The Main Street Laurens Economic Enhancement Committee announced the semi-finalists for the Jump Start program on Friday, July 11. Three semi-finalists were chosen with the goal of awarding at least one, possibly two, Jump Start rental assistance grants in August.
The three semi-finalists are Donna Bishop of Mountville with DFB’s Cafe, Til Culbertson and Courtney Taylor Mims of Laurens with Yo’ Cup yogurt and coffee house, and Jan Jones of Waterloo with Buttoneyes Accessories. “We are excited about the possibilities with all three of these semi-finalists and what they can bring to the downtown.” said Jonathan Irick, Main Street Laurens Executive Director, “We look forward to working with these three potential winners over the next month and a half with the culmination being the awarding of the Jump Start assistance to at least one of the three.”
Main Street Laurens may award two business up to $2500 in rental assistance each. The award represents a rent supplement to be paid over a 6-12 month period to the property owner, based on the recipient’s compliance with certain criteria. The award will be a matching rental assistance up to 50% of the rent amount. Also, additional in-kind professional services will be provided by local businesses which could include, but not be limited to, accounting, legal, payroll, telephone/ internet, signage, office supplies, and advertising.
In the coming weeks, the three semi-finalists will meet with Gary Bailey of Love Bailey and Associates to discuss cash flow, start-up money and other financials. The semi-finalists will also develop a business/marketing plan and participate in a 10 minute pitch for their business to the Economic Enhancement Committee for MSL. John Young, chairman of the Economic Enhancement Committee explains, “The process of developing the plans and discussing financials is important to aid the committee in making the best decision. The purpose of the program is to help a business that will make an impact on the downtown area now and into the future.”
The winner(s) of the Jump Start program will be announced on Monday August 25, 2014. The goal is to have the businesses open by the weekend of Squealin’ on the Square, scheduled for October 3 & 4.
For more information about the Main Street Laurens Jump Start program, contact the Main Street Laurens office at (864) 984-2119 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Main Street Laurens office is located on the ground floor of the Historic Laurens County Courthouse located on the downtown square.