The Edmonton Downtown Business Association is working with partners including Avison Young, the University of Alberta, the city and province to support business growth, retail and dining in the core.
On Monday, the DBA announced three programs: the Downtown Retail Project, the Downtown Patio Grant and Business Adaptation and Revitalization.
The programs include a total of $1.8 million in funding for downtown businesses.
Downtown Retail Project
Applications are open for this program that will help remove barriers and reduce risk for opening physical storefronts in the downtown core.
Up to six retailers will receive up to $250,000 each to help offset the costs of building out a new downtown location.
Businesses will also receive three months’ free rent, marketing and other operational supports once stores are up and running.
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It’s a partnership with commercial real estate advisor Avison Young, which will lead site selections, lease negotiations, permitting, store design and builds for six successful applicants. Avison Young will also help retailers retain tenants and landlords.
“When we talk about downtown vibrancy, high retail vacancy and a lack of shopping options are among the most frequently brought up frustrations from downtown residents, visitors, workers, and business owners,” DBA executive director Puneeta McBryan said.
“We’re committed to help bring back a much-needed fresh and diverse retail mix to downtown Edmonton and support business owners who see the potential of our downtown by removing some of the high start-up costs and financial risk, which are often a barrier to entry.”
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The provincial government provided funding through the Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Northern Development. The City of Edmonton will also provide funding through the provincial government allocation towards downtown vibrancy efforts.
“We are proud to support this creative initiative led by the Edmonton Downtown Business Association that will attract more retailers to Edmonton’s downtown core and ensure it continues to thrive as the economic and cultural heart of the city,” UCP Minister Brian Jean said.
Interested businesses and property managers can read more about the project and apply online. Applications are due May 31 and applicants will be chosen June 15.
Downtown Patio Grant
Restaurants, bars and cafes within the DBA borders can apply for this grant.
Up to $5,000 is available per business, per