PICKENS — The Pickens Revitalization Association recently announced the launch of this year’s Main Street Challenge, an entrepreneurial start up competition for the purpose of generating additional retail occupancy in downtown Pickens.
According to the PRA, after a month of open applications, four semi-finalist have been chosen from the pool of applicants.
Bee Well Honey is a well known and established business in Pickens, but their submitted plans to create an “agritourism” experience in several locations around town including classes and tours earned them a spot in the final four. Plans for the expansion also includes creating a “unique pollinator garden with walking paths.”
Hammer Town Company is planning on opening a “family friendly diner” with a large variety of distinctive foods.
To set them apart from other eateries, Hammer Town in planning on using an “old west type façade” to their location. In addition, there will be arcade games for all to enjoy.
Deb’s Donuts and Dough is a bakery featuring donuts, cakes, muffins, cookies, pies and more. These products will be made using the finest available ingredients and will be housed in “a rustic and welcoming location.”
Last, but certainly not least, is Tony Skin.
“This is a new line of skin care products that incorporates science based ingredients and a holistic approach to skin care,” said a PRA spokesperson. “They will open a local retail space as well as continuing to ship abroad.”
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, they said.
The program award is a potentially forgivable loan, determined by the business’ ability to meet all requirements of the program.
Some of the requirements include opening their business no later than April 30, 2018.
Winning businesses may also receive additional benefits including assistance with branding, marketing, advertising, online presence and promotions, as well as accounting and payroll.
“We are excited and encouraged by the business ideas of the semi-finalist in this year’s Main Street Challenge,” said Patrick Lark, President of the Pickens Revitalization Association Board of Directors. “Continued development in our downtown area is critical to the vitality of our community and programs like this will help to foster that growth.”
The four semi-finalist have until Dec. 29 to submit their formal business plan, before the finalists will be chosen to make a formal presentation to the judges in early February.
Winners are expected to be announced a week later, on Feb. 9, 2018.