Main Street Challenge program encourages new businesses to open

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Envision Williamston, in partnership with Town of Williamston has reopened the Main Street Challenge New Business Program. The Main Street Challenge is an entrepreneurial start-up competition for the purpose of generating additional retail occupancy in downtown Williamston.
The Main Street Challenge offers an incentive package up to $5,000 for a new retail business or restaurant to locate in downtown Williamston no later than October 30, 2022.
Depending on applicants, there will be one award of $5,000 or two awards of $2,500.
Main Street Challenge applications are due March 15.

Program Overview
The incentive package is for a new retail business or restaurant to locate in downtown Williamston no later than October 30, 2022.
The purpose is to foster economic development by encouraging additional retail occupancy in downtown Williamston, At the same time, it provides a mean by which local area or reginal merchants can advance their desire to expand or open a new business in the area.
Business concepts can be a New start Up Business; Franchise; Expansion or relocation of an existing business from another community or a significant expansion of a local business that would branch into another business concept.

The Williamston Main Street Challenge has several goals including:
• Innovatively recruit new businesses that will diversify the mix of offerings in Williamston.
• Showcase and market existing available properties in the downtown area.
• Provide entrepreneurial businesses with financial assistance to launch their concepts.
• Create positive buzz about Downtown Williamston
• Drive consumer traffic to Williamston’s Downtown Historic Corridor
• Create opportunities for new long-term property leases in Downtown Williamston
• Generate ideas, leads, and insights to aid efforts to support job creation and revenue
growth.

The awards are designed to help defray the start-up costs of opening a business in the Town of Williamston.
Winners who are leasing properties from participating property owners will be obligated to execute a minimum three year lease for a street level retain/service/ office location in downtown Williamston.

If the applicant is a current downtown business owner, application must be with the intent to introduce, open and operate a concept which will offer a new element not promoted in the existing location, or expand upon and highlight and element that would be removed from the existing location.

The applicant must be willing and able to demonstrate the financial ability to commit to a minimum three year lease or otherwise long-term business occupancy in downtown Williamston, in a property pre-qualified and selected for this competition, or one within the designated boundaries.

Envision Williamston and The Town of Williamston seek to consider support to any viable business entering the competition whether or not that business wins the Williamston Main Street Challenge. All entrants with feasible business plans can be contacted with information about available property in Downtown Williamston.

Proposed Timeline:
March 15, 2022- Applications are due.
March 30, 2022 – Semi Finalists are selected by the Selection Committee.
May 31, 2022 – Semi Finalists business plans are due.
June 15, 2022 – Finalists provide their presentations and are interviewed by the Selection
Committee.
July 15, 2022 – The Main Event public pitch to the Selection Committee, EW Board and/or
Studio audience.
July 31, 2022 – Winner(s) publicly announced.
October 30, 2022 – Business Opened (Or before

Envision Williamston has also reopened the Façade Grant Program which is designed to stimulate a limited number of additional improvements to the exterior of commercial buildings within the Town of Williamston.
Facade Grant applications must be turned in to the Envision Williamston’s drop box at Town
Hall between by April 30.
For information on either program, contact Envision Williamston Director Roberta Hamby at EWBoardMembers@gmail.com or by scheduled appointment at the Envision Williamston Town Hall office at (864) 847-7473.