Sylvan Lake's Winter Village lured many visitors to the town this winter. The town has launched a new contest to attract a new business.
(Black Press file photo)

Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Sylvan Lake is offering a storefront location free for one year in a contest designed to provide an economic development boost.

The town and Community Futures Central Alberta are teaming up on the Win This Space initiative, which offers a rent-free commercial space up to a value of $15,000.

A business pitch competition is part of the initiative, which will see the successful candidate given help with mentoring, networking and business training.

Town economic development officer Amanda Mercer said similar initiatives have proven successful in a number of Ontario communities.

Mercer said the goal is to find a business that will complement the downtown and be a good fit with existing businesses.

Local businesses looking to relocate from one site to another are not eligible unless a new, unrelated business, product or service is being pursued or being removed from an existing business to its own stand-alone location. Those looking to convert a home-based business into a brick and mortar location are also eligible.

“It couldn’t be just be a move because that wouldn’t serve our purpose of filling another space in our downtown,” said Mercer. “That’s why that rule is in there to encourage an expansion or a new element into a new space.”

Another must is that the business holds year-round appeal.

“Having a business that can sustain the winter months and not just take advantage of the summer months is really important for our downtown,” she said.

“This is part of our business recruitment strategy for the downtown area. It was identified in our Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan that the town really wanted to see downtown revitalized and they wanted to see business vacancies go down significantly.”

“This is one way we’re helping fill that gap and meet the needs of the plan.”

There are many businesses that offer services such as outdoor cafes in the summer but continue to cater to customers when beach season has closed, she said.

About 15 properties are on the list of eligible locations for the winning business proposal and others may be added.

While there are a number of vacancies downtown the town has attracted some new businesses recently. White Frog Cafe Coffeehouse and Roastery opened in a historic stone building at 5025 46th St. and features a gift store. Spice Hut East Indian Cuisine also opened recently at 5004 46th St.

For more information on the initiative go to www.sylvanlake.ca



News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Katherine Swampy
Maskwacis chiefs are opposed to RAPID Response

Alberta Treaty 6 First Nations say they were not properly consulted

UCP Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr spoke to the Ponoka Chamber about the potential a new provincial government would provide to help support small business.
File photo
MLA Ron Orr: ‘Our constituents … want us to defend their livelihoods and freedoms’

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA stands with 15 other UCP members calling out retreat on restrictions

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Alberta is set to join three other provinces in exploring the feasibility of small modular reactors as a clean energy option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Four provinces to sign memorandum of understanding to explore small nuclear reactors

Alberta government said in August that it would enter into the agreement to help diversify its energy sector

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

File photo
City of Wetaskiwin awarded $5.1 million grant for additional RCMP officers

10 Additional RCMP officers to serve the City of Wetaskiwin as a result of the grant.

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Most Read