PICKENS — The Pickens Revitalization Association is hoping to expand upon the previous success of the Main Street Challenge by bringing the contest back for another run, with a new set of competitors vying for top honors.
The Main Street Challenge is an entrepreneurial start up competition for the purpose of generating additional retail occupancy in downtown Pickens, Patrick Lark, president of the Pickens Revitalization Association Board of Directors, said in a release.
The contest also provides a means by which local, area and regional business owners can advance their desire to expand — or even open a new business.
According to the PRA, The Main Street Challenge program offers a cash incentive award of up to $10,000 for the winner or winners who are interested in opening a new business, expanding an existing business or relocating an established business.
The program award is a “potentially forgivable loan,” determined by the business’ ability to meet all requirements of the program, which includes opening the business by April 30, 2018.
In addition to the $10,000, the winners could receive additional benefits like assistance with branding, marketing, advertising, online presence and promotions.
Help with accounting and payroll is also a possibility, the PRA states.
Lark stated that last year’s Main Street Challenge was highly successful in bringing the Appalachian Ale House to Pickens, which has become an established business drawing customers from all over the upstate to the Pickens community.
“Pickens is well on its way to becoming a destination for outdoor enthusiasts,” said Lark. “The Main Street Challenge is an effort to encourage community vibrancy and economic diversity in downtown Pickens as a place to eat, work and play.”
Applications for the 2017-2018 Main Street Challenge became available beginning Sept. 15. Round One applications are due no later than Oct. 16.
For complete guidelines and application of this year’s Main Street Challenge, visit www.historicpickens.com and click on “Main Street Challenge.”
The application is available online and in print form at the Pickens Revitalization Association Office at 222 West Main Street in Pickens.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.