Basing the program on a similar one in South Bend, the city of Warsaw and the Warsaw Community Development Corporation are working together to bring more shopping opportunities downtown for the holidays.
The idea behind the Pop Up Holiday Shops program is to fill vacancies in the downtown area by allowing seasonal or temporary businesses the opportunity to set up shop for the holiday season.
Although the WCDC board will not officially vote on the proposal until Tuesday morning, Mark Dobson of the Warsaw/Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce said the program has been in the works and vacant buildings are in the process of being secured for the program. “By the time we are ready to start, we’ll have all of those details worked out,” he explained.
On Tuesday, the WCDC board is expected to vote to open merchant applications. Dobson said with few vacancies in the downtown area, they are not expecting a large volume of applicants. Also in the works is the possibility of using economic development funds to help the approved merchants pay for any leases that may be required.
When the program is approved, potential merchants will have until Oct. 20 to complete an application, which will be available at the WCDC offices on South Buffalo Street, or online at warsawcdc.org. The shops will then be allowed to set up for business Nov. 1 through Jan. 2, 2014.
To inquire more about the program, call the WCDC at 574-267-6311.