Springfield Offers Free Rent to Startup Downtown Businesses

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SPRINGFIELD - In an effort to fill empty commercial spaces, Downtown Springfield Inc. is holding a contest to give select, qualified entrepreneurs four months of free rent in prime downtown locations. 

Executive Director Victoria Ringer hopes the program, "Pop Up in Downtown", will give downtown business a boost, and would-be business owners, a chance of a lifetime.

"Other main streets had done this and so we thought, you know, copying is the best form of flattery," said Ringer. "We want someone to give this four months the best they've got, and do it during the holiday season, we have our holiday walks and a lot of street traffic, and if you think you're ready to go, sign a year lease with the landlord."

If your 'pop up' business is a success the city of Springfield steps in to sweeten the deal.

"After one year we will reimburse up to $10,000 of their first lease, assuming they're in good standing and they've paid their rent," said Mike Farmer, Director of Springfield's Economic Planning and Development office.

Farmer is excited to be a part of this landmark program.

"If you have a retail opportunity that you're thinking about launching or even want to just have a pilot program, here's a great opportunity to take advantage of that," said Farmer.

Downtown Springfield Inc. will be accepting applications for the contest through September 4th. For more information on the contest, and to enter your business idea follow this link:

www.downtownspringfield.org

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