An entrepreneur in North Bay has a chance to get free rent in the downtown. It’s part of a promotion launched by the Downtown Improvement Area. DIA executive director Jeff Serran says the group has launched the Win This Space promotion in an effort to help fill empty store fronts. The person with the best business plan is selected from a group of 10 competitors and the winner gets up to $15,000 in free rent which works out to a 12 month lease. “This is a win-win for everyone,” says Serran. “It gives a person a chance to get their business off the ground without the worry of having a lease for the first year plus it adds one more business to our downtown.”
The idea for Win This Space came while local DIA officials were at an Ontario Business Improvement Area Association conference. While there, the locals learned what Peterborough and London were doing to attract businesses to their respective downtowns. It was the Win This Space promotion and when the locals brought the idea back home, everyone got on board. Between now and May 15th, entrepreneurs are asked to produce a video ranging in length from one to three minutes outlining their business idea. Judges will select the 10 best ideas and then this group gets professional help to fully develop their business plans. In August, one person from the group will be declared a winner and the goal is to have that person operating a business in the downtown by October. For information on how to enter go to www.winthisspacedowntown.com On Thursday the Win This Space story continues with Part 2.