline their advertising strategies, as well as their storefront designs. On Enterprise Day, held on Dec. 8, students lined the sidewalk when the doors opened at 9 a.m. Sohrakoff said it was a “blue and gold Thursday that rivaled the crowds of any Black Friday.” Loomis students and their parents were greeted by the bright storefronts – some hosting twinkling lights, Christmas tree-shaped displays, a 5-foot turtle, and a wide variety of homemade crafts to buy. According to Sohrakoff, the hottest items where brightly painted marshmallow guns, duct-tape wallets and jewelry. Most student stores had sold out of their products by 10:30 a.m., but the students’ work continued. They had to complete their account records where sales were tallied, wholesale costs tabulated, and accounts balanced. This year’s top income earners were business partners Joshua Benvenuto and Erik Henrikson, who showed a 13,720 percent profit. A corporation formed by Dylan Cox and Ian Pigott procured the second-highest profits of 6,900 percent. Gabriel Nelson and Ryan Chambers secured the largest gross profits of $160.57. Special recognition goes to a company composed of Tiffany Holmes, Sydney McBroom, and Micaela Serrano-Somavia, who were able to obtain a 5,080 percent return on their investment capital. Although Enterprise Day was a big success with many lessons learned and put to real world use, Sohrakoff said one group learned a more difficult financial lesson. Their expenses were larger than their income and they had to declare bankruptcy when they could not repay their business loans. “This is a hard lesson that, unfortunately, affects many of today’s shopkeepers and small businesses today,” she said. She said that not only had the Loomis School’s seventh-graders earned their “business school diplomas,” but they also donated $1,381 of their combined profits to the school’s Seventh Grade Endowment fund. Currently, these funds, supported by a grant provided by Rotary Club of Rocklin/Loomis Basin, are being used to refurbish a storage unit donated by Sgt. Major Lamb to house the drama’s department’s props, costumes, and sound and production equipment.