Downtown BID offers free rental space for businesses

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The Milwaukee Downtown Bid #21has launched its Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Retail Emporium, a program of its Storefront Retail Strategy which allows existing retail businesses to receive three months of free white-box space in a street-level location along Wisconsin Ave. in downtown.
“I’m very excited to the make this option available to entrepreneurs who have an interest in opening shop downtown, but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge,”  said Deanna Inniss, retail recruiter of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.  “The Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Retail Emporium gives retailers an opportunity to test the downtown market without the long-term commitment of a five-year lease.  The interest thus far has been incredible.”
The goal, according to Inniss is to encourage retailers to expand their business in downtown Milwaukee, following the success of a temporary trial. Existing businesses have until Aug. 15 to apply for the 2010-2011 holiday market space.
“It takes special collaboration to make a concept like this work,” said Beth Nicols, executive director of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.  “First, you need the buy-in from property owners and second, you need good retailers with unique inventory.  Fortunately, everything is moving in our favor.  The Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Retail Emporium will be a destination for our holiday visitors. “
The Downtown BID hopes to secure 8 to 10 new businesses for the upcoming holiday shopping season. Applications for retailers are available at 

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