Denver is Paying People to Open Businesses in Downtown

  • Denver will select five businesses to open pop-up shops with services for $20,000 as well as free rentals.
  • This initiative is designed to bring back to life unused storefronts in the downtown area.
  • The so-called “retail apocalypse” began more than a decade ago.

Denver is paying businesses to open in unused retail locations as it seeks to revitalize its downtown area.

The city will choose five businesses to open pop-up shops with free rentals, as well as services for $20,000.

The initiative of the city’s Department of Economic Development and Opportunity and the Downtown Denver Partnership is designed to “activate dormant storefronts in Denver’s foremost commercial district,” Popup Denver They say On their website, noting that the area has more spaces than usual.

The Denver program comes as a struggle with the so-called “retail apocalypse” of some commercial districts in US cities that began more than a decade ago, following the 2008 financial crisis and a surge in e-commerce, came as a brick-and-mortar. The store was forced out. Close it

The closures continued during the pandemic, with even more Americans turning to online shopping as retailers and restaurants closed during waves of lockdown. Along with the coronavirus restrictions, retailers have also been hit by labor shortages and inflation, forcing them to limit their hours and raise their prices.

Investment bank UBS said it expects to close about 80,000 stores across the US between 2021 and 2026. Chains that have announced store closures include CVS, Gap, Banana Republic and Macy’s.

The Denver initiative is offering sites previously occupied by Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, TCF Bank, Aveda Saloon and Colorado chain Moe’s Broadway Bagel. Four of the sites are being offered as retail space, while one is being reserved for businesses that want to use the space for “art activation”.

The website says that five businesses participating in the pilot phase of the program will get storefronts on 16th Street Mall “at a significantly reduced cost” for at least three months. This means they will not pay basic rent and will only pay operating expenses such as utilities, common area maintenance and taxes.

The businesses will also receive $20,000 each in “interior design, setup, and merchandising support,” and will star in a marketing campaign by the Downtown Denver Partnership.

“This is a program designed to give them a runway for success,” said Sarah Wibenson, senior manager of economic development at the Downtown Denver Partnership. Fox 31, “And our ultimate goal is for the tenants who are selected for these spaces to actually convert into long-term lease-paying tenants for the participating property owners.”

Popup Denver says it will select businesses through a “competitive process” and is looking for businesses that will bring something new and unique to the district.

To be eligible, businesses must be at least 12 months old, registered with the state of Colorado, have less than 25 full-time equivalent employees, generate less than $2 million in annual gross revenue, and be “in good standing.” “There should be all tax officers.

Businesses must apply by 5 p.m. MST on March 4, and Popup Denver aims to have five locations open by June 1.

Department of Economic Development and Opportunity and the Downtown Denver Partnership Say If the pilot is successful they are “actively engaging” with property owners in the area to launch a phase-two program in July 2022.