(Above) Chris Andersen launched his business, Chris’ Kettle Korn, two years ago at the Clear Lake Farmers Market. Andersen was introduced Monday as one of the first participants in the city’s new business incubator program. He will soon open a downtown location. Andersen continues to support the Farmers Market, which opened for the season on Saturday in the Surf Ballroom parking lot.
by Marianne Gasaway
The first two businesses accepted into the city’s new downtown business incubator program were introduced at the Monday night City Council meeting.
Skip’s Kicks at 308 Main Avenue and Chris’ Kettle Corn at 407 Main Avenue both made applications for the program and have secured the necessary three-year lease at their respective locations.
In April, the Council approved a program to support new retail and other business concepts. The incentive program is available to ground floor, for-profit businesses. It is geared to retail, or other business concepts that are new to downtown.
Qualifying businesses are eligible for maximum rental subsidy of $10,000 over 18-months on the following schedule: months one-six, 50 percent subsidy ($830 per month maximum); months seven-12, 33 percent subsidy ($560 per month maximum); months 13-18, 17 percent subsidy ($275 per month maximum). In exchange, the business owner agrees to be open for normal business hours at least six days a week and will join the Chamber of Commerce and actively participate in Chamber business-related events.
Additional criteria in the program application include consideration of the building facade and the building owner must remain in continuous operation within the business district for three years from the opening date.
Chris Andersen, owner of Chris’ Kettle Corn, said his business was started two and one-half years ago atTo read more of this article, please login or sign up for our E-Edition