From Jenny Stubbs
Executive Director, Main Street Wetumpka
Main Street Alabama, in partnership with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), will open a Small Box Shop retail incubator in Wetumpka this week, to be managed by the local Main Street program. The economic vitality project is first of its kind in Alabama and will provide a turn-key space for local entrepreneurs to launch a business that will then move into a downtown storefront.
Mary Helmer, President and State Coordinator of Main Street Alabama stated, “We are proud to launch this innovative program, which will allow Wetumpka to attract entrepreneurs, give them time to test products and secure a spot in the local market before moving into a storefront. Coupled with the Market Analysis we provided for Wetumpka, we are confident that this additional support will give entrepreneurs a strong foundation necessary to succeed in downtown Wetumpka.” Helmer continued, “Because our program strives to keep investment here in Alabama and we were pleased to be able to purchase these converted shipping containers from the Small Box Company in Birmingham. The design of the unit will add to the downtown landscape and contribute to the vibrancy of the district.”
For the holiday season, Main Street Wetumpka partnered with the City of Wetumpka and the Chamber of Commerce to host a Pop-Up Christmas Shop to add to the programming already taking place. This temporary retail outlet will introduce the Small Box Shop to the community and potential entrepreneurs while offering a downtown location for a local Christmas tree farm, Christmas on the Coosa apparel, Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce commemorative Christmas ornaments and a Main Street Wetumpka gift shop. New businesses will undergo an application process and may stay in the unit for up to six months. The unit is located at the intersect ion of Company and Orlin Streets in downtown Wetumpka.
Executive Director of Main Street Wetumpka, Jenny Stubbs, stated, “We are so excited to be a part of this effort to encourage small business owners to follow their dreams and, in the process, reach goals and thrive through a more feasible and sustainable business model. Welcoming small business is very much a part of what Main Street does, and we look forward to working with the City of Wetumpka and Chamber of Commerce to help foster them in our path to offer an even more authentic downtown experience.” Potential Small Box Shop entrepreneurs should contact Jenny Stubbs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Main Street Alabama is a non-profit organization charged with bringing jobs, dollars and people back to the state’s historic commercial districts. Since June of 2014, Designated Communities have recorded 447 net new businesses; 2,576 net new jobs, $331,875,488 private investment, $87,038,839 public investment, and 89,570 volunteer hours in their downtown district. Main Street Alabama brings on new communities each June. Communities interested in beginning a revitalization program in their downtowns are encouraged to join The Network to learn how the nationally proven Four Point Approach® focusing on Organization, Design, Promotion and Economic Vitality can work in their commercial districts.
For more information, visit www.mainstreetalabama.org.