Updated 01/06/2012 03:01 PM
Burlington leaders seek to grow downtown businesses with contest
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BURLINGTON -- Leaders in Burlington are looking for the next great business to move into the downtown area and they're offering some financial help to make it happen through a friendly competition. Officials hope this will help ramp up the revitalization happening downtown.
Mary Smith opened her first store in downtown Burlington nearly three years ago.
“We could get a lot of space, but once we we're down here we fell in love with downtown. It is a very vibrant, active community,” said Mary Katherine's Fine Gifts owner Mary Smith.
That's why just a few months ago, she expanded, opening a second business.
“We're very pleased with what's going on and we have great expectations for growth. As downtown grows, we feel like it will add to our businesses as well,” Smith said.
Officials are hoping to add to the growth happening in downtown Burlington. They launched a contest where the winner could get $40,000 in prizes, including a year of free rent.
“What we're really looking for are experienced entrepreneurs that have great ideas and want to bring them to downtown Burlington,” said Downtown Burlington Corporation Executive Director Anne Morris.
Organizers will choose the finalist from submitted videos. They say, depending on the competition, there could be more than one winner.
“It just kind of depends on the quality of applications we get. If we get two really great applications and businesses we really want to bring down here we may have more than one winner,” said Morris.