City of Spartanburg to subsidize downtown rents

The city of Spartanburg is launching a competition for businesses to battle for rent subsidies and fill vacant storefronts on Main Street.

Starting in January, the Main Street Challenge will help three entrepreneurs open new businesses next year by providing a cash incentive of $12,000, or $1,000 each month for the first 12 months, to be used as rent assistance in a downtown location pre-identified by the city and participating property owners.

The winners must agree to sign a three-year lease for occupancy with the property owner, who will provide a street-level storefront space on Main Street.

Details on applying have not been released. After the Main Street Challenge launches in January, a competition committee will review applications throughout the spring, narrowing the entries to 12 semifinalists and then to six finalists. Semifinalists will present detailed business plans to the selection committee, of which three will be chosen winners.

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