Springfield "Lease It Local" Application

"Lease It Local" is a pilot program that provides small business owners with incentives to occupy vacant ground floor commercial units within a section of downtown Springfield. The goals of the program are to create opportunities for residents to lease space for their entrepreneurial ventures, encourage property owner reinvestment and enhance the overall vibrancy of downtown.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE
- To qualify, a business must be an independent operator (no franchises or chains).
- All industries, including artists, are welcome with an emphasis on uses that drive daily foot traffic.
- Established or early-stage business interested in opening a location in the downtown target area.
- Preferred applicants include Springfield residents and those who have completed formal training or mentoring with organizations such as Valley Venture Mentors, SPARK, the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC), SCORE, New England Business Associates (NEBA), Common Capital, Inc., The Latino Chamber, etc.

IMPORTANT DETAILS
- Rental subsidies are capped at 50% of the monthly lease rate negotiated with the landlord, or up to $500/month. The rental subsidies can be for as little as 3 months up to 12 months, with a total cap of $6,000 per business.
- Selected businesses are also eligible for grants covering up to 50% of professional services including marketing design & materials, business management, finance/accounting, legal and other similar consulting services completed during the same time period as the rental subsidy. Support for professional services is capped at $750 per business.
- Business owner and/or landlord are required to provide a 25% match of total grant amount in verifiable fit-out improvements, signage, professional services (architectural, legal, financial, marketing), permit fees, or other similar expenditures. Required match will not exceed $1,700.

THE PROCESS
Phase 1: Application
Application deadline: October 15th, 2017
- Complete this pre-application online
- Schedule & complete a session at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) by calling 413-577-1768. Be sure to mention you are applying for the Lease It Local program. Please note: Your application will be considered incomplete until you complete at least 1 session with MSBDC advisors Samalid Hogan or Anita Eliasson.
- If you do not already have a written business plan, please complete a lean canvas business model worksheet. You can find a version here you can customize: http://bit.ly/2vUv2xG Bring anything you have written with you to your meeting at the SBDC. Submit your revised business plan to leaseitlocal@developspringfield.com after meeting with the Small Business Development Center.

You will then be contacted by leaseitlocal@developspringfield.com to confirm we’ve received your completed application & will notify you of next steps.

Phase 2: Selection
- If you are selected for an interview with the selection committee, the interview will take place during the weeks of October 16th & October 23rd.
- If you are selected as a finalist, you will enter the property matchmaking & negotiating process.
- Upon a successful match and signed lease, you and/or the landlord can commence work to prepare the space for occupancy. We anticipate open dates could vary from December 2017 through April 2018 depending on the business & the landlord.

Phase 3: Launch
- Submit budget & financial projections to DevelopSpringfield
- Plan opening event
- Send DevelopSpringfield cancelled monthly rent check, DevelopSpringfield sends monthly rent subsidy to landlord
- Reimbursement for professional services- send receipt/invoice up to max of $750

Any questions? Feel free to reach out to leaseitlocal@developspringfield.com. Thank you for your interest and commitment to downtown Springfield!

Eligible geographic area
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