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What's up at @ 150 Pop?


New DDA program encourages startups in downtown Imlay City



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Artists Chafin McKeehan of Washington Twp. and Eryn Gartley of Attica prep canvases for their creations at @150 Pop on Bancroft St. photo by Catherine Minolli.
August 09, 2017
IMLAY CITY — New businesses looking to grow some roots in the community have an opportunity to do just that through a new program created by the Downtown Development Authority.

Called '@150 Pop,' the DDA has created an incubator at their building located at 150 Bancroft Street downtown.

The space will be open to entrepreneurs, artists, event organizers and the like for limited time periods of up to six months rent free.

The 'Pop-Up' business allows the start-up to test their business in the location, without the burdens of a year-long lease.

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"It creates the opportunity to make money, make adjustments, and prove to financiers and landlords that a business can succeed," Dana Walker. "Building owners within the DDA district benefit from getting a prospective long-term tenant."

Walker says applicants with strong business plans and long-term goals are welcome to apply. Participants will be asked to tender a minimal security deposit, and will be responsible for utility payment at the end of the lease period.

"The DDA would love to be able to help a new business get started in our downtown and stay in our downtown," she says. "The mentor portion of the program will help a starter business gain expertise from an experienced entrepreneur."

The objective, Walker adds, is to match the new business with property owners who have vacancies in the downtown district so that the business remains in Imlay City

once the Pop Up period expires.

To illustrate the concept, this week's 'Downtown Art in Action' initiative creates a 'Pop Up' art studio at 150 Bancroft. Six local artists are using the space to create public artwork that will be posted around the DDA district. The initiative runs through September 1.

Walker says the @ 150 Pop concept would then allow an artist or artists' association to take over the space and create an art gallery for one to six months immediately following, for example.

Applications for @ 150 Pop entrepreneurs are available at the Imlay City offices, 150 N. Main Street, and online at www.icdda.com.

Walker says the DDA Board of Directors will review applications on a continuous basis, with the first review planned for September 11 at the regular board meeting.

For more information on @ 150 Pop and other programs and incentives offered by the Imlay City DDA, contact Walker at 810-724-2135 or via email to dwalker@imlaycity.org. More information available online at www.icdda.com.

Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.
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