Free Rent To Attract Business Owners - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Free Rent To Attract Business Owners

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"If we don't have foot traffic, we don't have a chance," said Diane Baker.  "We have empty storefronts that doesn't present a very good appearance for people coming into town.

For 15 years Diane Baker has owned Eagles Rest Antiques and Uniques.  She's seen a drastic drop in business and she's struggling to keep her doors open. Baker believes that filling those storefronts would give downtown bellevue a more inviting appearance to customers. "More foot traffic leads to more people talking about the town. More people coming to town, more people enjoying the town," said Baker.  " It means people relocating here. Opening their own business here."

Deanna Cook with the local Chamber of Commerce says they have found a unique incentive to make that happen by offering free rent to new business owners for the first three months that they're there. "It's the summer 2014 pop up shop program and what we're trying to do is to fill our vacant store fronts," said Baker.  "The goal is to hopefully get some people interested in staying throughout the fall and the holiday season and through the winter and sign a long term lease."

Cook is optimistic that this program will attract patrons to the area and bring business to owners already in town. "We're benefiting the tourists and the residents who come through and are looking for retail options downtown--adding to the experience of visiting bellevue," said Baker

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