Brookings, SD is off to a great start doing just that. Their city council just passed the Retail Acceleration Grant Program. It is right now a one time shot at obtaining a portion of the funds for 1/2 of your costs to begin a business. They will conduct sustainability evaluations and monitor it very closely. But they have approved it and are beginning! The Grant begins:
Mission/Background: The City of Brookings recognizes both its proximity to the region’s largest shopping destination as well the dramatic shifts in the retail marketplace minimize its ability to to attract traditional “big box retail”. Therefore, the City wishes to leverage its existing niche position as a university community and home to high quality, unique tourism attractions and events, and focus on building a robust speciality retail and entertainment district in order to build its economic and amenity base. This proposed program augments the current retail development strategy.
II. Purpose: The purpose of the Brookings’ Retail Acceleration Grant Competition is to attract
new retail and entertainment concepts to the Central Business District (CBD) and attract dedicated entrepreneurs to the available spaces in the CBD;; particularly in the following categories.
A. Children/family retail
B. General gifts and novelties
C. Lifestyle and wellness retail
D. Local and global artisans
E. Sustainable food and microbrewing
Doesn’t this just make you want to put on your thinking cap and figure out how you could do this too? My hat is whirring ….
Our thanks to David Merhab of the Brookings Chamber of Commerce for sharing this wonderful news. Reach out to David at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions. And hey, share your answers with us here!