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Empowering Entrepreneurs: The Downtown Ground Floor Growth Initiative

Downtown Columbus is on the brink of transformation, thanks to a groundbreaking initiative aimed at bolstering the presence of small, minority- and women-owned businesses. The Downtown Ground Floor Growth Initiative is set to invigorate the heart of Columbus, Ohio, by offering essential support to entrepreneurs seeking to establish themselves in this bustling city center.


Opening Doors for Entrepreneurs

The Downtown Ground Floor Growth Initiative is a visionary project with a singular goal: to boost small businesses, particularly those owned by minorities and women, looking to make their mark in Downtown Columbus. By creating an environment where businesses can flourish, the program aspires to foster economic diversity, encourage community engagement, and contribute to the overall vibrancy of the downtown area.





Key Benefits of the Initiative

This initiative provides a multifaceted support system for eligible businesses that include:

  1. Rental Support: One of this program's most significant aspects is its rental support. Small businesses will receive a rental subsidy for three years, structured as follows:

    • 50% of rental costs for the first year

    • 30% of rental costs for the second year

    • 10% of rental costs for the third year

  2. Tenant Improvement Funds: The initiative doesn't stop at rent subsidies. Businesses participating in the program can receive tenant improvement funds, not exceeding $40 per square foot. This financial boost can be a game-changer, enabling businesses to create attractive, functional spaces that draw in customers.

  3. Business Counseling: Success isn't just about financial support. The Downtown Ground Floor Growth Initiative recognizes the importance of mentorship and guidance. Participating businesses will receive ongoing business counseling to help them navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship, make informed decisions, and grow their enterprises sustainably.

Target Location

The initiative has defined a specific area for businesses to establish themselves. This includes spaces east of Front Street, west of North Fourth Street, south of Spring Street, and north of Broad Street. This strategic location places businesses in the heart of the action, ensuring they have access to the vibrant life of Downtown Columbus.


Expression of Interest: The First Step

To participate in the Downtown Ground Floor Growth Initiative, businesses are invited to submit an application that expresses interest. This application is just the initial step in the process. The goal is to gauge the level of interest and identify businesses that could be a good fit for the available spaces. After the review, selected applicants will be invited to discuss potential locations, program specifics, and other vital aspects of their business.


The Path Forward

Following this initial discussion, businesses that remain interested in participating will be required to complete a more comprehensive application. This second step ensures that businesses are committed to the process and meet the program's criteria. After successfully completing this stage, they will be well on their way to becoming a part of the thriving Downtown Columbus business community.


Empowering Columbus Entrepreneurs

The Downtown Ground Floor Growth Initiative clearly indicates Columbus's commitment to economic diversity and community development. By opening its doors to aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly those from underrepresented groups, the initiative is helping to reshape Downtown Columbus and making it a more inclusive, vibrant, and prosperous place for all. Through financial support, business counseling, and strategic location, the initiative is poised to empower the next generation of business leaders and revitalize the heart of Ohio's capital city.


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