EASLEY — The City of Easley kicked off its second Main Street Challenge Program earlier this month and now waits for the entries to arrive by the first-round deadline of Aug. 18.
The Main Street Challenge is both an entrepreneurial competition and a business opportunity in downtown Easley that was created to generate additional retail occupancy in downtown Easley, provide a way for entrepreneurs to expand or relocate an existing business, and give the chance launch a new business.
Main Street Challenge concept submission forms must be complete and submitted by the end of the business day Aug. 18.
The Main Street Challenge committee will select winning entries to receive up to $1,000 in financial assistance for 12 consecutive months. The award represents a potentially forgivable loan based on the recipient’s compliance with certain criteria.
The payment acts as an incentive for business owners to put toward rent and start-up costs. Winning applicants are required to open their business in a downtown location by May 1, 2017.
Eligible business concepts include new start-up businesses, an expansion or relocation of an existing, and a significant expansion of an existing local business that would add an additional business concept.
The City of Easley has several goals associated with the Main Street Challenge including the recruitment of new business to diversify and enhance the existing downtown Easley Community of businesses with financial support and to increase traffic to the downtown area.
The Main Street Challenge timeline is:
• Aug. 18: Concept submission due
• Oct. 6: Semi-finalists submit business plan
• Oct. 20: Finalists pitch to business committee
• Nov. 3: Winners announced
• May 1, 2017: Business open
Visit the City of Easley website (www.cityofeasley.com) under Community Development for the official 2016 Main Street Challenge guidelines, rules and application. Printed applications can be collected at Easley City Hall, 205 N. First St., Easley, SC 29641.