Rock Springs Main Street/URA offers rental assistance to small businesses looking to start in the downtown

Rock Springs Main Street/URA offers rental assistance to small businesses looking to start in the downtown

ROCK SPRINGS – Looking for a career change and always wanted to venture into a new field? The Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency has created an incentive program for new businesses that are located within the Main Street business district.

The program aims to assist these new ventures during the first months of operation with financial assistance.  Director Chad Banks said the Rock Springs Main Street/URA have limited but valuable resources that can be put to work for the benefit of your business. The application packet outlines our goals and decision criteria, as well as provides forms and directions for applicants.

 

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ELIGIBILITY

The Rock Springs Main Street/URA Rental Assistance Program is designed to foster the growth of small businesses in the Main Street Business District. Funding is subject to the availability of resources. The Program is open to those who meet all three of the following requirements:  First, it has to be a new Downtown Rock Springs business. Banks said  new businesses are those seeking to locate, relocate from outside of Downtown Rock Springs, or significantly expand their operations within the Main Street Business District.

Second, it has to be a commercial establishment located in buildings they do not own. When discussing this, Banks said this program is restricted to those commercial establishments who do not own the property in which their business is located.

Finally, it has to be a complementary business. Banks explained, building on the concept of redevelopment of Downtown Rock Springs, commercial enterprises that complement existing commercial establishments are preferred.

Complementary businesses maintain the character of the community, and generally conform to one of the following business types:

Specialty Food Stores

Sporting Goods Stores or Sports equipment rental

Home Furnishing Stores & Accessories

Computer/Electronics Store

Gifts/Stationary/Card Store

Appliances, Computers

Specialty Retail: Hobby, Toys and Games

Apparel/Accessories – Men and Women/Family Clothing

Shoe Stores

Art Gallery / Art Studios

Restaurant

 

Restaurants broken down even further include:

Italian Café

Candy Store/Factory

Deli

Espresso Bar and News Stand

Bistro

Bakery

High end steak house

Upscale bar with live music

Sports Bar

Microbrewery

All types of businesses are eligible to apply for assistance and grants. Businesses in the above list, which was developed as part of the downtown redevelopment plan by Destination Development, will receive extra consideration as we move to diversify and strengthen the mix of operations in Downtown Rock Springs. Banks said the ultimate decision as to whether or not a business meets the above criteria rests with the Rock Springs Renewal Fund Board of Directors.

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Rock Springs Main Street/URA New Business Rental Assistance Program

This program provides a new business owner with a grant based on the monthly rent paid by the business. Rent is one of the top fixed expenses for most new businesses and we hope to provide stability by helping to cover this cost. The Rental Assistance Program provides rent for the lesser of 50% or $500 per month of the business’s monthly rent, for ten (10) months anytime during the first eighteen (18) months of a multi-year lease.  The maximum total of the subsidy per business is $5,000.

Rental assistance awards normally include a monthly payment by check to the property owner/landlord.  Should you relocate your business out of the downtown area within 36 months of receiving the grant, you’ll be required to repay the amount granted to you.

 

Application Process

The Rock Springs Main Street/URA receives applications. All applications must be submitted to The Rock Springs Main Street/URA, 502 S Main Street, Rock Springs, WY 82901.

All applications will be reviewed at the monthly board meeting of the Rock Springs Renewal Fund.  If the application receives preliminary approval, a letter is sent by the Rock Springs Main Street/URA stating preliminary approval, requesting a copy of the lease and signed affidavit from landlord.

Applicant receives a final approval letter from the Rock Springs Main Street/URA when a copy of an approved lease is received. The letter will outline the process for receiving funds. Prior to any funds being dispersed, you’ll have to provide proof of a current business license from the City of Rock Springs.

 

Applicant Eligibility

The New Business Assistance Program applicant must:

Be the legal owner of the business

Be financially stable

Not owe any back taxes or utility charges and be current on filings

No criminal history

Provide a signed copy of the lease (with both tenant and landlord signatures)

Provide a copy of their the business plan and any supporting documentation

 

Funding Eligibility Exclusions

The focus of the New Business Rental Assistance Program is to encourage development of properties for commercial use and development. Therefore, the following are not eligible for funding:

Religious organizations for sectarian purposes

Individual K-12 schools (Public or private)

Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, culture, gender, age or religion

Political activities, Civic organizations