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Kent County News Briefs Small Business Start Up

DDP offers pop-up store opportunity

Katie Tabeling

The Downtown Dover Partnership is offering a rising start-up the chance to lease a storefront on Loockerman Street. | PHOTO COURTSEY OF DDP

DOVER — As retailers brace for holiday shoppers, the Downtown Dover Partnership is offering a short-term option for start ups to test the market.

The DDP is offering a ready-to-go business owner the opportunity to lease 400 square feet of space at 136 W. Loockerman Street until Dec. 31. The location is the former Brooks Men Salon in Downtown Dover. The short-term lease is $200 from Dec. 12 to Dec. 31, and includes internet, electric and water utilities. 

Additional costs may also apply, including a $1,500 security deposit and business insurance policy. The security deposit will be returned when the short-term lease is over, pending condition.

DDP Executive Director Diane Laird said that when she worked for the Division of Small Business, she found the short-term commitment of a pop-up venue a success for business owners to test the market.

“About 75% of them took long term leases, and some even ‘birthed’ additional businesses as a result of their positive initial pop up experience,” Laird said. “The DDP recently purchased this space and since it is available until we secure the long term   tenant, we wanted to take advantage of the perfect time of year to support a retailer.

Interested, active business owners should be prepared to complete an on-line application, in which they will be required to provide a brief summary of the business, description of products to be sold, and commit to being able to open for business by December 15. Businesses are also required to be  operational at least four days a week, five hours a day. 

“Qualified applicants are successful, established business owners, some of whom may be considering expanding into brick and mortar locations,”  Laird said. “The ideal retailer will be ready to merchandise [in this space] and sell items suitable for last minute gift shoppers, including pre-packaged food and beverage items that require no on-site preparation.”

For details and to be considered for this quick turnaround program, the application may be accessed at: https://tinyurl.com/LastMinuteShoppersPopUp 

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