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Retail Contest Hopes to Spur Monmouth Development

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 285

Some vacant retail space in Monmouth may soon have new tenants.

The Shops of Monmouth Retail Business Competition will be looking to assist entrepreneurs to open a location in the City’s downtown.

Monmouth has used a building grant fund to renovate 16 of their existing downtown structures and according to Community Development Director Paul Schuytema, there is still work to be done.

Prize money, commercial free rent, and professional advisors are among the awards. A workshop will also be held to teach entrepreneurs the basics of pricing and financial statements.

Schuytema tells WGIL some area residents probably already have great ideas.

“There’s a lot of work to go from great idea to putting the open sign on your store and having the confidence that your business is going to make you money and what we want to really do is to at least infuse at least the starting level of knowledge,” says Schuytema.

Even with building renovations, several retail spaces have remained unfilled – something Schuytema says signifies the City of Monmouth needs to increase efforts improving the downtown.

Sponsors helped raise the funds to conduct the program throughout June and July.

Schuytema says there will be a judging component in the program that includes both a business plan and making a pitch.