Entrepreneurs can open a short-term lease in Downtown Green Bay with new Pop-Up Shop Program

1240 Main Street in Green Bay is being called the "poster child" of the program
1240 Main Street in Green Bay is being called the "poster child" of the program(WBAY)
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 5:42 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Opening a small business is no easy task, especially during a pandemic. As Action 2 News reported earlier this week, a new short-term leasing program, called “The Downtown Green Bay Pop-Up Shop Program,” launched last week.

The Pop-Up Shop Program is making it easier for small business owners that want to get started, without it being long-term. The program allows entrepreneurs to sign a three-month lease, rent-free or at significantly reduced rates.

“So this was an initiative to on a shorter-term basis, let’s give entrepreneurs a taste of what it would be like to have a storefront, to have a presence,” Jeff Mirkes said, the Executive Director of Downtown Green Bay Inc. and Olde Main Street Inc.

The program will give them a $500 stipend to be used for materials, move-in expenses and any other necessary costs. Mirkes says they have 3 to 5 available spaces for pop-up stores right now.

One of the first spaces that were available with the program was Unishippers owner, Wanda Seiber’s storefront located at 1240 Main Street in Green Bay. Mirkes says they’re calling her 2500 square-foot space the “poster child” of the program.

“We are offering it to someone who has a business, has a dream, but maybe doesn’t have the ability to foot a tremendous rental bill. So we’re creating an opportunity for someone to have several months of rent-free business,” Sieber said.

Sieber says the business owner will have to pay utilities and insurance, but that’s it. Her 100-year-old building went on the market a couple of weeks before the pandemic started.

“It’s heartbreaking. It’s a beautiful building, and I’d love to put it to use. I see it as an asset that’s not being used. So if we can help somebody to have a good bounce and use our asset to help them as we wait to sell this, I’m all for that,” Siebers explained.

There is an application process that people must complete. Officials say they’re looking for creative and diverse businesses to take over the available properties.

“So there’s no application deadline we’re really treating it like it’s a rolling application and if applications keep coming in, we are going to continue to look for good locations for them,” said Mirkes.

Mirkes says since launching the program, they’ve already had many inquiries.

To fill out the program’s application and for more information, click here.

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