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DDA looks to expand pop-up shop program


November 15, 2019

Kim E. Strom/Daily Globe

THE CITY of Bessemer Downtown Development Authority meets Thursday and discusses several ideas and projects. From left are: Dave Osier, Dustin Filippini, Kady Meinke, Doug Olsen, Adam Zak and Kara Bjorkquist. Present but not pictured is city manager Charly Loper.


Bessemer - During the regular meeting of the city of Bessemer's Downtown Development Authority, expanding the pop-up shop program was a main focus of interest.

The pop-up shop program offers many benefits to new and expanding shop owners. It provides up to six months of free rent at a downtown district location of choice and 1:1 matching funds for improvements to the building, according to the city's website.

"It would be nice to offer some sort of marketing," said board member Kady Meinke. Board member Adam Zak suggested coming up with a price to help businesses with a new webpage. "Creating a "yelp" page is simple," said Meinke. City manager Charly Loper suggested possible classes on how to do a website.

Distributing the rent money differently was also discussed. Zak suggested possibly having the business alternate paying the rent monthly with the DDA to help them get up and running longer. Loper stated she liked the idea of the business owner having a vested interest.

Zak also suggested an accountability program where the DDA would check with the businesses to make sure funds are going where they are supposed to and the business is in operation. Zak also suggested having the business give a report to the DDA after three months.

There are lots for rent in the city and there is a map of them on the city website, said Loper.

The board also discussed replacing 32 of the street lights that run along US 2. Loper suggested replacing them a couple at a time as the cost is between four and five hundred apiece.

They also discussed replacing banners along the highway that are damaged. The banners are $90 each, said Loper.

Loper is also looking into a library grant that would allow a mixed use of the DDA room with 3 cubicles and a workspace to one side for the purpose of coworking space, she said.


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