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.
We have opened up a second round of applications for Lease It Local - Don't miss this chance to participate! We will review & accept applications on a rolling basis. Please note that funds are limited for this pilot program and we will begin the review process immediately—the sooner you complete the application process, the better.
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 business interested in opening a ground floor 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.
- Typical downtown retail rents in the target area range from $10 - $15 sq ft per year and most available spaces are between 750 - 2,000 sq ft
- 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 requirement will not exceed $1,700.
Phase 1: Application
A. Complete this pre-application online ASAP.
B. As soon as possible, schedule & complete a session at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) by calling 413-577-1768 and mention you are applying for the Lease It Local program.
Please note: You will not be considered for an interview until you complete at least 1 session with MSBDC advisors Samalid Hogan or Anita Eliasson. Bring any drafted business plan or financials with you to your meeting at the SBDC.
C. After meeting with the Small Business Development Center, submit your revised business plan to
You will then be contacted by DevelopSpringfield to confirm we’ve received your completed application & we will notify you of next steps.
Phase 2: Selection
- If you are selected for an interview with the selection committee, you will be contacted to schedule your time slot.
- 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.
Any questions? Feel free to reach out to
or call us at (413) 209-8808. Thank you for your interest and commitment to downtown Springfield!
Eligible geographic area - buildings highlighted in white
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